Golf Saudi signs up to United Nations Sports for Climate Framework

Golf Saudi’s Yasir Al Rumayyan, Jonathan Smith and Alex Armas, CEO, Ladies European Tour
Image Credit: Supplied

Golf Saudi has continued to demonstrate the strength of its commitment to sustainability, with announcements that will accelerate action and results across a range of priority environmental and climate issues.

By becoming an official signatory of the UN Sport for Climate Framework, the sports body joins a rapidly growing community of organisations, leagues, tours, tournaments and associated media across sport — building commitments and pathways towards The Paris Agreement’s ‘net zero’ targets.

Yasir O. Al Rumayyan, Chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, finalised the agreement which saw the organisation officially accepted into the initiative.

“We are incredibly excited about joining the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Framework and playing an active part in sport’s contribution to global climate action,” said Al Rumayyan. “Since the inception of Golf Saudi, we have sought to collaborate internationally in order to build sustainability into golf’s further development; to contribute actively to Saudi’s Vision 2030; and also to be part of the sports sector’s path to a low-carbon future.”

The Sports for Climate Action initiative calls on sporting organisations to acknowledge the contribution of the sports sector to climate change and the collective responsibility to commit to climate neutrality for a safer planet. This can be achieved by sports organisations displaying climate leadership by engaging and working together, which in turn will incentivise climate action beyond the sports sector and help other global organisations face-up to the threat posed by climate change.

Commenting on Golf Saudi’s accession to the Framework, UN Global Climate Action Manager, Niclas Svenningsen, said: “The time has come for the sports community to ramp up its ambition on low carbon transition. Within the Sports for Climate Action Framework, signatories are sharing lessons learnt, best practices and emerging tools to help put the sector on the path to climate neutrality. Through their collective efforts and influence, sports organisations have an incredible opportunity to drive and inspire climate action on a global scale. We are pleased to welcome Golf Saudi as a signatory and look forward to their contributions on this journey.”

Golf Saudi is also extending its collaboration with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf — the international non-profit organisation that for the last 15 years has been entirely dedicated to accelerating sustainability and climate action across the sport.

Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director of GEO Foundation, said: “First of all we congratulate Golf Saudi on taking the step to join the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework — further demonstrating their determination to take meaningful, transparent and credible steps — aligning with international commitments and targets across sport.

“To that end, we are pleased to continue to support the role out of the National Golf Sustainability Strategy, ensuring that high standards and significant innovation are built into the development and operations of facilities, the staging of events and the generation of positive multipliers. In parallel, there are a number of important new aspects of research and development underway, widely relevant to golf, such as ecosystem restoration through golf; harnessing renewable energy; comprehensive water resource management; and building circularity into golf’s supply chain.”

Both significant milestones continue the momentum initiated by the development of the National Golf Sustainability Strategy in 2020, through which Golf Saudi has set out a wide range of ambitious golf industry policies around carbon and climate, ecosystem restoration, the circular economy and water stewardship.

Plans are also under way to build specific actions into the staging of the Aramco Team Series, which will see its second event get underway in Spain, in just over a fortnight’s time. More details of the Sustainability Action Plan are due to be announced shortly, and will span event venues, staging and legacies. The work around the Series being closely aligned with, and inspired by, the Ladies European Tour’s Celebrating the Green initiative.

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