With its 47 hectares, Golf Club de Genève represents 10% of the total surface area of ​​the Communes of Vandoeuvres. It is therefore important that it participates in the overall effort in terms of sustainability, especially since our sport suffers from a poor image among the general public and in particular climate extremists. His proactivity is vital. Our Club is a cantonal contributor to the 2050 carbon neutrality project. It participates in the Swiss Golf sustainability project which aims for certification for all of its member clubs by 2030. Here are the main stages of our approach in connection with the sustainability.

2013: with the project to renovating the course on the Bessinge estate in Vandoeuvres, discussions took place with the Canton's General Directorate of Water (DGEau), the Cantonal Office of Agriculture and Nature (OCAN) and the Environment and Major Risks Department (SERMA) with a view to obtaining building authorization. Concrete proposals are made to the authorities in conjunction with the Geneva environmental studies and consultancy office Viridis:

  • Renaturation of the Nant de Bessinge watercourse
  • Creation of a 3,500m2 pond between hole 10 and hole 13
  • Development of flower meadows
  • Creation of forest hedges
  • Sanitation of drainage outlet systems with the help of the ADMS SA engineering office

These proposals are welcomed with the favor of the authorities who issue the Golf Club de Genève with the building authorizations necessary for the renovation of the course.

The maintenance work of the wooded park on our route will now be carried out with the monitoring of the Cantonal Office of Agriculture and Nature (OCAN), joined a few years later by a consulting arborist, Nicolas Béguin.

2015 to 2019: renovation of the course

Renovation work on the route and inclusion of ecological measures presented to the authorities when requesting building authorization

2017: employee loyalty plan

Development of a loyalty plan for employees of the Golf Club de Genève. This plan details the measures that help to take care of the welcome and life of the employee within the Club. It encourages developing skills through learning, new projects and sharing experiences. He advocates appeasement in daily life and in relationships between colleagues. Finally, it aims for cohesion and equality between the different services. The Club also has an external contact person who is available to any employee who needs it.

2018: modification of the statutes

Modification of the statutes of the Golf Club de Genève, during the General Assembly, with the introduction, in article 4, of the principle of sustainability in the Club's activity. It will therefore do everything possible to “maintain and improve the infrastructure and services offered while taking into account the principles of sustainable development”. This strong act will generate the launch of a series of actions linked to sustainability.

2019: memorandum of understanding with Swiss Golf

Signature, with Swiss Golf, of the memorandum of understanding for GEO (Golf Environment Organization) sustainability certification

2019: creation of an Association

Foundation of the Association of Friends of the Golf Club de Genève to provide economic support for sustainability projects. This Association allows us to present to our members projects likely to attract their interest and support

2020: our data on OnCourse

Start of data entry into the OnCourse online tool for GEO sustainability certification. All data related to the activity of our Club is recorded there.

2021: informal audit

First informal audit by Swiss Golf of the statement of mandatory points to obtain GEO sustainability certification

2022: electric and hybrid machines

Investment by our Club, to the tune of 1.2 million, for electric and hybrid course maintenance machines. It is important to reduce fuel consumption and noise generated by machines. At the same time, mechanical work will be reinforced in order to compensate for the reduction in the use of phytosanitary products.

2022: water fountains

Installation on our route of water fountains supplied by the drinking water network of Services Industriels de Genève (SIG). Their special configuration allows you to drink water on the course but also to fill water bottles and thus reduce the consumption of PET bottles.

2022: sorting centers

In conjunction with Swiss Recycling, the umbrella association of Swiss recycling organizations, most of the trash cans on the course are removed in favor of small modern containers, serving as waste sorting centers, installed at the start of holes 1 and 10, at the arrival of the 18th and to the caddy master.

2022: fauna and flora inventory

Launch of an assessment and inventory of the fauna and flora on the Golf Club de Genève course by the Geneva environmental studies and consultancy office Viridis. This work will last 2 years

2022: PEIK study

Launch, with the support of the P+P Project Solutions SA office, of the PEIK study on all the buildings of the Golf Club de Genève in order to determine avenues for improvement and optimization of energy consumption

2022: regional products

Integration, in the design of our dishes for our restaurants, of products from the GRTA region (Genève Région Terre Avenir) and products with the MSC label found on wild and sustainable seafood fished with respect for the environment marine and fish populations. Our chefs work mainly with local companies and suppliers

2023: reduction in watering

Decision of the Committee and the Management of the Club to reduce watering of the course by 10% in order to save water consumption. Furthermore, the out-of-play areas will be less watered.

2023: the vegetarian trend represented

Integration, into the Restaurant Commission, of a young vegetarian member under 40 years old to bring the critical view and sensitivity of vegetarians to our food offerings.

2023: compensation plantations

A program of tree compensation plantings, many of which were cleared during the 2019 storm, is being carried out with the installation of nearly 40 trees along the entire route. This work is organized in conjunction with the Cantonal Office of Agriculture and Nature (OCAN) and our consulting arborist Nicolas Béguin without forgetting the collaboration of the American office Trent Jones which signed the route of the route.

2023: fauna and flora inventory report

Receipt of the report on the evaluation and inventory of the fauna and flora on the Golf Club de Genève course by the Geneva environmental studies and consultancy office Viridis. After 2 years of work and study, the report reveals an unsuspected richness in the fauna and flora of our route. In particular, there are 48 species of meadows and lawns, 38 varieties of nesting birds, 20 types of dragonflies and 17 of butterflies. Certain species are threatened and/or protected at cantonal and national level. Near our ponds and the Nant de Bessinge, there are endangered species such as the mucronate rush. The scarcity of bodies of water in the Cologny-Vandoeuvres region gives our ponds an important role in the life and protection of various species.

2023: study on heat production

Launch, in conjunction with the Geneva office of engineers specializing in energy Conti et Associés and the Services Industriels de Genève, of a study on heat production in order to determine the best option for heating and cooling the Club's buildings future. The option of geothermal probes seems the most optimal after having had to rule out, for technical reasons and slowness due to various constraints, the option of a Genilac Rive Gauche project.

2023: study on bats

Launch, by the Western Coordination Center for the Study and Protection of Bats (CCO) Geneva office and its regional correspondent Cyril Schönbächler, of a study on bats, numerous and varied nocturnal visitors to our route which presents diversified structures with ponds, meadows and groves. In particular, we can see the rare Leisler noctule.

2023: sustainability certification passed

Obtaining GEO sustainability certification, recognized worldwide, by the GEO Foundation in conjunction with Swiss Golf which is aiming for this certification for all of its member clubs by 2030. This certification attests to good practices in terms of nature, resources and community. Good practices which are identified in the OnCourse program which allows Swiss golf clubs to measure, list, evaluate and compare at international level all the elements which have an impact on sustainability. The three areas covered are:

  • Nature: habitats and biodiversity, lawn maintenance, etc.
  • Resources: water, energy, construction materials, recycling, etc.
  • The community: public relations and multifunctionality of golf facilities, local employers, activities offered to employees, etc.

Once GEO certification has been obtained, efforts must continue since, each year, it involves completing the platform with our data and presenting 3 annual projects to be carried out in connection with sustainability. Furthermore, GEO certification must be renewed every 6 years.

2024: photovoltaic panels

Concerned about a sustainable approach in terms of energy consumption, our Club has decided to install photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the greenkeepers' service buildings, the caddy master and the driving range. Installed by the company Tera Solar SA, these panels occupy a total surface area of ​​740m2 and can produce a power of 156 kilowatt-peak (kWp). Enough to cover a third of our Club's electricity needs. The system will be operational from mid-March.