...an exhaustive evaluation of its main areas of activity helped identify potential savings and provided a benchmark for ongoing improvement.
Not only does Dundonald provide great golf but it achieves this with a very low impact on the environment, having achieved zero waste to landfill status. This means that all of their waste is either re-used or recycled and they do their utmost to reduce the amount of waste they produce in the first instance.
With the help of the Scottish Golf Environment Group, Dundonald carried out an exhaustive evaluation of its main areas of activity, including nature, water, turf, energy and waste. This helped identify potential savings and provided a benchmark for ongoing improvement.Dundonald has instigated energy efficiency measures in the clubhouse and greenkeeping facility. They carefully record their energy use and compare quarterly bills before and after implementing energy saving measures. Retrofitting more efficient fluorescent lights and simply taking more care in switching them off when not needed brings an annual saving of 86% and payback of less than one year. Installing an LPG tank enabled Dundonald to do away with Calor Gas for heating, which has resulted in an annual reduction in gas cost of £729. Overall, Dundonald’s energy efficiency programme has brought bills down by £6,000 a year from the 2007 figure, over a period in which energy prices have significantly increased.
Local waste management contractors uplift the waste that cannot be dealt with on site for recycling, which includes ‘difficult’ waste such as tyres, batteries and oil. This notable achievement, possibly unique in the golfing world, directly saves Dundonald over £750 each year.
Other, extremely simple, practices have been introduced to reduce waste:
collecting and composting green waste at a central point which is screened after 3 years for use on site has reduced the cost of importing topsoil by £44,500 a year
introducing dispensers and refill bottles for housekeeping cleaning products has reduced waste and saved over £2,200 a year
the same approach to staff handwash has resulted in an 80% cost saving
storing waste metal to sell on to a local scrap yard has turned a cost of £125 per uplift into an annual profit of £268
the supplier of vegetables to Dundonald used to charge for the boxes they were delivered in. These are now returned daily, saving £520 a year
plastic cups are no longer supplied for staff water coolers, reducing waste and saving £400 a year
since 2007 the annual cost of paper hand towels has been reduced by £888 through the introduction of a hand dryer which cost £125.
Since 2007, the driving force behind this incredible programme has been greenkeeper, Amanda Dorens. “It wasn’t easy getting this off the ground, but once everyone agreed with the philosophy the actual practical work soon became second nature”, she explained and added “it really is a massive team effort!”
All of this has taken investment, mostly in time but also with some financial pump priming, but Dundonald is beginning to see real payback in terms of cost savings across the board which are more than making up for the initial outlay.
Guy Redford, Dundonald’s Director of Golf, is committed to the sustainable business practices that have been established, “It is right for the environment, for our local community and it makes real business sense”, he said and added “using the R&A’s CourseTracker online business management tool will help us keep an even closer eye on where we are achieving and how we can further improve”.