The USGA, the Town of Brookline and The Country Club announced a collaborative effort to make the 2022 U.S. Open the most sustainable onsite experience in the event’s history.
In line with the UN’s Sports for Climate Action framework, the sustainability plan for the 122nd U.S. Open will significantly reduce the championship’s carbon footprint and reinvest dollars in the Town’s proactive environmental programs, leaving a legacy well beyond this year’s event.
For the first time in its history, the USGA has also committed to baseline measurement and analysis of the 2022 championship’s carbon impact through third-party experts, which will lead to continuous improvement of the USGA’s operations and ultimately further reduce the environmental impact of the championship, scheduled for June 13-19.
“This is one of the many ways we’re acting on our commitment to advance the game and leave the planet better than we found it, so the next generation can enjoy playing outdoors as much as we do,” USGA CEO Mike Whan said. “The U.S. Open is a great week to spotlight what we do to sustain the game today, to show how collaboration can lead to greater action long into the future, and to illustrate that every step forward leaves an incredible impact.”
“We are proud to partner as one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association and as a neighbor within the Town of Brookline, to implement and promote joint sustainability initiatives that will produce the greenest U.S. Open to date,” The Country Club President Lyman Bullard said.
“Sustainability is a core principle and a top priority for our whole community,” said Heather Hamilton, chair of the Brookline Select Board. “We are grateful to the USGA for its deep commitment to ensuring that the U.S. Open not only takes meaningful steps throughout the championship to promote sustainability but leaves behind a lasting positive impact."
The 2022 U.S. Open sustainability plan is rooted in three main areas of focus:
Significant energy and fossil-fuel conservation measures will be employed throughout the U.S. Open, combined with a program to divert landfill waste and dramatically reduce single-use plastics. Direct efforts include:
- Reducing the use of diesel-powered generators, promoting open-air vs. air-conditioned spaces
- Promoting efficient mass transit to the championship to reduce single vehicle emissions
- Introducing all-digital ticketing and app-based fan information, as well as LED signage to reduce paper waste
- Incorporating efficient lighting sources, including those powered through solar panels
- Eliminating more than 500,000 single-use plastics from the U.S. Open and replacing them with more easily recycled aluminum cans or take-home collectible aluminum cups
- Delivering more than 100 hybrid vehicles into the courtesy transportation fleet through USGA partner, Lexus
- Encouraging fans to use recycling receptacles for food and beverage waste
The USGA will invest in community renewable energy projects and purchase Renewable Energy Credits to reduce the U.S. Open’s footprint.
The USGA has collaborated with the Town of Brookline, local citizens groups and The Country Club to identify three community programs to improve the Town’s owned green spaces, increase its tree canopy and advance carbon sequestration plans:
- Planting 122 new trees in the Town of Brookline – The championship will add to the community’s tree canopy by planting hearty deciduous trees in Brookline in tandem with its Urban Forest Climate Resiliency Master Plan. The trees will be planted in Environmental Justice Zones determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts along various streetscapes, providing cooling zones and promoting healthy green spaces in the area.
- Seventeen trees – honoring the USGA’s 17th national championship at The Country Club – will be planted this spring through a unique partnership with reforestation experts at One Tree Planted, the USGA and the Town of Brookline. The remaining trees will be planted in the fall, for a total of 122 new trees signifying the 122nd U.S. Open Championship.
- Restoring the Lost Pond Trail: Identified by the Town of Brookline as a greenspace in need of action, the Lost Pond Trail will be cleaned and resurfaced through championship investment, which will also make it more accessible for visitors. Damaged by weather, erosion and overgrowth, the trail will be restored as a viable public asset that can connect Brookline citizens with valuable community green spaces.
- Ecological Enhancement of the public Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course: Following the U.S. Open, the town will initiate an ecological restoration project at an unusable area of the golf course. Currently a dumping ground for natural debris from fallen trees and other plant materials, the area will be remediated to directly improve the natural habitat, stormwater retention and water quality. Natural debris will be recycled, creating wood chips and organic material to help restore pathways and other recreational facilities throughout the town.
- The USGA is committed to educate key stakeholders and fans about our sustainability programs. Fans attending the championship will be able to play an active role in sustainability efforts through:
- Taking the MBTA subway, commuter rail service or bus lines directly to the championship
- Riding a bicycle, walking or carpooling to the championship, to limit single-rider vehicle use
- Using digital ticketing and official U.S. Open apps for course maps, pairings and fan experience sites, in lieu of printed materials to reduce paper waste
- Bringing an empty 32-oz. (or less, non-glass) refillable water bottle and using championship hydration stations to further reduce waste
- Taking advantage of open-air hospitality areas that reduce the number of generator-powered air conditioning units
- Enjoying on-site food and beverage items served in recyclable/compostable containers
- Following signs and disposing of waste in designated bins to ensure that those items are diverted from landfills
- Sharing their sustainability ideas and stories during championship week to raise awareness about climate change and community programs
- Completing the on-site U.S. Open survey to share how they traveled to the U.S. Open as part of the USGA’s goal of measuring its overall greenhouse gases emissions impact
The 2022 plan aligns with the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action framework, which provides global leadership and commitment from more than 275 sports organizations to take responsibility for their climate impact. The program is rooted in five principles that commit to undertaking systematic efforts to promote environmental responsibility, reduce overall climate impact, educate for climate action, promote sustainable consumption and advocate for climate action through communication. The USGA has served as a signatory of Sports for Climate Action since 2020.The U.S. Open sustainability plan also advances the Association’s deep commitment and proven work in sustainability for more than 100 years. The USGA invests $10 million each year in science, research, agronomy and course consulting that has been independently proven to provide more than $1.9 billion in savings back to golf each year. These savings are realized through more efficient water, fuel, labor and nutrient management practices from which the entire game has benefited. Drought and pest-resistant turfgrasses developed through USGA funding are used on athletic fields, parks, lawns and golf courses worldwide.