A pioneering partnership between the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Scottish Water aims to reduce single-use plastic consumption at Scotland’s national open by 80%.
The European Tour and main sponsors Aberdeen Standard Investments and the Scottish Government are striving to make this year’s Rolex Series event at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick more than a world class sporting occasion, by taking steps to minimise impact on the local environment around Scotland’s Golf Coast.
In a first for the tournament – the third event in the 2019 Rolex Series, the premium category of tournaments on the Race to Dubai, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7million – players, caddies, volunteers and staff will be issued with reusable water bottles which can be refilled at water fountains situated across the course, including on tees, practice areas and all public and partner facilities.
Typical usage by players, caddies, volunteers and staff during the event is 24,000 0.5 litre bottles, and the target for this year’s tournament from July 11-14, 2019, is to significantly reduce that by 80%.
The partnership between the tournament and Scottish Water is the latest example of sporting organisations taking a more sustainable approach. Earlier this year, Scottish Swimming backed Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign by becoming the first national representative body to stop providing plastic bottles of water for officials and volunteers and encourage use of refillable bottles at various national competitions and events.
In Scotland, 20 million plastic bottles are littered each year and The Your Water Your Life project sets out to tackle the issue of single-use plastic by encouraging the public to use refillable bottles, and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open will help set the standard with this approach for golf.
Rory Colville, Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open Championship director, said: ‘Moving away from single-use plastic is a small step that can make a real difference. We are delighted to partner with Scottish Water to help encourage this change in behaviour and show that large sporting events can lead the way in minimising environmental impact.’
Brian Lironi, director of corporate affairs, Scottish Water, said: ‘We’re delighted to be teaming up with the 2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open to encourage everyone at the event to use a refillable bottle and top up from the tap.
‘We will be working with the tournament team to locate temporary Top up Taps on the course and in spectator areas. We’ll also be providing volunteers with refillable bottles so that they can stay refreshed throughout the tournament.
‘The Scottish Open is a fantastic opportunity to showcase two things that are best about Scotland – great golf and high-quality tap water – to a global audience. Our message is clear: topping up from the tap is good for you, good for the planet and good for your pocket.’
This sentiment was endorsed by Sandy MacDonald, global head of sustainability at Aberdeen Standard Investments who added: ‘At Aberdeen Standard Investments we are committed to environmental protection. Reducing single-use plastics is of worldwide importance and we have pledges in place to eliminate their use where we can. Introducing these initiatives at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is therefore a fundamental and logical step.’
The positivity around the venture was shared by the Scottish Government’s Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, who said: ‘I commend the organisers of the Scottish Open for taking this important step to reduce single-use plastic consumption. It is vital that we all – individuals, businesses and organisations – do our bit to end Scotland’s throw-away culture.
‘It only takes a small behaviour change, such as using a reusable water bottle, to help keep our country looking at its best and, crucially, reduce our impact on the natural environment. There’s always more to do but I look forward to this year’s tournament showcasing how large sporting events can play an important role in supporting this cultural shift.’
It is hoped that this year’s event can inspire the golfing world to play its part in driving the reduction of single-use plastic waste across the wider sporting calendar ahead of Scotland’s forthcoming Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.
Fans can buy tickets to see some of the world’s best golfers – including official Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open hospitality packages – at www.asiscottishopen.com