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Milestone in sustainable golf development

Milestone in sustainable golf development: Second edition of the international voluntary sustainability standard for golf developments demonstrates golf’s continuing proactive leadership and progress in the construction industry.

Developed through close collaboration, both within and outside the golf industry, the release of this latest edition of the Sustainable Golf Development Standard represents another major step forward in golf’s journey to becoming a leader in sustainable sport, land use and development.

Milestone in sustainable golf development

Milestone in sustainable golf development

Available to all new developments from September 2021, this simplified new edition raises the bar on sustainability expectations and focuses on the most relevant issues and challenges in the current climate. Renewed emphasis is placed on areas such as increased transparency, carbon impacts, flexible construction timelines, circular economy and the impacts of agronomic decision-making.

Facilitated by GEO Foundation (GEO), six months of open public consultation and dedicated work by the international expert working group for sustainable golf development has led to the release of the second edition of this credible, accessible and relevant voluntary standard for any golf development. The milestone document provides a tighter framework, which can guide the process of delivering any new golf developments and renovations, from site selection through to opening day – delivering positive social and environmental value throughout.

Sam Thomas, Director of Golf Development for GEO, the international organization dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf said: “The process of working with public comments and the international expert group’s knowledge was a great insight into what we’ve seen change in the sustainability space over the past five years. There were invaluable inputs shared into the ways in which everyone felt that golf developments, done in the right way, can continue to make real positive contributions to their environment, climate and community. Going forward, we are excited to adopt this 2nd edition of the standard at all new golf development sites seeking to gain GEO Certified Development status and, over the next five years, see how we can all push on to deliver even greater positive impacts.”

The seven members of the International Expert Working Group, which helped shape this latest edition, included representatives from the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects; American Society of Golf Course Architects; The European Institutes of Golf Course Architects; Golf course builders – through Landscapes Unlimited; Australian National University, Former European Commission representatives and Wetlands International.

Richard Holland, Director, Operations and Network Development, Wetlands International commented: “Congratulations to all involved in this significant milestone for the golf development industry. The 2nd edition builds on the solid foundations of the original standard and raises the bar for new sustainable golf developments. These voluntary standards can also provide valuable guidance for policymakers and regulators in their responsibilities to deliver the best possible outcomes for the environment and local communities.”

The revision of the standard was carried out in line with ISEAL Alliance’s Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting. GEO has been part of the ISEAL Alliance since 2015 and the rigour and credibility of that code are central to the revision of the voluntary sustainability standard. These same codes of good practice are followed by other well-known sustainability bodies including Fairtrade, The Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Tom Mackenzie, Director at Mackenzie & Ebert and Past President of European Institute of Golf Course Architects stated: “It is great to see the release of the 2nd edition of this standard. It now better represents the current sustainability issues we face as designers and I was very pleased to be able to represent the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) on the expert working group. Along with EIGCA’s Raising the Standard of Sustainable Golf Course Design educational programme, which was created with GEO, this renewed sustainability standard represents another meaningful point of connection with GEO for our members.”  

The document and further explanation can be viewed here along with information on the OnCourse Developments programme, which provides practical support to assist all types of golf developments and the GEO Certified Developments mark, which provides credible recognition to new projects.

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Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands: At the Sportive Connect conference on Thursday 23 January in Amsterdam, the Dutch sports sector made an important step in its contribution to the climate agreement by signing the Sustainable Sports Roadmap.

The conference also recognised a milestone in the field of sustainable sport – one hundred golf clubs in the Netherlands have achieved the GEO Certified® distinction. One of the signatories on this agreement is Netherlands Golf Federation Director, Jeroen Stevens.

Milestone for golf in the Netherlands

Golfclub Meerssen in the spotlight

Gerard Dielessen, General Director of the Dutch Olympic Committee and Dutch Sport (NOC * NSF), pointed out that Dutch Golf placed sustainability high on its agenda a long time ago and the sport has already achieved a significant amount as a leader in the field.

Dutch golf’s achievement was celebrated at the congress with the presentation of the GEO Certification to the one hundredth club, Golfclub Meerssen.

Commenting on the announcement, Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation said: “GEO Foundation is proud to support sustainable golf in the Netherlands in its strategy and delivery of credible, measurable results. The NGF’s vision in creating the future they wanted for the sport is an important example of voluntary leadership.”

“Sustainability because we want to”

In one of the information sessions at the congress, NGF director Jeroen Stevens elaborated on the sustainability of golf through OnCourse Netherlands, the program that golf clubs use on their way to become GEO Certified. Stevens highlighted the shift in golf from “sustainability because we have to” to “sustainability because we want to”. He pointed out that this is also expected by society: research shows that the need for sustainable thinking and doing increases with each generation.

Stevens also underlined the many benefits and opportunities that sustainable management offers. “In 2009, as a volunteer on the golf club’s course committee, I was faced with sustainability for the first time and I have since learned that sustainable management provides a better golf course at lower costs,” he said.

