PGA Catalunya Resort, near Barcelona, has become the first European Tour Destination – and the first golf resort in Catalonia – to attain golf’s international ecolabel, GEO Certified™. As one of the top ranked golf courses in Europe, PGA Catalunya Resort demonstrated a comprehensive approach to environmental and social issues, meeting specific criteria in the six areas of sustainable golf – Nature, Water, Energy, Supply Chain, Pollution Prevention and Community. With water and energy becoming increasingly important global topics, the home of Spain’s No.1 course has recognised the value in minimising consumption and exploring opportunities for renewable alternatives and diversified sources, to reduce its demand on main grid supplies. David Bily, the independent verifier who recently visited the World Top 100 venue, said: “Using the GEO OnCourse™ programme to achieve GEO Certified™ has allowed PGA Catalunya Resort to make great strides in their sustainability performance. “The GEO Certified™ award will help it build on its current achievements, and I believe, with the enthusiasm and commitment shown towards future improvements, PGA Catalunya Resort will further extend it’s position as a leading example of sustainability in golf in Spain.” David Bataller, Golf Courses and Grounds Manager at PGA Catalunya Resort, added: “Sustainability is now top of the golf industry’s agenda. We understood the importance, and benefits, of implementing specific environmental and social actions. “GEO Certified™ is a symbol of the very best golfing environments worldwide and we are proud to have achieved this trusted industry ecolabel. We’d also like to extend special thanks to Jacobsen for their help and support in our environmental management and throughout the certification process.” Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO, added support to the announcement: “Amongst many other activities, Spain’s No.1 golf course uses 100% recycled water, conserves hundreds of hectares of native scrub and pine forest, and has diversified its energy supply through the use of geothermal and photovoltaic systems. Very few golf facilities better highlight the link between sustainability and quality than PGA Catalunya Resort.” PGA Catalunya Resort’s main sustainability highlights include: Over 400 hectares of low maintenance, out-of-play vegetation including native pine forests providing ecological richness and habitat for many species Currently transitioning fairways to warm season Bermuda grass to reduce water and energy inputs and eliminate chemicals Water for irrigation is 100% treated effluent water from nearby villages and on-site buildings Reduced areas of managed turfgrass around tees have contributed to noticeably lower water and fertiliser consumption, as well as mowing time and energy Introduction of photovoltaic panels to small scale electrical devices and geothermal heating-cooling system for spa and swimming pool The resort regularly leads educational courses for university and school students on forest management and environmental issues Currently trialling compost from the local city as a source of organic fertiliser Waste separation at several points around the facility with designated manager and specific hazardous waste handling certificate Administered by GEO, with wide stakeholder involvement and third party verification, GEO Certified™ is underpinned by openly-consulted environmental and social standards specifically relevant to golf, and serves as a credible platform for communications around real outcomes.