Australian Golf Environmental Initiative
Welcome to the Australian Golf Environment Initiative website. The Australian Golf Environmental Initiative was established by the AGCSA in partnership with Golf Australia in 2005 to:
- Promote and foster the care of the environment on Australian golf courses;
- Recognise the environmental values of Australian golf courses;
- Encourage all Australian golf courses to develop and enact an ISO 14001-compliant environmental management system (EMS); and
- To communicate the environmental values of Australian golf courses.
This initiative has evolved from the attitude that environmental regulatory agencies are of the view that industry, including industry bodies, should promote best practice environmental management within their own ranks. As a result, the AGCSA and Golf Australia have come together to meet this challenge by committing to a national initiative that will revolutionise golf course environmental management.
Environmental responsibility is a core value of the Australian golf industry and it recognises the important role that it plays in maintaining golf courses in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.
Key Objectives of the Australian Golf Environmental Initiative
Through the Australian Golf Environmental Initiative, the golf industry is committing to environmental excellence by:
- Integrating environmental factors into its business decisions.
- Striving to meet and, where appropriate, exceed the requirements of all relevant legislation, regulations and other requirements to which the industry subscribes.
- Developing and maintaining the AGCSA’s Golf Environmental Management Strategy that distinguishes the Australian golf industry as the world leader in environmental management.
- Encouraging commitment to the environment through training and awareness programmes.
- Constantly striving to achieve continual improvement and the prevention of pollution in the environmental performance of golf courses.
- Promoting water management strategies to all members.
- Continuing to support and further enhance integrated pest management strategies.
- Setting environmental objectives and targets and assessing the golf industries achievements.
- Encouraging a similar environmental commitment from material suppliers and contractors.
- Annually reviewing the Environmental Initiative and to communicate it to all members of the Australian golf industry and the public.
Key Components of the Australian Golf Environmental Inititative
The Australian Golf Environmental Initiative is made up of the following components;
- The Australian Golf Environmental Initiative website (www.environment.agcsa.com.au). The website is being developed as a resource centre on environmental management for golf courses.
- The e-par® EMS. To encourage every golf course in Australia to implement an EMS, the AGCSA has endorsed e-par® (www.epar.com.au) which is an ISO 14001-based EMS specifically designed for golf courses. The AGCSA has had a long-term relationship with Terry Muir, the developer of e-par®, where the industry has contributed significantly to the refinement of the EMS. Developed specifically for the golf industry, e-par® was recently recognised by a USGA study, “as the most advanced programme applying the EMS concept to golf courses in the world.” e-par® not only assists clubs in being environmentally compliant, it is also an excellent means of managing a range of activities such as pesticide applications and water, energy and waste management.
- Australian Golf Environment Research Initiatives. The AGEI research initiatives manage the revenue derived from the sales of e-par® and other donations to fund research projects and study bursaries in golf courses and the environment, as well as assisting needy clubs in the development of an EMS.
- Industry self-regulation. The most ambitious part of the Environmental Initiative is to strive for self-regulation where the golf industry becomes responsible for overseeing its environmental compliance.
The success of this initiative requires leaders of change and the participation of all golf clubs. Through the initiative we expect many benefits that include;
- The enhancement of public confidence in golf course environmental management.
- The fostering of the Australian golf industry’s reputation as world leaders in environmental management.
- Industry self-regulation (the voluntary association of clubs to control their collective action).
- Increasing the environmental management skill base of golf course staff and management.
- Annual reporting on the environmental performance of the industry.
- Establishing partnerships with regulatory bodies and sponsors with a goal of improving the environment.
The Australian golfing industry’s environmental initiative is targeting all clubs, members and decision makers to improve environmental performance. More than a containment strategy or a holding operation this national environmental management approach forces responsibility for action into the hands of those people who can make change. It will commit golf clubs to a vision of what golf course environmental management “ought” to be.