With all of the recent media coverage on the carbon tax, bottled water, 9 story gardens, rooftop windmills, David Suzuki’s new book and basically the end of the world, I became curious as to how our own industry stacks up in the green movement. Besides the acres of grass how green really is the golf industry? I decided to do a little digging and started with the big industry players – the club companies.
Acushnet Company is an operating unit of Fortune Brands. Fortune Brands includes spirits and a home and hardware division in addition to golf. Fortune Brands posts both a Global Citizenship policy and a Statement of Environmental Stewardship on their website. There is a mention of their golf brands’ Resource Conservation Initiative’ that is focused on reducing waste and re-using materials whenever possible but there are no specific details. I posted a question requesting more information on their customer service site but have not yet heard back. It has been over a week. Callaway Golf’s mission is to help every golfer become a better golfer. While they are committed to the community at large through their Callaway Golf Company Foundation and their Employee Community Giving Department they do not have an environmental policy posted on their website. I also contacted Callaway looking for their policy but have not received a response.
The most environmentally conscious company on my first round of searching turned out to be Taylormade/adidas group. They are committed to improving working conditions in their supplier factories and to reducing their environmental impact as a business. They have published detailed reports outlining their social and environmental goals and progress to date and have also responded to news articles detailing unfavorable working conditions in their supplier factories. They have made strides in cutting emissions during the production of their athletic footwear products. Their key environmental focus seems to be the transportation impacts of both their goods and their people. From a clothing perspective they have introduced the ‘Grun’ collection that uses materials which produce less environmental impact and features a clear labeling system that explains the environmental credentials of each part of the collection.
If I do in fact get a response from Acushnet or Callaway I will post the details. This first bit of research has peaked my curiosity and I intend to find out more. Stay tuned.