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Nedbank Golf Challenge celebrates its greenest tournament

As the Nedbank Golf Challenge (NGC) celebrates its 40th anniversary as ‘Africa’s Major’, this November Nedbank – golf’s greatest partner – prepare to showcase its efforts as part of its ongoing drive to ensure the tournament is more sustainable.

As a Rolex Series tournament on the European Tour, the NGC is perfectly placed to impact its surrounding community and help create a sustainable future.

Already, over the past few years the we have transformed our procurement criteria to include 40% local eligible spend. In further demonstrating commitment to our local procurement target, we have contracted locally (either wholly or partially) for products and services such as civil engineering (plumbing, electrical and paving services), scaffolding, fuel, printing and stationery, water cooler supply, chauffeur services (for the transfer of all VIPs and players), bus services, draping and security.

We have taken this a step further and identified local partners and suppliers with companies wholly registered in the North West Province and not branch offices of companies based elsewhere. These companies must also be 51% black-owned and have a black economic empowerment level of at least two, and preference will be given to black-female-owned companies.

‘We have positioned Nedbank as golf’s greatest partner because this tournament is one of our longest-standing sponsorships. It is an important property for Nedbank to demonstrate our brand essence of using financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses and society. Together with our partners, we are ensuring that the tournament is creating a positive impact on the environment and surrounding communities,’ says Tobie Badenhorst, Nedbank Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing.

Waste management is another key focus, especially during the week of the NGC. Sun City recycled 90% of all waste generated during the 2019 tournament. As part of our commitment to local economic development and sustainable development of the local economy, for the first time in 40 years a local black-female-owned company will provide waste management at the NGC this year. Other sustainability measures in waste management include treating wastewater to turn it into greywater and using it to irrigate the golf courses. This is critical for Sun City’s sustainability initiatives and provides comfort to their guests in knowing their efforts in water conservation for the tournament. The resort has also committed to reusing water, with water from all water features channelled into the recreational lake (for sporting activities) and circulated in between water features to create hazards in the golf courses.

Treated effluent water rather than clean water is used for the lake systems on the resort, and treated effluent water is also used to irrigate the two golf courses: the Lost City Golf Course and the Gary Player Country Club Golf Course. This alone saves the resort 2,5 million litres of water a day.

As part of its energy management at NGC, energy will be metered, monitored and reported. Measures including switching off high-consumption equipment when not in use over the tournament period will be implemented.

To ensure local employment and social benefits, the tournament has recruited 500 unemployed youth from local communities to work at the tournament. The resort has also placed 100 youth from local communities from the Food & Beverage Learnership at the NGC Tournament so they can undergo experiential training. This is part of transferring skills to ensure social sustainability within local communities.

The efforts of the NGC and its partner over years of working together and ensuring that all stakeholders are raising awareness around environmental issues as well as understanding the importance of protecting the natural environment and decreasing our carbon footprint contributes to the NGC becoming an ISO-certified sustainable event.