Green Practices at the Sony Open in Hawaii!


The 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii was one of 13 businesses and eight events honored by the State of Hawaii last week for their energy efficiency efforts and sustainable business practices in this year's Hawaii Green Business awards.
This was the second consecutive year that the Sony Open in Hawaii was recognized. In 2016 the tournament was the largest event certified as a green event under the State of Hawaii Green Business program. During the 2017 event held January 9-15, Sony Open tournament staff, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Waialae Country Club (WCC) and Sony Electronics Inc. (Sony) collaborated in expanding the sustainability initiative, promoted alternative transportation methods and use of environmentally preferable materials and engaged additional sponsors while continuing to promote waste reduction and recycling.
With estimated attendance of 59,700, the 2017 Sony Open served as a stunning backdrop for exciting PGA TOUR golf action and also a reminder about the importance of keeping Hawaii beautiful.  Conducting the event in a sustainable manner was a key step to fulfilling this objective.
"These businesses and events have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their exemplary stewardship of the environment and strong commitment to helping Hawaii achieve energy independence,” said Hawaii Gov. David Ige. “ The State of Hawaii has an ambitious goal to reach 100 percent clean energy by the year 2045. This is a tall order, but w ith the commitment of local businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations we can make Hawaii’s clean energy future a reality.”
Sustainability has marked the Sony Open in Hawaii since 1999 when Sony became tournament title sponsor. As a community-wide, charity event, the tournament galvanizes public and private sector volunteerism around green practices on multiple levels--recycling, reuse of materials, and donating excess products. At the 2009 Sony Open in Hawaii, the Greenside Lanai, a hospitality venue designed by Group 70 International and built completely of recycled materials by Swinerton Builders, was featured. In 2015, Sony Electronics, Inc. reinvigorated the tournament’s sustainability initiative to reduce waste, increase recycling and engage community stakeholders as part of initiatives towards its Road to Zero plan of achieving a zero environmental footprint. Event visitors and participants are encouraged to use trolley or public transportation, car-pool or purchase carbon footprint ofset credits from their air carriers to minimize environmental impact. 


  • Free bike valet was brought to Waialae Beach Park this year, a few steps from the front entrance, serving around 70 bikers. Sony donated $10 for every bike used the service to-ward the non-profit partner, Hawaii Bicycling League.

  • Visitors to the Sony Open were encouraged to use public transportation, carpool, or purchase carbon offsets to minimize environmental impact through the website, tournament guide, as well as on the course signage. During the tournament, E NOA Trolley provided shuttle services from Waikiki.

  • Sony conducted the carbon footprint assessment, identifying attendees travel as the most significant impact of the event. Sony plans to offset the event carbon impact excluding non-Sony related attendee’s travel. 


  • Toyota Hawaii displayed eco-friendly vehicles and offered a mobile device recharging station with cardboard living room furniture

  • Hakuyosha Clean Living reuses 80% wastewater laundering tournament linens and caddie bibs

  • Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee provided paper cups supporting the event to go Styrofoam Free! 


  • Placed recycling bins and signage for recycling throughout the course and recyclable wastes were sorted by volunteers.

  • Food wastes from Waiale Country Club kitchens serving Clubhouse and tournament hospitality tents were sent to Eco Feed for piggery farm. 150 lbs of excess food was donated to Aloha Harvest to feed the hungry of Hawaii.

  • Various sets and equipment are reused every year including steel, wood, flooring, and mesh

  • Sony hosted a free electronics recycling event prior to the tournament where participants received a Sony Open admission ticket to promote recycling. 


  • Majority of tournament collateral was printed using FSC certified paper with re-cycled content through FSC certified printers, Edward Enterprises and Hagadone Printing Company.

  • Food vendors used compostable containers, utensils and plates. Waialae Country Club used reusable dishes at the Clubhouse and compostable plates at hospitality tents.

  • Waialae Country Club has a solar system installed, and uses energy efficient lighting and wifi controlled energy efficient AC. It uses organic fertilizer on the course and a non-toxic cleaner in the facility. It’s green course maintenance practice minimizes the use of water and pesticides. 

Learn more about the tournament’s sustainability initiative by reading the post-event report (Download PDF file).