Keeping it Green

Sustainability at the RBC Heritage

To further our stewardship commitment to Nature, Resources and Community, the 2017 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, is working to become one of the first PGA TOUR events worldwide to attain the global, independently verified, eco-label for sustainable golf tournaments, GEO Certified. The Heritage Classic Foundation is pleased to partner with the Golf Environment Organization (GEO), The Sea Pines Resort, and Experience Green on this effort.

We are excited to launch some initiatives for 2017 and share our successes from 2016.

The Golf Environment Organization conducted a Sustainability Review of the 2016 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing that noted the significant steps that have been taken by the Heritage Classic Foundation, Sea Pines Resort (the first golf facility in South Carolina to become GEO Certified), and our many suppliers. The Review evaluated resource use and environmental impacts by calculating carbon emissions for Tournament Operations, Player Travel, and Spectator Travel.  We are using this baseline data to set goals, guide new initiatives, and we are measuring our progress. 

Click here to download a PDF of the Sustainability Review.

Reducing waste in 2016

  • 18.8 tons of waste was recycled, the carbon equivalent of permanently removing one car from the road.
  • More than 100 recycling receptacles were available to help reduce the amount of waste being sent to local landfills.
  • Concessions were served in compostable or recyclable food packaging (no Styrofoam), with condiments served in bulk, where possible.
  • Unused food was donated to Second Helpings, a local organization that collects and distributes food to agencies serving the disadvantaged.
  • All cardboard from the Tournament and Clubhouse was baled and recycled.
  • All landscape debris was mulched and reused inside Sea Pines.

Carbon-neutral event in 2016

  • Carbon emissions produced by Tournament Operations, Player Travel, and Spectator Travel were calculated to be used as a baseline to measure reductions for further events.
  • By working with Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Santee Cooper, the 2016 RBC Heritage tournament was powered by 100% renewable energy-sourced mains electricity, saving 23 tons of CO2 emissions, reducing the total operational carbon footprint by 11%.
  • The purchase of high-quality offsets helped neutralize the Greenhouse Gas Emissions associated with the use of diesel generators, event vehicles and Clubhouse operations.

Sustainable transportation

  • More than 22,682 patrons used the park-and-ride shuttle service in 2016.
  • It is estimated that 4,000 people cycled a total of 25,000 miles to and from the 2016 event.  This is the carbon equivalent of powering one home for nearly an entire year.
  • Harbour Town Golf Links is accessible by bicycle, with bicycle parking located within walking distance of the Harbour Town Clubhouse and the perimeter of the golf course.

Environmentally responsible golf course operations

  • Harbour Town Golf Links, along with the two other courses in The Sea Pines Resort, received the GEO Certified® distinction in 2015.  Only ten golf facilities in the U.S. have been awarded this honor for measurably advancing comprehensive sustainability.
  • Since 2006, Harbour Town Golf Links has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Less than 5 percent of U.S. golf courses have this prestigious environmental designation.

How to be a green patron

  • Think before you toss—Use designated bins to separate your recyclables from trash that will go to the landfill.
  • Travel the better way—Carpool, bike or walk to the event to reduce vehicle emissions.
  • Watch your step—Harbour Town Golf Links is GEO Certified® and has been designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.  Many of the vegetative features surrounding wetlands and lagoons are important wildlife habitats and buffers to protect water quality.

Read the full 2016 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing Sustainability Review, produced by the Golf Environment Organization by clicking the download button below.