Waste Management Phoenix Open Receives Highest International Award for Sustainability in Golf

Waste Management Phoenix Open Receives Highest International Award for Sustainability in Golf

2018 Tournament Retains “GEO Certified®” Accolade

The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open recently received the highest international award for sustainability in golf for its efforts to balance environmental impacts, conserve natural resources and benefit the local community as Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO) again named the event as a “GEO Certified® Tournament.”

To become “GEO Certified®” the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the largest attended tournament on the PGA TOUR, completed a custom-built program for golf tournaments, that was both streamlined and robust, 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 agreement to a range of Continual Improvement Points.

In conjunction with the GEO announcement, Waste Management published the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Sustainability Report with detailed metrics and program explanations.

Sustainability highlights from the 2018 tournament include:

  • 100 percent landfill diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.
  • 75 million gallons of water restored to the Verde River through the Waste Management Phoenix Open Water Campaign with Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Change the Course.
  • Approximately 6,353 gallons of grey water captured for reuse from kitchens across the course and hospitality bars on the 16th
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, purchased 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service, used the sun to solar-power smart energy compactors and some light fixtures around the course, fueled generators and some shuttle buses with biodiesel. In addition, most of Waste Management’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament were fueled by compressed natural gas.
  • Offset 100 percent of the tournament’s carbon footprint, making the Waste Management Phoenix Open a carbon neutral event. The offset greenhouse gas emissions came from tournament operations, professional and amateur player travel, vendor travel and volunteer travel.
  • Zero Waste Stations constructed from repurposed containers engaged attendees, educating and encouraging involvement in sustainability.
  • A TPC Scottsdale Environmental Management Plan and commitment to become a GEO Certified® golf facility.
  • Protection of ecologically sensitive areas and minimized impact of temporary structures and heavy machinery through a TPC Scottsdale Site Protection Plan.
  • $12.2 million raised and awarded to local charities through The Thunderbirds and $100,000 donated to environmental organizations from Green Out Day.
  • Local youth engagement and free admission for local police, firefighters, active and retired military personnel.


The 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open was the first tournament in the world to attain “GEO Certified® Tournament” status. With the 2018 recertification, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the first two-time “GEO Certified” tournament.

In addition to the GEO certification, the 2018 tournament also maintained Evergreen Inspire status with the Council for Responsible Sport. The Waste Management Phoenix Open was the first PGA TOUR tournament to achieve both the GEO and Evergreen certifications and remains the largest event ever to achieve this level of recognition.

For the sixth straight year, UL provided a third-party verification of the event’s waste diversion. UL verified supply chain and material management, awarding the tournament “100% landfill diversion rate with 9% incineration with energy recovery.” The Waste Management Phoenix Open maintained its status as the largest verified zero waste event in the world.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as a leader in sustainability and welcome new innovation in the industry,” said 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Carlos Sugich. “Our incredible partnership with our title sponsor Waste Management has empowered our tournament to provide inspiration for our peers and create a working model for the foreseeable future.”

“At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, ‘zero’ isn’t just associated with waste,” said Michele Grossman, Managing Principal of Sustainability Services for Waste Management. “We aim to lower natural resources used and greenhouse gas emissions. Always innovating, we have expanded our water conservation efforts through additional grey water collection points, and powered the tournament with 100 percent renewable energy, and offset the rest of our carbon and water footprint.”

“The Waste Management Phoenix Open continues to drive innovation and results, a true pioneer of what can be achieved through sustainable golf tournaments,” said Jonathan Smith, GEO’s Executive Director of GEO. “The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open can claim a position as a credible and important leader in advancing sustainability in and through golf – helping foster nature, conserve resources and strengthen communities; while also supporting and showcasing sustainability in front of a large international audience. We can certainly track evidence of wider action in sustainable golf events back to the leadership displayed here.”

Find the GEO Certified® Report for the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open at www.sustainable.golf/wastemanagementphoenixopen.

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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