Mats Candinger has been club manager at Saltsjöbaden Golf Club since 2011. The Golf Club, the 10th oldest in Sweden, opened in 1929 and is growing.
Mats, how do you view sustainability and the environment as a golf club?
Candinger answers: “We have been investing wholeheartedly in sustainability work for several years now, and international cooperation with GEO, the Golf Environment Organisation, has been a big help.”
What is the GEO programme, and how do you benefit from it?
Candinger again: “GEO-certification is a tool that looks at all parts of your enterprise, and helps us to maintain a good structure. GEO supports local clubs in their sustainability work. It acts as a dynamic checklist that confirms we are on the right path. When it was time to review the fuel, we were open to various fossil free alternatives.”
How did you find out about Neste MY (HVO)?
Candinger explains: “I was actually contacted by a club member who works at Neste, she was interested in our environment profile and our sustainability work and explained how fossil free fuel can replace fossil diesel without any new investment. We already had good contact with one of their distributors and now that we had heard a bit more, we made up our minds. I also like Neste’s values.”
What other fuels do you use?
Candinger: “We have electric powered rollers and equipment, but our tractors, diggers and mowers run on Neste MY Renewable Diesel (HVO). We also have a diesel piste groomer that now runs on HVO and electric powered snow cannons. When I asked Neste whether the snow groomer can run on Neste MY I was told that SkiStar run their snow groomers on Neste MY – that was a good enough reference for us.”
What do your club members say?
Candinger again: “There is a big interest in sustainability, I hear this in conversations at the club, and many members have applied to join on account of our extensive sustainability work. This is a growing trend.”
Can you give us other examples of your sustainability work?
Candinger says: “Of course. For example we regularly review what fertiliser and plant protection agents we use. Many people think golf courses are bad for the environment, but in fact, the opposite is actually the case: we use water from a natural watercourse nearby and channel this to our dams that we use for watering. And the water that leaves the course is cleaner than the water that comes in.”