When the 2022 WM Phoenix Open is played next week at TPC Scottsdale, the tournament will attempt to become the first six-time “GEO Certified®” tournament – the highest international award for sustainability in golf, awarded by Scotland-based GEO Foundation.

To become “GEO Certified” the WM 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.

Internationally recognized as the largest verified zero-waste event in the world, the WM Phoenix Open has been awarded GEO certification each year since the 2017 tournament. Since 2013, title sponsor WM has taken a zero-waste approach with the tournament, through recycling, composting, donation, reuse, or creating energy – with more than 10.41 million pounds of material going to its next best use.

Sustainability highlights for the 2022 tournament will include:

  • 100 percent diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse, and waste-to-energy.
  • WM and the tournament hosts, The Thunderbirds, will implement water conservation measures to ensure water is used responsibly, including the collection of grey water from kitchens as well as the hospitality bars on the 16th hole to be reused in portable toilets to reduce freshwater usage.
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the tournament will once again purchase 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service and fuel generators with biodiesel. In addition, WM’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament will be fueled with compressed natural gas.
  • The tournament will also offset the tournament’s carbon footprint, except for fan travel. This includes all tournament operations, building materials, event management transportation, professional and amateur player travel, as well as vendor and volunteer travel.
  • WM is providing the top 25 PGA TOUR finishers with gifts that highlight the value of the circular economy.
  • 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, raising nearly $100 million since 2010 for local charities.

WM is now in its 13th year as title sponsor of the Phoenix Open. Over the first 12 years, WM and the tournament-host Thunderbirds have turned the largest-attended PGA TOUR stop into the most sustainability-minded sporting event in the world. The event tracks and offsets greenhouse gas emissions, uses renewable energy to power the tournament, has a food waste reduction program, and participates in water conservation and restoration initiatives. This is in addition to the more than 10.41 million pounds of tournament materials that have gone on to their next best use over the last decade through recycling, composting, reuse, donation, or energy creation.


The 2022 WM Phoenix Open will take place Feb. 7-13 at TPC Scottsdale as a field of 132 players will vie for the $8.2 million purse, the $1,476,000 first-place check, and 500 FedExCup points.  “The People’s Open” has been named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four times in the past seven years (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) to acknowledge the tournament’s legendary status as one the most unique events in golf. The 2022 edition will mark the 87th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR). For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. Click here for more information on the WM Sports and Entertainment Team and to learn more about how WM is helping other tournaments, venues, and leagues with comprehensive sustainability programs.


GEO Foundation is the international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf. Its goal is to work collaboratively to help the sport embrace environmental and social issues and become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources, and building healthy communities. GEO assures the OnCourse® programs for grassroots golf facilities, new developments, and tournaments, each of which can lead to the internationally accredited, endorsed and independently verified GEO Certified® label. Find out more at www.sustainable.golf.

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