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Environmental Partnership

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Standards for Becoming a Green Links Golf Course

Golf courses receiving the Green Links designation must meet each of the standards below. New initiatives are strongly encouraged for fulfilling these standards whenever possible, though businesses will be credited for recent or existing initiatives.

  1. Designate an environmental team or representative at your facility to ensure the standards are met and new initiatives are developed.

  2. Adopt and communicate an Environmental Policy statement.

    "(Golf Course Name) is committed to protecting the environment, the health and safety of our employees, and the community in which we conduct our business. It is our policy to seek improvements throughout our operations to lessen our impact on the local and global environment by conserving energy, water, and other natural resources; reducing waste generation; recycling and purchasing recycled products; and reducing our use of toxic materials. We are committed to pollution prevention, continuous improvement and meeting or exceeding all environmental regulatory requirements."

  3. Adopt an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) policy.

    Sample 1
    Preference will be given to purchasing products and services that have the following environmentally friendly attributes with acceptable parameters for price, quality, and delivery:

    • maximum post-consumer recycled content,
    • minimum packaging and other wastes,
    • minimum toxicity,
    • are durable and reusable,
    • are locally available to minimize transportation,
    • made from sustainably produced materials,
    • are compostable or biodegradable, and
    • conserve energy, water, and other natural resources.

    Sample 2
    The goal of this policy is to ensure that products and services purchased or contracted for conform to the goals of our company's environmental policy. We will strive, where feasible, to purchase environmentally preferable products and services to meet the company's office and operational needs. We will also favor suppliers who strive to improve their environmental performance, provide environmentally preferable products, and who can document the supply-chain impacts of their efforts.

    Wherever possible, purchasing decisions will favor products and feedstocks that

    • reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
    • are made with renewable energy,
    • reduce pollution from all discharges (releases to air, water, and land),
    • reduce the use of toxic materials hazardous to the environment, employees, and public health,
    • contain the highest possible percentage of post-consumer recycled content, followed by percentage of recycled content,
    • reduce packaging and other waste,
    • are energy efficient,
    • conserve water,
    • are reusable and/or durable,
    • minimize transportation (local sources, more concentrated products), and
    • serve several functions (for example, copier/printers, multipurpose cleaners) to reduce the overall number of products purchased.

    Environmentally preferable products and services that are comparable in quality to their standard counterparts will receive a purchasing preference. In situations where the most environmentally preferable product is unavailable or impractical, secondary considerations will include production methods and the environmentally and socially responsible management practices of suppliers and producers. Environmentally preferable purchasing is part of our long-term commitment to the environment. By sending a clear signal to producers and suppliers about this commitment, we hope to support wider adoption of environmentally preferable products and practices.

  4. Purchase for use or resale three (3) environmentally preferable products of significant use, with the following:

    • maximum post-consumer recycled content, (%PC)
    • minimum toxicity,
    • minimum packaging,
    • greater durability,
    • reduced or renewable resources, or
    • other environmentally friendly attributes.

  5. Conserve resources and reduce wastes through
    • elimination,
    • reduction (amount and/or toxicity),
    • reuse, or
    • recycling.

  6. Implement at least one (1) water conservation measure.

  7. Implement at least three (3) energy efficiency measures.

  8. Best Management Practices (BMPs) – implement at least 14 of the following BMPs, choosing at least two in each of categories 8A-E. (Note: 8F is optional.) For each BMP that is selected, please provide a brief description of how it is being implemented. Where appropriate, indicate specific measures on a map (scorecard, placemat, etc.) of the property.

    1. Conduct regular employee training on the following:
      1. Hazardous materials, chemical and fuel spill response procedures.
      2. Safe handling of hazardous materials and use of personal protection equipment where required.
      3. Waste management including solid waste reduction and recycling and hazardous waste storage and handling.
      4. Course specific water quality and water conservation issues.

    2. Preserve And Maintain Wildlife Habitat
      1. Designate key habitats and environmentally fragile zones, and mark with signs.
      2. Preserve wooded and natural areas in the out-of-play or minimal use portions of the course including varying heights and types of vegetation.
      3. Maintain nesting boxes or other structures to enhance nesting sites for both birds and bats.
      4. Leave dead trees standing when there is no safety risk.
      5. Inventory and remove invasive species, and replace with native species where feasible.

    3. Chemical Storage And Handling Practices
      1. Have spill kits and other spill cleanup materials readily available, and maintain written cleanup and spill containment procedures.
      2. Handle chemicals over an impervious surface, in a curbed area.
      3. Properly store chemicals including – containers in use should be kept closed and in good condition, properly labeled, with wet and dry chemicals stored apart from one another.
      4. Equipment used with chemicals (e.g., mixing tanks, hoses, pumps, valves) are regularly checked and well maintained to prevent leaks
      5. Use rinse water from cleaning fertilizer and pesticide equipment on the course.

    4. Protect Water Quality
      1. Slow stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces (parking lot, cart paths) to prevent impact to surface water.
      2. When aquatic weed management is required, seek physical solution (hand removal of plants), and if need be, seek the least toxic method of chemical weed control.
      3. Locate stock-piled landscaping materials (e.g. sand, wood chips, mulch, gravel) away from drainage that could impact surface water.
      4. Where shorelines are in play, raise the mowing height along the water's edge to slow and filter runoff.

    5. General Facility Maintenance Practices
      1. Use only water for washing vehicles, golf carts and other equipment; when necessary, use only phosphate free soaps and detergents.
      2. Recycle or reuse used oil, spent antifreeze, oil filters, waste paint if possible or otherwise properly dispose of them with a private waste hauler or the local solid waste district.
      3. Use secondary containment for hazardous material or hazardous waste storage containers.
      4. Use drip pans, funnels and other products to minimize spills.
      5. Make sure any waste dumpsters are in good condition with functional covers that are closed unless trash is being added (dumpsters used to store trash should also have their drain plug in).

    6. The Club House (optional)
      1. Implement a comprehensive energy efficiency lighting upgrade.
      2. Implement a comprehensive water conservation program in bathroom, kitchen, and other club house facilities.
      3. Compost kitchen food wastes either on-site or through an off-site composting operation.
      4. Install energy efficient appliances and other equipment within the club house.
      5. Purchase locally grown food and other products to the greatest extent possible.

Note: If you have implemented or plan to implement an environmental Best Management Practice(s) not identified in any of the above categories under #8, please call the program representative for consideration.

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