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November 15, 2014

Waste Management Phoenix Open wins global environmental prize

Golf is one of those sports in which the lower you score, the more competitive you become. The same is true when it comes to your environmental impact – the lower, the better.

For two years running at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO), we’ve achieved the lowest score possible – zero – in our drive to divert all tournament waste from the landfill through recycling, composting and waste-to energy initiatives.

That remarkable success is drawing international acclaim. On Oct. 30, I had the privilege of accepting the Sport for the Environment Award on behalf of WMPO from the international organization Beyond Sport at its annual summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. A truly amazing experience to be counted among the best projects across the globe that use sport for positive social change.

In our case, the award recognizes the leadership of Waste Management as title sponsor and our WMPO partners, The Thunderbirds, in engaging every fan, player, vendor and supporting sponsor to become part of the solution to the environmental challenges of hosting such a large-scale event.

Our success with WMPO is setting a global standard for sustainable sport by demonstrating ways to achieve less waste, enhance efficiency, save costs, reduce strain on landfill space and conserve resources. I hope this latest accolade inspires other sporting events, large or small, to incorporate sustainable thinking into their own planning.

If we can achieve Zero Waste with something as complex as the WMPO, we know it can be replicated anywhere – in a household, a campus, a business or a community, big or small – with Waste Management leading the way. All it takes is enough courage, commitment and ingenuity. We’re busy applying all three to our planning for the next WMPO in 2015 – a tournament we’re proud to call the Greenest Show on Grass.