Waste Management Phoenix Open a finalist for “Sport for the Environment” Award
By Dave Aardsma, chief sales and marketing officer
When it comes to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, there are several numbers we’re all extremely proud of:
- 6,000 recycling and compost bins on the course
- Zero trash cans
- 18 collection trucks, all of which run on clean-burning natural gas
- 563,008 attendees (a weeklong record)
These numbers say a lot, but if there’s one that really sticks out, it’s 100. That’s to say 100 percent diversion from the landfill. From golf balls to concession items to banners, signs, and more - nothing leaves the grounds without being repurposed or given a second life.
It’s a pretty incredible feat when you consider that the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the highest attended event on the PGA TOUR. Not only that, to get there takes months of planning, during which time our team of sustainability experts craft a number of tactics in support of water conservation, recycling and green energy. It takes dozens of volunteers to educate patrons on how and what to recycle. It takes working with vendors to ensure that every product entering the venue is recyclable and it takes creativity and ingenuity – like converting old dumpsters in Zero Waste Stations.
Perhaps it’s for those reasons (and more) that the effort recently caught the eye of Beyond Sport, an international organization promoting the use of sport to address social issues in communities around the world. On August 7, they announced their shortlist for the annual Sport for the Environment Award, which had only three nominees:
1. The Waste Management Phoenix Open
2. Coaching For Conservation from the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust in South Africa
3. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Eagles Go Green Initiative
According to the Beyond Sport website, more than “350 entries spanning more than 70 countries across the globe” were evaluated, and of those, only three were selected as potential winners of its environmental award. While we won’t know who takes home the prize until the end of October, in Johannesburg, we’re honored to appear on such a refined shortlist with two outstanding nominees.
No matter who wins, this recognition has ramped up excitement for next year. In fact, at the same time we heard about the shortlist, our team was already making plans for the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, where once again we’ll strive to make the event the greenest show on grass.
That means zero trashcans, zero waste and 100 percent environmental excellence. They’re numbers we’re definitely positioned to repeat.