Hero Dubai Desert Classic marks World Environment Day by achieving GEO Certified for the second year running

By Emily Kay 2 weeks ago

Continued efforts to minimise environmental impact see the tournament recognised with the highest standard of environmental and social responsibility in golf. The tournament was the first GEO Certified® mass event in the Middle East and first in the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series, now becoming the first to achieve re-certification.

The Hero Dubai Desert Classic (HDDC) has become GEO Certified® for the second consecutive year, highlighting the event’s dedication to environmental responsibility and position as a leader in sustainable golf events. The HDDC has announced GEO certification to mark World Environment Day, as countries, organisations and individuals come together in the effort to protect and restore the Earth.

GEO Certified®, the widely regarded, credible distinction for responsible golf events is overseen by the international non-profit organisation GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, dedicated to support and recognition for sustainability and climate action in golf.  Criteria cover aspects of event staging as well as awareness-raising efforts and lasting legacies, with continual improvement points for future events an integral part of the process.

This year’s consecutive second accreditation has been awarded following continued and increased efforts to minimise the environmental impact of this prestigious European tour event and oldest golf tournament in the Middle East. Key initiatives include the wide use of solar power, extensive recycling to limit landfill waste, the 100% use of B20 biodiesel throughout the event, a park and plant initiative and reduced use paper through digital only tickets and daily magazines.

Reflecting on the achievement, Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director of Hero Dubai Desert Classic said, “This second successive GEO certification is a milestone moment for the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. Having become the first event in the Middle East and in the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series to have earned this prestigious status, this latest certification emphasises our long-term commitment to create a sustainable golf event. We are delighted that the Hero Dubai Desert Classic is playing a part in Dubai’s wider ambitions of building a greener city for generations to come.”

Many of the sustainability practices from the 35th edition of the HDDC will continue into 2025 alongside new innovations, underscoring the tournament’s commitment to sustainability and climate action. Key achievements from recent events also include:

  • 80% of the area between the 11th and 15th holes powered by solar panels and wide use of solar power in the Media Centre
  • Park and Plant – charge for parking on site funded the planting of three trees per car
  • Achieving a remarkable milestone, the event diverted 100% of waste from landfills (up from 53% the previous year). Dulsco’s effective waste streams resulted in 25% of materials being recycled or composted.
  • 5 tonnes of glass recycled – enough energy to power a laptop for 312 days
  • Emirates Flights Catering sourced salad greens from Dubai’s largest vertical farm, promoting sustainable food choices.
  • Free water refill points have helped divert 120,000 single-use plastic bottles from landfill since 2022
  • High-quality filtered water dispensers provided by Liquid of Life and Al Laith minimised single-use plastic
  • 100% B20 biodiesel used throughout the event, supporting Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 target of using 75% clean energy
  • World’s finest golfers transported by an expanded fleet of BMW electric vehicles
  • Credibly offset unavoidable emissions via the Rolex Series portfolio with the Gold Standard, supporting the Central Mozambique safe water programme, alongside local Mangrove ecosystem restoration project
  • The Sustainability Corner in Tournament Town hosted environmental activities for all ages, including an Urban Farming workshop
  • Digital ticketing and programme to reduce paper waste
  • Supported Heroes of Hope, introducing people of determination to golf via organised clinics with the Academy at Emirates Golf Club
  • Event partner Aggreko won ‘best sustainability initiative’ award for its involvement in HDDC 2022 and 2023 at Middle East Event Awards June 2023

Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director of GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation, stated: “The team at Hero Dubai Desert Classic continue to press ahead, blending commitment and innovation to integrate sustainable practices across the event—from staging to lasting legacies.  Their efforts are supported by partners and suppliers as well as the host venue, Emirates Golf Club.  Our congratulations to the Falcon Golf team for the 2024 event and we look forward to supporting and recognising more groundbreaking strides in the years ahead.”

Last month, the HDDC completed planting 1,750 mangrove trees at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary, as part of sustainable initiatives for next January’s tournament. The ‘Park and Plant’ scheme was funded by visitor parking fees to help offset the tournament’s carbon emissions.

The HDDC’s successive GEO certifications reflect Dubai’s global leadership in sport and sustainability. Dubai is committed to drive positive environmental change, setting the bar and outlining the path towards a greener future for cities worldwide.

For more information visit: www.dubaidesertclassic.com

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