A recent survey of members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) reveals that voluntary environmental actions on golf courses are not only the right thing to do – they make good business sense. The program, now celebrating a 20th Anniversary, is designed to help golf professionals manage their natural resources better, yielding positive environmental, economic, and social results.
The survey of 2,000-plus members of the ACSP was conducted in late 2010, as a part of the organization’s Golf & the Environment Initiative. “We’ve been pleased with the response rate,” states ACSP Program Director, Joellen Lampman, “and especially pleased to confirm what we thoughtnamely, that the environmental actions taken through our program yield business value as well leading to more sustainable golf facilities.” Some of the results include the following:
Saving Money: 70% of respondents had reduced pesticide costs through the ACSP
Reducing Risk: 90% of respondents mitigated risks through the program as a result of improved management practices
Attracting Customers: 15% of respondents reported new golfers/members as a result of involvement made through the ACSP
Gaining Business Value: 60% of respondents reported saving money and enhancing their image and reputation as a result of working with Audubon International
Using Water Wisely: 50% of respondents have reduced the amount of acreage they irrigate as a result of ACSP participation.
These economic benefits go hand-hand with environmental benefits. As Brett Hetland, Superintendent at Brooks National Golf Club Iowa states, “We have reduced maintenance costs through naturalization of turf areas, reduced energy use and waste, planted native plants and added bird boxes, all of which has also improved our public image.”
“We read more and more in blogs, articles, and websites about the search for the ‘triple bottom line’ and efforts to create ‘sustainable golf facilities.’ Yet, in the end, it’s actions, experience, and results that matter,” states Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director for Audubon International. “Audubon International has been leading on this front for over two decades. With a clear emphasis on environmental education, using the certification process as our primary tool, we continue to confirm that our members are seeing business value through our programs and becoming better neighbors in their communities.”
If you are interested in learning more about the survey or for a limited time, getting half-off a new membership sponsored by John Deere & Company, visit www.auduboninternational.org/JohnDeere, or contact the Jessica DesLauriers, Audubon International’s Development Manager at 518-767-9051, ext 120 or by email at email@example.com.
About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. Since 1991, Audubon International has been working to promote environmental education and stewardship in the game and on the course. Over 2,400 golf courses across the United States and in two dozen countries work with Audubon International through a set of education and environmental certification programs.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2011. To celebrate the milestone and the success that organizations and businesses have helped to achieve over the past two decades, Audubon International will host an evening reception during the Golf Industry Show in Orlando at the Rosen Centre Hotel on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. For more information please visit: www.AudubonInternational.org or www.GolfandEnvironment.com