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GEO Foundation and partners roll out new framework for social and environmental reporting

By |  June 25, 2019 0 Comments
From left: Robert Ewing, credibility manager, GEO Foundation; Patrick Mallet, director of innovations, ISEAL Alliance; andKelli Jerome, executive director, GEO Foundation (Photo: GEO Foundation)

From left: Robert Ewing, credibility manager, GEO Foundation; Patrick Mallet, director of innovations, ISEAL Alliance; and Kelli Jerome, executive director, GEO Foundation (Photo: GEO Foundation)

GEO Foundation, an international nonprofit dedicated to helping advance sustainability in golf, announced the development of a new framework for golf’s social and environmental reporting.

The framework is designed to help golf more consistently quantify and communicate its “net impact” across its sustainability agenda. As such, it covers the material environmental and social issues across three main themes: fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting communities.

“The goal is to enable golf to accurately monitor, measure and communicate real impacts and to connect that locally, nationally and internationally,” said Jonathan Smith, executive director of GEO Foundation. “It has been a complex but enjoyable challenge — studying, collaborating, developing a deep understanding of the priority metrics, mapping audiences and building user-centric software to simplify data gathering at scale.”

To ensure credibility and connectivity, the framework aligns closely with mainstream sustainability goals and reporting systems and is underpinned by the core principles of inclusiveness, materiality, reliability and context. It will be available in the coming months.

“Golf is a large and influential sport, comprising over 34,000 grassroots facilities in over 200 countries, hundreds of professional tournaments and with a significant supply chain. It also has powerful media and reach, and can inspire hundreds of thousands of fans,” said Paul Druckman, former CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council and independent chair of the project’s strategic advisory group. “Golf is not unique amongst businesses to increasingly recognize the need to consistently measure and communicate with credibility its environmental and social impact. Through this work, golf is also gearing up to show how the sport delivers against global priorities, principally the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

With both golf’s voluntary standards and the new metrics fully integrated into OnCourse, the software solution used to engage golf facilities, tournaments and associations, the next phase is to work closely with partners to rollout, engage and drive active participation. OnCourse is currently used in 76 countries around the world and is available in nine languages.

The project began a year ago after discussion hosted by the Vidauban Foundation and the response from golf associations. GEO Foundation’s strategic partners include The R&A, Vidauban Foundation, Toro Foundation and the ISEAL Innovations Fund, plus more than 150 scientists, association leaders and grassroots golf course and club managers, who contributed to the various consultations.

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About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Golfdom's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at Golfdom, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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