2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open Looks To Become First Three-Time “GEO Certified” Tournament

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 24, 2019) – When the Waste Management Phoenix Open begins next week at TPC Scottsdale, the event will attempt to become the first three-time “GEO Certified®” tournament – the highest international award for sustainability in golf, awarded by Scotland-based GEO Foundation.

To become “GEO Certified” the Waste Management Phoenix Open must complete a custom-built program for golf tournaments, including: document and evidence submission, a third-party verification carried out by the Council for Responsible Sport (the official verification body for GEO Certified Tournaments in North America), a thorough review by GEO, and agree to a range of Continual Improvement Points.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has been awarded GEO certification following the 2017 and 2018 tournaments and is internationally recognized as the largest verified zero waste event in the world. Since 2013, all tournament waste – more than 6.4 million pounds – has either been recycled, composted, donated, reused or used to create energy.

Sustainability highlights for the 2019 tournament will include:

  • 100 percent landfill diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.
  • Waste Management and the tournament hosts, The Thunderbirds, implement water conservation measures to ensure water is used responsibly, including the collection of grey water in the kitchens across the course as well as the hospitality bars on the 16th hole to be reused in portable toilets to reduce freshwater usage. In addition, handwashing stations utilize hand sanitizer instead of water.
  • To further support water restoration, Waste Management created a new water installation located by the main TPC merchandise tent the educational shade structures cast water droplet-like shadows while also informing fans of the tournament’s commitment to the future of Arizona’s water and offering a fun game to convey the value of reducing wasted embedded water, which is the water used to make the food and products we consume.
  • Working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Change the Course campaign, Waste Management and The Thunderbirds will continue their support for restoration of Northern Arizona rivers and streams. This collaboration, also supported by M Culinary and Swire/Coca-Cola, has restored 270 million gallons to the Verde River and other freshwater ecosystems in Arizona since 2015.
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the tournament will once again purchase 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service, use the sun to solar-power smart energy compactors and some light fixtures around the course, and fuel generators and some shuttle buses with biodiesel. In addition, Waste Management’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament will be fueled with compressed natural gas.
  • The tournament will also offset 100 percent of the tournament’s carbon footprint, including all tournament operations, professional and amateur player travel, vendor travel and volunteer travel.
  • Zero Waste Stations constructed from repurposed containers will engage attendees, educating and encouraging involvement in sustainability.
  • The tournament is played at the TPC Scottsdale, which became a GEO Certified course in 2019 due to its outstanding management of on-course wildlife habitats
  • In addition to the benefits to the environment, the tournament has an enormous impact on the community as well. The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open raised $12.2 million for local charities and $100,000 donated to environmental organizations from Green Out Day. 2019 figures are to be determined.
  • The tournament also engages local youth and provides free admission for local police, firefighters, active and retired military personnel.

In 2019, Waste Management celebrates its 10th year as title sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s largest-attended event. Over the last decade, Waste Management has turned the Waste Management Phoenix Open into the most sustainable sporting event on the planet. Since 2013, WM has diverted 100 percent of tournament waste, through recycling, composting, donation, reuse or creating energy – that’s over 6.4 million pounds of material going to its next best use.

Contacts and Information

About Waste Management

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com. Media inquiries to Janette Micelli, jmicelli@wm.com, 602-579-6152 or Rob Myers, rob@rmprgroup.com, 602-317-6131.

About GEO Foundation

GEO is an international non-profit, entirely dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through the sport of golf.  Established in 2006, GEO works closely with the golf industry, aiming to strengthen the social and environmental contribution of golf, help the sport credibly communicate its commitment and value, and champion sustainability in front of a large audience.  In pursuit of this mission, GEO provides a suite of OnCourse® support programs for facilities, new developments and tournaments, and manages and assures golf’s externally-accredited and widely endorsed standards and certification system, GEO Certified®. Find out more at www.sustainable.golf. Media inquiries to Kelli Jerome, kelli@golfenvironment.org, +44 (0)1620 895 100.

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