Hoebridge awarded environmental label19th August, 2013 by Tania Longmire
Hoebridge Golf Centre in Surrey has received a global environmental award – the first pay-and-play facility in the UK to have ever won the accolade.
Hoebridge – part of BGL Golf, which owns 10 golf clubs in the UK, has managed out of play areas without any chemicals, allowed a local scout group to build and install bird boxes, given preferential rates to local businesses and refurbished both its reservoir and clubhouse to boost their environmental performances.
As a result, it has received ‘GEO certification’ – an international award that recognises golf businesses which demonstrate an operational commitment to sustainability. The eco-label has recently been recognised as an associate member of ISEAL Alliance, the global leader in defining credibility in sustainability standards.
The award also commends Hoebridge for creating a thriving junior academy that has benefited from offering free golf tuition for local school children, and for it being a regular host of local businesses’ networking events.
Environmental assessor, Tony Hanson, said: “Hoebridge Golf Centre is a good custodian of the site, creating a successful balance in protecting the land, encouraging a biodiverse ecology and providing a valuable asset to the local community.
“They have a good sustainability ethos in place, and are absolutely committed to continuing to add even more environmental and community value.”
Colin Mayes, BGL chief executive, explained why community engagement is an area of focus for his staff. “Environmental issues are important to any business that wishes to trade in 100 years’ time,” he said.
“However, engaging with your local community is also crucial for sustained business success and across each of the BGL Golf sites there is a focus on this.”
Jonathan Smith, GEO chief executive, said: “This is an outstanding example of how the people running a golf facility can maximise their joint environmental and community efforts as a way to strengthen business.
“We applaud BGL Golf’s leadership and commitment – and in particular the way its corporate ethos and group wide policies have turned into practical action, as demonstrated at Hoebridge.”