Sustainability

The annual week-long Sony Open in Hawaii tournament takes place in an environment that serves as a stunning backdrop for the PGA TOUR competition and also as a reminder about the importance of keeping Hawaii beautiful.  Each year, the Sony Open Sustainability Initiative has featured strategies throughout the tournament to reduce our environmental footprint. From reducing energy and water use to diverting the tournament waste from landfill, the Sony Open continues to be an eco-friendly event, striving to improve year over year.  A special event that showcases golf talents against the backdrop of Hawaii’s natural beauty, the Sony Open in Hawaii attracts a worldwide audience, and sustainability continues to be an ongoing focus of the Tournament. 

 
 

In 2020, for the fifth consecutive year, the Sony Open in Hawaii was honored with a Green Event award by the State of Hawaii in recognition of the tournament’s sustainable business practices including efforts around energy, waste, water, and sourcing. The tournament has a long history of sustainability efforts and continues to identify new initiatives to move forward.

Each year the Sony Open has featured key sustainability efforts including the following:

  • Free bike valet was provided at Waialae Beach Park, a few steps from the front entrance, serving around 100 bikers. Sony donated $10 for every bike valeted to our 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 of their travel, which is promoted through the website, social media, tournament guide, as well as on the course signage. During the tournament, E NOA Trolley shuttle has provided round-trip service from Waikiki.

  • Sony has conducted a carbon footprint assessment and offsets the event carbon impact, excluding non-Sony related attendee’s travel (all attendee travel was excluded in the 2020 offset).

  • The event is a styrofoam-free and plastic straw-free event, to support the elimination of these pollutants in our oceans and environment. 

  • Recyclables were hand-sorted by our team of volunteers at the back of house, and recycling bins and signage are placed at easily accessible points throughout the course with standardized labels from Recycle Across America.

  • Food waste from Waialae Country Club kitchens serving the Clubhouse and tournament hospitality tents were sent to Eco Feed to supply scraps to Oahu piggeries. Excess food was donated to Aloha Harvest to feed the hungry of Hawaii. At the 2020 event, over 200 lbs of excess food was donated.

  • Materials from past events were reused as much as possible, such as various sets and equipment for structures, including signage, steel, wood, flooring, and mesh.

  • The majority of tournament collateral was printed using paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as FSC Recycled, through FSC certified printer, Edward Enterprises.

  • Hospitality tents and food vendors used compostable containers, utensils and plates and paper straws. Waialae Country Club used reusable dishware at the Clubhouse.

  • 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.

Sustainability has been a key part of the Sony Open over the past several years. As a community-wide, charity event, the tournament galvanizes public and private sector volunteerism around green practices on multiple levels—carbon footprint reduction, recycling and reuse of materials, and donation of 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 Sony’s Road to Zero plan of achieving a zero environmental footprint.  In 2016 the tournament was the largest event certified as a green event under the State of Hawaii Green Business program. The Sony Open continues to expand on the existing sustainability initiative in collaboration with Sony Open tournament staff, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Waialae Country Club and Sony Electronics Inc. We are proud to be doing our part to support Hawaii’s beauty and natural resources. 

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

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