In 2019 for the fourth consecutive year, the Sony Open in Hawaii was honored with a Green Business award in recognition of the tournament’s energy efficiency efforts and sustainable business practices.  The annual week-long Sony Open tournament serves as a stunning backdrop for PGA TOUR competition and also a reminder about the importance of keeping Hawaii beautiful.  

In 2016 the tournament was the largest event certified as a green event under the State of Hawaii Green Business program.  During the 2020 event held January 6-12, Sony Open tournament staff, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Waialae Country Club (WCC) and Sony Electronics Inc. (Sony) continued to further expand 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. 

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 offset 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 100 bikers. Sony donated $10 for every bike valeted to 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, social media, tournament guide, as well as on the course signage. During the tournament, E NOA Trolley shuttle serviced from Waikiki.

  • Sony conducted a 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. 

  • Plastic straws were eliminated to support a plastic-free ocean.  

  • 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. Over 200 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

  • Majority of tournament collateral was printed using FSC certified paper with re-cycled content through FSC certified printer, Edward Enterprises.

  • Food vendors used compostable containers, utensils and plates and paper straws. 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. 

2019 Sony Open in Hawaii Green Practices Report (PDF file)