Golf clubs purchase a number of goods and services and can modify their environmental impact through product choices.  Clubs can choose suppliers based on the environmental performance of the product or service or the overall environmental performance of the company that provides their products. This Purchasing Resource Section suggests some issues to consider when purchasing goods and services.


Choose local suppliers - choosing local suppliers reduces transport mileage and creates wealth and employment locally.  Golf clubs should ask their suppliers to provide information as to where products are made try to choose local suppliers to reduce costs and transport distances wherever possible.

Eat seasonal food - Eating food that is in season means food can be grown outdoors in the UK and not flown in from overseas.  Seasonal produce is also generally cheaper due to lower transport costs.  Golf clubs should research which foods are in season at different times of year and will try to incorporate seasonal produce in our food menus.  A list of the foods available in season each month is provided by the ‘eat the seasons’ website.

Purchase recycled goods - Recycling will only be successful if there is a market for recycled goods.  Golf clubs should ask their suppliers to provide details of the recycled content of their products and try to choose products and packaging that have a recycled content or that can easily be recycled

Choose energy saving equipment and appliances - choosing energy saving equipment and appliances often requires higher initial investment but this investment can usually be easily recouped over a period of time.  Golf clubs should research innovative and energy saving products and compare different equipment based on initial cost differences and calculated payback time using the EGU cost calculator.

Reduce packaging - many products are excessively packaged and the golf club pays for this packaging in purchase and disposal costs.  Golf clubs should engage with suppliers to reduce packaging and buy products in bulk to reduce packaging.  Golf clubs should also look to purchase products which have recycled packaging or packaging that can be easily recycled or composted.

Peat free products - using topdressing and garden products with a peat component contributes to environmental damage to vulnerable peatland habitats.  Golf clubs should ask suppliers whether their products contain peat and consider alternative to peat-based products.  Compost provides a tried and tested alternative to peat and can be produced on the golf course premises by utilising organic waste from the golf course and clubhouse.

Consider Fairtrade - products exported from developing countries to developed countries, such as food, wine, cotton and flowers, can be purchased as Fairtrade goods.  Purchasing Fairtrade goods means that producers receive higher payments and this helps to ensure better working conditions, higher wages and improved environmental standards in developing countries.  See the FairTrade Foundation website for more details http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/.

Choose sustainably sourced wood and paper - The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.  Timber and paper products from FSC certified forests are guaranteed to come from well-managed forests.

Check the environmental performance of the supplier - golf clubs can encourage environmental best practice outside their own club by choosing to support products from suppliers who apply high environmental standards.  This may include companies who have measured or reduced their carbon footprint or companies who have put a robust Environmental Management System in place (e.g. ISO 14001 compliant).  Check the websites of big suppliers and ask questions from your local representative.