Sixty Marriott golf courses will be asked to meet the requirements of the Environmental Sustainability Performance Award Program by the end of 2014 in order to be designated as a certified sustainable facility. The program is based on four achievement criteria: the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, water conservation, carbon footprinting, and the Marriott Golf Conservation Scorecard.
Marriott Golf has unveiled the Environmental Sustainability Performance Award (ESPA) program, an initiative that will serve as a benchmark for environmental stewardship across the company’s worldwide golf portfolio.
Highlighting the program, 60 Marriott golf courses at 44 resorts in 13 countries will be asked to complete the program criteria by the end of 2014, with each facility receiving an ESPA commendation signifying their commitment to environmental leadership.
The Marriott Golf ESPA Program is based on four key achievement criteria, including:
- Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses
- Water Conservation Strategy
- Each property will develop a written natural resources management plan specific to their golf course, which will identify best practices and key metrics for reducing irrigation water consumption.
- Completion of an Irrigation Audit by a Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor.
- Carbon Footprinting Plan
- Completion of Syngenta’s EcoMeasures Tool with a goal to reduce year-over-year carbon footprint.
- Marriott Golf Conservation Scorecard
- This is a newly developed exclusive evaluation of nearly 100 key conservation standards. A property will need to achieve a pre-determined percentage of the standards to complete this section, and an annual re-certification and update will be required.
Upon completion of these four criteria, each participating property will receive an ESPA commendation from Marriott Golf, designating it as a certified sustainable facility.
“This program is the next step in Marriott Golf’s Company-wide commitment to environmental sustainability,” said David H. Robinson, Senior Director of Golf Grounds, Marriott Golf. “We were the first resort golf operator to mandate every property in its portfolio to become a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Now, with the ESPA Program, we have further positioned Marriott Golf as the industry’s premier ‘green’ golf management organization, while reinforcing Marriott International’s worldwide commitment to environmental consciousness.”
Marriott Golf’s ESPA Program comes on the heels of the company’s 2008 mandate for all properties to become Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, which enabled each golf facility the ability to protect the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats. In order to achieve Audubon Certification, a golf facility is required to demonstrate that it is maintaining the highest degree of environmental quality in many areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach & Education, Chemical Use Reduction & Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.