The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast District recognized THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass recently for its commitment to implementing environmental management policies, including using reclaimed water for irrigation and adopting a goal of achieving zero-percent waste at the tournament.
“By actively promoting environmentally responsible practices such as water conservation, resource management and recycling,” Northeast District Director Greg Strong said, “TPC Sawgrass is helping to create a culture of sustainability and improve the environment in our community.”
Through the education and implementation of sustainable practices, DEP said, THE PLAYERS Championship has committed to decreasing the amount of non-recyclable waste by 15 percent at this year’s event. In addition to using single-stream technology and waste compactors that will allow for more recyclable materials to be mixed in a recycle bin, the tournament will use compostable materials at concessions as well as environmentally sustainable promotional items at future events.
The efforts build upon the tournament’s new PLAYERS PRIDE initiative to create a culture of sustainability and responsibility among fans, staff, vendors and volunteers.
“We have taken our lead from the TPC Network in trying to be great stewards and a showcase for others,” said Matt Rapp, executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship. “In working with Republic Services and a dedicated volunteer group, our staff has made significant progress in recycling over the past several years and we hope to do even better moving forward.”
`In addition to its waste reduction goal, THE PLAYERS Championship is also committed to water conservation, officials said. During the past two years, TPC Sawgrass has reduced the amount of water from the Floridan Aquifer used for irrigation. While the Stadium Course uses 50 percent reclaimed water for irrigation – with approximately 12 percent coming from the aquifer – the Valley Course uses 100 percent reclaimed water. TPC Sawgrass has also implemented landscape techniques, such as using native plants, to reduce turfgrass and water consumption.