Simbithi Country Club has successfully hosted a Green Golf Day for Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (ICCIT), and King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) to raise awareness of the impact that people’s activities have on the environment and to encourage innovative ways to demonstrate responsible business practices.
The Green Golf Day concept was initiated as part of the two week campaign ahead of the COP17 conference last year, which was hosted in Durban.
This Golf Day formed part of ICCIT and KSIA’s green legacy campaign which highlights their commitment going forward to bringing about sustainable local economic development, driving financial success and sustainable returns on the North Coast, whilst offering ICCIT members and other local businesses the opportunity to display their commitment to environmental sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
Research indicates that a ‘green’ golf day had never been hosted in South Africa before and according to Steve van Greunen, Simbithi Eco-Estate and Country Club’s general manager, the aim is to host this event at Simbithi Country Club on an annual basis to create further awareness to the corporate market and the public on caring for the environment and its local communities.
“Hosting a Green Golf Day at Simbithi Country Club was always going to be the perfect fit as this initiative is in line with our estate’s already enforced eco-friendly policies and ethos,” said van Greunen.
The purpose of this day was to make a positive contribution to the local economy and provide various benefits to businesses involved, and the communities they support.
There is a genuine need and desire to incorporate environmental and social responsibility into all aspects of business and leisure activities.
Using corporate golf days as a vehicle to achieve this presents a wonderful opportunity to make a significant difference as such events provide a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for networking, building relationships with clients or friends, and forging business partnerships while highlighting the importance of taking care of our environment, which we are surrounded by when on the golf course.
ICCIT, KSIA and Simbithi Country Club have now set an example that will hopefully be followed by future golf day organisers and golf clubs on how to lessen the carbon footprint effects of golf events by being more conscious of how they are conducted with a minimal impact on the environment.
ICCIT chief executive Trenley Tilbrook said: “Golf days will take place regardless of being green or not. ICCIT and KSIA wanted to set an example that will hopefully be followed by future golf day organisers and golf clubs on how they can make their golf days more environmentally friendly.”
During the golf day Simbithi Country Club facilitated the planting of 200 trees on the Simbithi Golf Estate to counteract the event’s carbon footprint.
Some 4,800 trees were planted along the north coast in 30 schools and four communities during the green legacy campaign.
These trees were all kindly donated by the Wildlands Trust’s Treepreneur programme.
In addition to the planting of trees, Simbithi Country Club appealed to all participating golfers to ‘car-pool’ or arrive in groups for the Green Golf Day as another way of contributing to lowering the carbon footprint for the event.
Other initiatives that were encouraged by the Club included bringing and using eco-friendly, re-useable sports water bottles which were refilled on the course, the use of biodegradable golf tees, recycling of used scorecards, and golfers wore green golf gear made of locally manufactured hemp, bamboo or 100 per cent cotton products.
“These were all just small ways the golfers’ themselves showed their support and concerns for environmental and social impacts,” concluded van Greunen.
ICCIT and KSIA confirmed that their carbon reducing initiatives during the Green Golf Day included the implementation of procedures to encourage the minimal use of water and electricity as well as a waste management and recycling programme.
This event formed part of an attempt to create a legacy with its impact becoming a blazing trail of inspiration, acting as a catalyst for further actions by people, businesses and organisations to be carried forward as an example to actively make a genuine difference in climate change and the environment.
Being part of the ICCIT and KSIA Green Golf Day gave sponsors and companies the opportunity to make public their commitment to making a difference to the way business is conducted in an effort to lessen the impact made on the environment.
Sponsors partnered with ICCIT and KSIA by sponsoring a hole and/or prize, and used the event as a platform to showcase achievements, commitment and efforts made in the environmental and social responsibility arenas.