2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open Earns Evergreen, Highest Possible Certification Offered by the Council

Evergreen is the highest level of certification we offer at the Council for Responsible Sport. It’s very difficult to achieve. We created it to inspire and challenge events not only to reach industry best practice standards, but to actively better them. To earn Evergreen, an event needs to reach ninety percent or more of all the possible credits offered in our system—they pretty much need to do it all. For the first time since the debut of the version 4 standards (2012), Evergreen has been achieved!

“We took our sustainability efforts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to a whole new level this year, and it showed in the results,” said Michele Grossman, managing principal for Waste Management Sustainability Services. “We continue to advance our efforts year after year to show the sporting world – and the rest of the world – that “green” is possible.”

Grossman’s quote represents the essence of Evergreen—striving for example-setting excellence and doing the work to back it up. Here are some of the highlights from the 2015 WMPO certification effort;

  • The WMPO is a zero waste event. It earned UL Environment’s highest landfill diversion rate designation, ‘Zero Waste to Landfill Operations’, with just 10% incineration with energy recovery in 2015.
  • The WMPO Water Campaign, a water conservation initiative in collaboration with Change the Course, raised funds to restore 35 million gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin and Verde River.
  • More than 30,000 pounds of unused, perishable food from the tournament was donated to charities including Waste Not Perishable Food Rescue & Delivery and Church on the Street.
  • Along with Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, captured and donated 25,239 pounds of tournament materials and 682 pounds of vinyl fence signage, most of which Waste Management had reused outdoors since the 2010 event
  • The fifth annual ‘GREEN OUT’ on Saturday, January 31st raised $75,000 for three environmental non-profit organizations. For every person who wore GREEN to the tournament, Waste Management and the Thunderbirds donated ‘green’ to Arizona Recycling Coalition, the Arizona Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Bonneville Environmental Foundation for the Change the Course WM Phoenix Open Water Campaign. Each organization received $25,000.

For even more detail about the outstanding efforts and results from the organizers of the WMPO, you can read an article on business wire about it here, or check out the official 2015 WMPO Sustainability Report. A nice video summarizing efforts can be found here.

The Council offers our sincere congratulations and gratitude to the WMPO for leading the way with an example for events everywhere of what it means and looks like to be a responsible event in the 21st century!