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Greening the 2015 RBC Canadian Open

TORONTO, July 22, 2015 -  This year’s RBC Canadian Open is set to be the greenest yet. RBC, Golf Canada and other partners and suppliers have come together to ensure that environmental best practices are again being implemented. The tournament will take place from July 20 to 26, 2015 at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario.

“We are committed to reducing the environmental impacts of the RBC Canadian Open every year,” said Brent McLaughlin, tournament director for the RBC Canadian Open. “Glen Abbey is a great foundation for our environmental initiatives, we have a solid track record of environmental programming here and the golf course has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2004.”

Earlier this year, the 2014 RBC Canadian Open was recognized for its environmental initiatives and named as a winner of the Sustainability Challenge. For 2015, there are new initiatives that will help to divert more waste from landfill. Two zero-waste sorting stations will be introduced, operated by trained volunteers and overseen by Halton Region’s waste experts. With the 2016 RBC Canadian Open also taking place at Glen Abbey, this year will be a baseline to help set targets for next year.

“RBC is excited to continue to work with Golf Canada and our partners to lead by example and improve our environmental impact year over year.” says Sandra Odendahl, director, Corporate Sustainability, RBC. “Winning this award further motivates all of us – tournament sponsors, organizers and partners – to ensure that this year’s event is even greener.”

Here are the 2015 RBC Canadian Open key environmental initiatives:

Hosting a carbon-neutral event
RBC and Golf Canada have taken responsibility for GHG emissions where possible through the following initiatives:

  • The event will be bullfrogpowered with 100 per cent green natural gas and green electricity. Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes exclusively from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.. Bullfrog’s green natural gas is a climate-friendly alternative to conventional, polluting natural gas, and is sourced from the Rive-Nord green natural gas facility in Quebec, a unique, ground-breaking methane-capture project.
  • GHG emissions associated with the use of diesel generators and event vehicles will be neutralized through the purchase and retirement of high quality carbon offsets. The carbon offsets will be acquired through RBC’s carbon emissions trading group in RBC Capital Markets.

Reducing waste sent to landfill
The event’s goal is to divert waste from landfill using the following initiatives:

  • Two zero waste sorting stations located in high traffic concession areas will improve waste sorting at the point of disposal and increase waste diversion.
  • Visible and well-marked recycling and organics collection receptacles throughout the course will reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, Event Water Solutions is providing free filtered water at four water stations located across the grounds. In 2013, (the last time the Canadian Open was held at Glen Abbey) more than 42,000 bottles were filled at the water stations. Collapsible water bottles will be available for purchase at the tournament with proceeds benefiting the official charity partner, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada.
  • Concession service provider Bingeman’s is reducing waste by using compostable or recyclable food packaging and condiments will be served in bulk where possible.
  • Unused food will be donated to local food bank Food for Life.
  • Food items not suitable for donation will be separated for composting.
  • Volunteers, including a large contingent from the Burloak Canoe Club, will ensure waste is properly sorted and that the golf course remains litter free.

Sustainable transportation options
Steps have been taken to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation and provide sustainable transportation options such as:

  • Complimentary bicycle valet for ticket holders and tournament volunteers near the main gates.
  • BMW Group is providing electric vehicles to shuttle spectators between the parking lots and the main entrance to the Open.
  • The event is accessible by public transportation with shuttle bus service from Bronte and Oakville GO Stations.

Sustainable golf course operations
Since 2004, Glen Abbey has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course by Audubon International. Only five per cent of Canadian golf courses have this prestigious environmental designation. To earn this designation, golf courses are subjected to an audit and certification program covering six categories: Environmental Planning, Chemical Use Reduction & Safety, Water Conservation, Water Quality Management, Wildlife & Habitat Management, and Outreach & Education.

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For more information, please contact:
Jackie Braden, Director, RBC Brand & Citizenship Communications, 416-974-6286, jackie.braden@rbc.com