Dubai Desert Classic launches new 'Sustainability Sunday' to showcase tournament's green initiatives and commitment to environmental responsibility

Dubai Desert Classic

* Focus day will highlight green efforts, including a green energy solution featuring BioFuel and solar power, digital ticketing, and a ban on single-use plastics, driving the tournament towards GEO Certification

Organisers of the Dubai Desert Classic have today revealed plans for a new 'Sustainability Sunday' to highlight the tournament's commitment to environmental responsibility. 'Sustainability Sunday will spotlight all sustainable developments at this year's tournament that fall under four themes: waste, transport, energy, and legacy. It marks an important new addition to the agenda for the 33rd edition of the DP World Tour event, which runs from January 27-30 at Emirates Golf Club.

Part of the DP World Tour's signature Rolex Series, large areas of the event will be powered by a mix of 20 percent locally sourced biofuel and 80 percent solar power, through a flagship partnership with Aggreko, global leaders in temporary power. This results in a reduction in CO2 emission of more than eight times compared to conventional energy production methods.

The collaboration will power large areas of the tournament in a more sustainable way through an energy mix which harnesses plant matter as well as light and heat from the sun, including a 100-metre solar panel on the 11 th hole. Areas to be powered by the new energy mix include the Players' Lounge, the Main Hospitality Pavilion, 15th Green Hospitality, the TopGolf Deck, DP World Tour offices, the Village Area, Merchandise Tent, oncourse food and beverage areas, and spectator washrooms.

Simon Corkill, tournament director of the Dubai Desert Classic said: "The tournament has entered a new era this year through our elevation to a Rolex Series event, our long-term partnership with title sponsors, and our commitment to sustainable, environmentally responsible practices."

In association with Goumbook, a social enterprise promoting sustainable living and green practices in the UAE and beyond, players will participate in a symbolic seed planting of the Ghaf tree, the national tree of the UAE. Other initiatives include a switch to digital ticketing to save paper, a campaign to encourage the use of metro and public transport by spectators, and the replacement of on-course plastic bottles with refillable options. Specialist waste management efforts to reduce waste sent to landfill will also be in operation in partnership with Dulsco, an integrated waste management solutions provider and the Official Waste Management Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The company was selected as waste management partner for the Dubai Desert Classic due to its innovative solutions and facilities which include a Material Recovery Facility, Paper Pulp Moulding Plant, and an upcycling initiative called The New Old & Reloved by Dulsco.

Dulsco will deploy a Recycling Bus at the entrance, supply various recycling bins throughout the event area, and facilitate onsite waste segregation with segregated recyclables being transported to its Material Recycling Facility, which is capable of sorting 240 tons of multiple waste streams per day. In support of the tournament's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, Dulsco will use compaction machines, resulting in lesser trips, to transport materials to treatment and processing facilities in line with UAE regulations.

Tournament partners are also making major contributions to the sustainability drive: JA Resorts and Hotels will replace all single-use cutlery during tournament week and Wasl will be introducing cans and compostable cups in place of plastic bottles. Food and organic waste will also be repurposed onsite into a valuable resource through WasteMaster, an innovative, patented technology supplied by Green Eco Technologies.

The Arena Group has committed to a 100% PVC recycling rate through-out the duration of the four-day event. Furthermore, Arena has pledged to materially improve their sustainability, and lessen their environmental impact during their four-year partnership with the tournament.

They aim to achieve this through accurate measurement and management, as well as innovative project delivery methods such as alternative sustainable fuel (HVO), alternative power supply (solar), rainwater harvesting, waste minimization and maximisation through reuse, co-processing, and energy recovery. The Arena Group is dedicated to operating in a responsible and sustainable manner, which includes delivering effective social value, energy, carbon reduction, and responsible sourcing.

Sustainability Sunday is part of the tournament's Go for the Green sustainability initiative. It is the first milestone in a commitment towards GEO certification, an ecolabel that recognises environmental and social responsibility in golf. Organisers have also confirmed that the Dubai Desert Classic will join the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, an initiative to achieve global climate change goals through positive action.

"In a year where we are introducing free entry for spectators and expecting a record turnout, we are more eager than ever to raise awareness and spread the message that we can all take action and contribute to a more sustainable future. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the UAE's National Agenda and our ongoing initiatives are in line with the efforts being made and encouraged by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE," Corkill adds.

Sustainability is a key focus for the DP World Tour, as part of the European Tour group's 'Golf for Good' Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, which embraces three main pillars:

  • Support for Worthy Causes and communities where the Tour plays: The Golf for Good charitable initiatives began during the global Covid-19 pandemic, upon the resumption of the 2020 season, raising funds for global charities and local communities in which the DP World Tour plays.
  • Sustainability: Centred around the European Tour's Green Drive initiative, which was launched in 2021 to coincide with World Environment Day. This initiative reaffirms our strengthened commitment to sustainability with a vision for the Tour to become a showcase for social and environmental responsibility, delivering net positive impacts around the world.
  • Inclusivity, Diversity and Health: Embraces the European Tour Golfers with Disability initiative and the Golf for All messaging, in addition to promoting the many wider health benefits of golf.

The Dubai Desert Classic was the first DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, event in the Middle East in 1989, cementing the Tour's relationship with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. The tournament has been won by some of golf's greatest names, including Major Champions Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, José Maria Olazábal, Mark O'Meara, Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia, and Bryson DeChambeau.