WM PHOENIX OPEN SEEKING RECORD EIGHTH GEO CERTIFICATION
As preparations are finalized for the 2024 WM Phoenix Open, set for Feb. 5 – 11 at TPC Scottsdale, tournament organizers are seeking a record eighth GEO Certification, a holistic international distinction for sustainability in golf awarded and assured by Scotland-based GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation.
To achieve GEO Certified® Tournament status the WM Phoenix Open must complete a custom-built program for golf tournaments, including: document and evidence submission across a broad range of priority sustainability themes and action areas, 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 Certification Ltd, a subsidiary of GEO Foundation and agree to a range of Continual Improvement Points.
The 2017 WM Phoenix Open was the first GEO Certified® PGA TOUR event and the tournament has been awarded GEO certification each year since for a total of seven times. Since 2013, WM has taken a zero-waste approach with the tournament, through recycling, composting, donation, reuse or materials used to recover energy and create fuel.
In addition to the WM Phoenix Open, a number of leading tournaments are embracing sustainable golf, supported or recognized by the GEO Foundation, including The Open, The TOUR Championship, The Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the DOW Championship, Hero Dubai Desert Classic, Omega European Masters and more.
Sustainability highlights for the 2024 WM Phoenix Open tournament will include:
- 100 percent diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and fuel creation with no residual byproduct.
- WM and the tournament host, The Thunderbirds, will implement water conservation measures to ensure water is used responsibly, including the collection of grey water from hospitality bars to be reused in portable toilets to reduce freshwater usage.
- WM and The Thunderbirds are further advancing the tournament’s dual missions of leadership in sustainability and extraordinary charitable giving with the new WM Phoenix Open Working For Tomorrow FundSM, which supports communities across Arizona. The 2024 beneficiaries of the WM Phoenix Open Working For Tomorrow FundSM will include water access and restoration projects through Change The Course, renewable energy initiatives on Tribal Nations and efforts to eliminate food waste and address hunger through Waste Not, an Arizona-based non-profit providing 2.5 million meals annually. The Thunderbirds and WM are joined by 12 tournament stakeholders to support the WM Phoenix Open Working For Tomorrow FundSM.
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the tournament will once again purchase 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service. In addition, WM’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament will be fueled with compressed natural gas.
- WM will offset un-avoided greenhouse gas emissions associated with the WM Phoenix Open equivalent to scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions as well as a portion of scope 3 emissions, such as player travel.
- WM will once again engage PGA TOUR players with the opportunity to balance their travel footprint.
- In year two of an initiative to reduce plastic water bottle use, The Thunderbirds and WM will set up free public water refill stations.
- 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 more than $124.5 million since 2010 for local charities.
WM is now in its 15th year as title sponsor of the Phoenix Open. Over the first 14 years, WM and The Thunderbirds have turned the WM Phoenix Open into the most sustainability-minded golf tournament on the PGA TOUR. For more information about how WM is helping other tournaments, venues and leagues with comprehensive sustainability programs, review the WM Advisory Services Sports and Entertainment Team deck.
ABOUT THE WM PHOENIX OPEN
The 2024 WM Phoenix Open will take place Feb. 5-11 at TPC Scottsdale. “The People’s Open” has been named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR five times to acknowledge the tournament’s legendary status as one the most unique events in golf. The 2024 edition will mark the 89th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 15th with WM as title sponsor. For more information visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.
ABOUT GEO SUSTAINABLE GOLF FOUNDATION
GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation is an international not-for-profit dedicated to helping accelerate sustainability and climate action in and through golf. The organization works collaboratively across the amateur and professional parts of golf to help the sport embrace and address key environmental and social issues, so that it can become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources, strengthening communities and taking climate action. GEO provides the OnCourse® programs and solutions for sustainable 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.