A Peek Inside WM’s Phoenix Open Sustainability Report

WM recently released a sustainability report related to its sponsorship of the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, the best-attended event on the PGA Tour.

Liz Bothwell, Head of Content & Marketing

March 8, 2023

2 Min Read
WM Phoenix Open
Abbie Parr/Stringer/Getty Images

WM recently released a sustainability report related to its sponsorship of the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, the best-attended event on the PGA Tour. The company prides itself on helping to make the tournament “the greenest show on grass”—through zero-waste and other sustainability initiatives.

WM has sponsored the event since 2010 and launched the Zero Waste Challenge in 2012 to “continuously improve the management of materials consumed on site, expand vendor and fan understanding of proper waste disposal, divert waste from landfills, and share a feeling of responsibility.” Since then, there have been no landfill bins on course—only recycle and compost bins, which enable the diversion of all tournament materials. In addition, all vendors for the event contractually commit to the reuse, donation, recycling, or composting of all materials brought on site.

Material recovery actions for 2022 were as below:

  • 63.5% recycled

  • 24.5% composted

  • 10.3% waste-to-energy

  • 1.7% donated

The report also notes that 170 pounds of wine and liquor bottles were turned into reusable glasses through a local vendor, and almost five tons of carpet was donated to a local building-supply company. The 2022 WM Phoenix Open was also able to donate 4,060 pounds of unused food to local non-profits. And, 84% of 2022 signage was stored for reuse.

WM acknowledges that, over the twelve years of its title sponsorship, “the idea of what makes a sustainable event has evolved.” In the company’s ongoing effort to reduce GHG emissions, they “continuously explore the life cycle impacts of tournament materials, a concept called Sustainable Materials Management, which helps us understand, for example, that impacts can occur at all stages of a beer cup’s life—from the design, manufacturing, transport, and packaging of the beer cup, to how the WM Phoenix Open golf fan will dispose of it, to whether it gets recycled, composted, reused, or incinerated. Choices made at each step of a product’s life can optimize material usage, reduce water and energy consumption, and mitigate GHG emissions.”

WM has announced GHG emissions reduction targets for the tournament going forward. By 2030, it expects to cut GHG emissions by 50% from the 2022 baseline. The report notes that this includes all scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from tournament operations except fan travel but that, “We plan to continue to report on and reduce our fan travel footprint as a top priority.”

The report further notes social and economic impacts of the WM Phoenix Open, and how the event works to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

View the full report here.

About the Author(s)

Liz Bothwell

Head of Content & Marketing, Waste360

Liz Bothwell is head of content and marketing for Waste360, proud host of the NothingWasted! Podcast, and ghostwrites for others to keep her skills sharp and creative juices flowing. She loves family, football, her French bulldogs, and telling stories that can help to make the world a more sustainable place.

Follow her on Linkedin or Twitter

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