Waste Management Phoenix Open Named “Inspire” Event by Council for Responsible Sport

PHOENIX — Jan. 17, 2017 — The Council for Responsible Sport, an Oregon-based non-profit promoting sustainability in sports, has named the Waste Management Phoenix Open as an Inspire event following four-consecutive zero waste tournaments. Inspire event status is given after achieving multiple certifications to recognize the legacy that sporting events committed to sustainability and thoughtful resource management provide to their audiences and communities.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the first PGA TOUR tournament and the largest sporting event in the world to achieve Inspire status. Only two other events have achieved Inspire status, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon in Connecticut and Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both events gained Inspire status in 2016.

“The Waste Management Phoenix Open has demonstrated true leadership in producing responsible sporting events and in the process, is inspiring other events to improve their social and environmental performance,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

Inspire events provide important sustainability metrics and are expected to share their story with fellow event organizers. Inspire event organizers are also asked to mentor other Council-affiliated events on aspects of their responsible sport program. This year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is providing mentorship to the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to pilot a new sustainable golf tournament certification, GEO Certified, which builds on the Council for Responsible Sport’s framework. Through this project, the Waste Management Phoenix Open strives to support other golf tournaments in their pursuit of sustainable best practices and inspire other golf tournaments around the world to become GEO Certified. Inspire events have earned the right to be recognized industry-wide as leaders in responsible sport through their commitment to continuous improvement and transparency and are ready to share what they have learned as champions for a healthier world.

“We are honored to be named as one of the first Inspire events by the Council for Responsible Sport,” said Michele Grossman, Managing Principal for Waste Management Sustainability Services. “Much like we aim to educate and inspire fans who attend the tournament on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover in their daily lives, through the Inspire program, we will now share our best practices with other events so they too can improve.”

To achieve Gold certification in 2013-2014 and Evergreen certification in 2015-2016, Waste Management and The Thunderbirds developed programs in the Council’s five sustainability categories of the certification standards: Planning, Procurement, Resource Management, Access and Equity and Community Legacy.

In addition to the Council for Responsible Sport’s Gold and Evergreen certifications, since 2013, UL Environment has provided a third-party verification of the golf tournament’s waste diversion. The organization reviews all materials utilized for the tournament, and where waste streams are processed down the line. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Waste Management Phoenix Open achieved “Zero Waste to Landfill Operations with 10% incineration with energy recovery.” The Waste Management Phoenix Open remains the largest verified zero waste event in the world.

For the 2017 tournament, Waste Management will offset 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated from Waste Management Phoenix Open operations and player travel through Envirofit’s clean cook stove program in India and efficient biomass stove project in Tanzania.  Envirofit international is a social enterprise that innovates smart energy products and services that reduce climate change, create jobs, and improve the lives of people living in energy poverty.

Since 2011, Waste Management has operated under the ISO20121 standard for sustainable event management, which defines the requirements to ensure an enduring and balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress relating to events. The full 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open Sustainability Report Update is available here.


The Waste Management Phoenix Open, to be held January 30 – February 5, 2017 at the TPC Scottsdale, has become a major platform for highlighting Waste Management’s sustainability initiatives, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. Since 2013, Waste Management has diverted 100% of tournament waste away from landfills by reducing, reusing, recycling, composting or turning it into energy. The company continues to improve the tournament’s sustainability efforts and results through the collective efforts of everyone working together, taking action and doing things differently. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is not only the largest, most-attended tournament on the PGA TOUR, it is also the largest verified zero waste event in the world.


The mission of the Council for Responsible Sport is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The Council for Responsible Sport is an Oregon-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


GEO is an international not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping a global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community value. GEO offers practical guidance to golf facilities, developments and tournaments, along with administering a credible, third party assessed voluntary sustainability standard system.


Envirofit International is a social enterprise that innovates smart energy products that improve lives on a global scale. Using a market-based approach, Envirofit develops a global product line of smart clean cook stoves that cook faster while reducing fuel use, smoke, and toxic emissions. Serving more than 5 million people in energy poverty, Envirofit’s smart stoves reduce climate change, create new jobs, and enable families to save money.


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.

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