The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO), the world’s best-attended golf tournament, diverted 100 percent of tournament waste away from landfills for the third straight year.
According to the WMPO 2015 Sustainability Report, in addition to achieving zero waste validation, WM improved the tournament’s overall sustainability results amid a record 564,368 attendees.
“We continue to advance our efforts year after year to show the sporting world – and the rest of the world – that ‘green’ is possible,” said Michele Grossman, managing principal for WM Sustainability Services.
Two outside parties validate WM’s sustainability results – the Council for Responsible Sport and UL Environment. For three years in a row, WMPO has earned UL Environment’s highest landfill diversion rate designation, Zero Waste to Landfill Operations, with 10 percent incineration with energy recovery in 2014 and 2015, and 12 percent in 2013.
“Waste Management continues to take a leadership role in modeling sustainable event management practices, which we hope will become the industry standard going forward,” said Lisa Meier, UL Environment vice president and general manager.
The Council for Responsible Sport elevated the tournament’s two-year certification from Gold to Evergreen status, making WMPO the largest event and the first-ever PGA Tour tournament to achieve Evergreen certification.
Once again in 2015, there were no trash receptacles at WMPO, only recycling and compost bins, and WM expanded vendor and fan education of proper waste sorting. Diversion efforts included the donation of more than 30,000 pounds of perishable food to local charities and more than 25,000 pounds of materials to Habitat for Humanity ReStore.