Don’t wait until everyone is ready

Stevens believes that all sports would benefit from the OnCourse Netherlands/GEO programme used by golf. “GEO is about awareness of sustainability and measurement. You have to measure to know what you are doing. GEO is also about community, because that is also sustainability. And I recommend that you just start making your sport more sustainable and not wait until everyone is ready,” he said.

The Netherlands now has more GEO Certified® golf facilities than any other country in the world and has plans for even more to achieve golf’s sustainability distinction in the coming years, benefitting the clubs individually and the sport collectively.

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John Deere’s Milestone Machine

John Deere’s Milestone Machine: John Deere recently hit a manufacturing milestone with the completion of the five millionth unit of riding lawn equipment built at the company’s Power Products factory in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Originally founded as a small, satellite factory, Power Products is now the highest volume facility for John Deere and is responsible for manufacturing many of the iconic green lawnmowers sold by the brand. The facility was established in 1988 and celebrated its 30th anniversary last July.

John Deere's Milestone Machine

“The production of the five millionth machine is a significant milestone for the Power Products team, John Deere and our loyal customers,” said factory manager Jeff Hollett. “We take immense pride in the legacy we have built here in Greeneville, and to know we have built five million machines is something we are really proud of.”

The Power Products facility currently manufactures the John Deere 100 Series small ride-on models, some of which are equipped with the award-winning Easy Change 30-second oil change system, as well as the S240 lawn tractor and the Z300 and Z500 Series ZTrak zero-turn mowers. As with all John Deere products, the models built by the employees at Power Products have a greater reach and purpose than just the equipment.

“The production of five million units really puts into perspective what we do here on a daily basis,” said Hollett. “It’s more than just manufacturing machines to help people look after their lawn. It’s about our unwavering commitment to quality and integrity. This is the only way we were able to reach this milestone, which is a testament to the long-term success of John Deere Power Products.”

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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50 Year Milestone For Johnston Gilpin

50 Year Milestone For Johnston Gilpin: 2018 marked a special milestone for the Johnston Gilpin & Co Ltd John Deere agricultural and turf equipment dealership based near Lisburn in Northern Ireland, as it celebrated 50 years in business.

In honour of the occasion the dealership team organised a two-day exhibition in November at the nearby Eikon Centre, showcasing current John Deere tractors and machinery, as well as some historic – and iconic – favourites. Over 4000 existing and potential John Deere customers came to support this popular business and view the latest equipment on offer from the manufacturer.

50 Year Milestone For Johnston Gilpin

Johnston Gilpin & Co Ltd dates back to 1968 when it was started by Donn McConnell on Waterloo Road, close to the location of the current dealership at Lisnoe Road. Donn’s son Randal McConnell is now managing director of the business, while Randal’s brother Neale runs the domestic groundscare division at another site just a few miles away.

“It was a superb event and we are very pleased with how it all went,” said Randal. “To see so many people come and support us was really encouraging and there were a few deals initiated that we will be following up!”

Company founder Donn McConnell also attended the show, along with a number of VIPs including John Deere Limited’s divisional sales manager Chris Meacock. “My father is still involved in the business and comes in every day,” Randal added. “He has taken a back seat over the last 10 years but still keeps an eye on things. He turned 80 this year, so it has been a big year for us all round.”

Tractors of all shapes and sizes were a dominant part of the John Deere display at the anniversary event, alongside self-propelled forage harvesters, combines and a special new airless radial tyre.

“We had almost the full current agricultural tractor range from John Deere on display, right up to the monster 9RX four-track machine,” said Randal. “We also launched the new 9900i self-propelled forage harvester in Northern Ireland. Among the other machines on display were combines, drills, compact tractors and the new X Tweel Turf puncture proof tyres from Michelin, as featured on John Deere’s ZTrak 900 Series commercial zero-turn rotary mower range.”

The turfcare department also showed a full line of commercial, domestic, golf and turf machinery as well as large displays from the dealership’s other suppliers. In addition, the E-Zone featured demonstrations of electric powered wheel loaders from Kramer, Mean Green Mowers and Cramer hand tools.

John Deere’s oldest tractor, the 100 year old Waterloo Boy, made an appearance, lent by local man Graham Crymble. Another of the vintage and classic tractors on display was a 1951 John Deere Model B that belongs to the McConnell family and was restored around 15 years ago.

“This has been an important milestone for us as a company to reach,” said Randal. “For us to be trading successfully and indeed expanding in today’s volatile business climate is a magnificent achievement. We see this special anniversary event as a show of strength, a sign of our professionalism and the culmination of my father’s hard work and dedication to the John Deere brand over the last 50 years.

“We are very proud as a family and as a company to be one of the oldest John Deere dealers in the UK and the oldest in Ireland. This show was probably the largest single indoor dealer exhibition of its kind in the country and was an indication of our enthusiasm to grow the business even further and become the pre-eminent John Deere dealer for Northern Ireland.”

For more information, visit: www.JohnDeere.co.uk

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