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Dow and WM Partner to Advance Sustainable Solutions in Golf

Editor's Note: This article is written in partnership with DOW and WM.

December 05, 2023
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Golf, perhaps more than any other sport, has a unique connection with nature and the land the game is played on. This organic relationship is why many of golf’s biggest tournaments are focused on bringing sustainability to the forefront and taking positive actions for the environment.

Both on and off the golf course, Dow and WM are leaders in advancing sustainability and developing more eco-friendly solutions. WM’s broad reach as a comprehensive environmental solutions provider combined with Dow’s leadership in material science is bringing new levels of sustainability and innovation to communities and tournaments.

At this week’s inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational, which combines PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour players in a unique mixed-gender format, the two companies are working together to further enhance the event’s sustainability program by addressing key environmental objectives to reduce impacts, analyzing the tournament’s footprint, and developing a phased emissions reduction plan.

Events like the Grant Thornton Invitational, WM Phoenix Open, and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, provide opportunities to educate and raise awareness of environmental issues and sustainability, reaching millions of golf fans, sponsors and vendors.

"Through creative collaborations with like-minded companies such as WM, we can help ensure the well-being of people and the planet through the power of sport,” said Carrie Houtman, Sustainability Director, Dow. “Together, we’re developing a blueprint for sustainability in communities and in sports, helping events like the Grant Thornton Invitational address its environmental footprint.”

The collaboration at the Grant Thornton Invitational builds on WM and Dow’s
continued support for a more expansive recycling system across the country. In
November 2022, the two companies announced the launch of a bold new
collaboration to improve residential collection for hard-to-recycle plastic films by
allowing consumers in select markets to place these materials directly in their
curbside recycling.

Through this work, residents in certain markets can put items such as grocerybags, bread bags, food storage bags, mailer envelopes, shrink wrap and dry-cleaning bags in their curbside recycling bins, and WM will process the material at its nearby recycling facility. Once operating at full capacity, this program is expected to help WM divert more than 120,000 metric tons of plastic film from
landfills annually.

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WM has been helping reduce the environmental impact in golf since becoming title sponsor of the Phoenix Open in 2010. By 2013, the world’s most-attended golf tournament was a zero-waste event with all materials either recycled, composted, donated, reused or used to recover energy and create fuel. Today, the tournament is internationally recognized as one of the largest certified zero-waste sporting events in the world and serves as a model for other sports leagues, teams and venues. WM is now advising the PGA TOUR on its sustainability strategy and supporting 10 other tournaments in developing comprehensive sustainability programs.

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new era of sustainability in sports. Today, WM
works with 30 sports and entertainment customers, ranging in scale and covering
significantly more events,” said Eric Dixon, Vice President, Sustainability &
Environmental Solutions, WM. “We’re proud to help create comprehensive
sustainability solutions alongside organizations to tackle big circularity issues like
reducing emissions, energy and water usage, while also implementing recycling and
compost programs."

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Likewise, Dow is the Official Sustainability Resource for the LPGA Tour and the Ladies
European Tour and has sponsored the LPGA Tour’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational since 2019. The Michigan-based event is committed to minimizing its environmental impacts. Last year, the tournament balanced its direct emissions and water operational footprint, offsetting 100 percent of its unavoidable direct emissions.

“Golf, like many sports, has the power to drive positive change for our planet’s future,” said Carlos Padilla II, Head of Global Sports Partnerships, Dow. “It’s a unique forum for partners to come together and engage athletes, gear manufacturers, venue managers, event operators and fans alike in making more sustainable choices and reducing impacts on the environment.”