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Belas Clube de Campo becomes GEO Certified
March 10, 2011

Belas Clube de Campo has become the first golf facility in Portugal to achieve the GEO Certified™ award - an internationally recognized sustainability assurance from the Golf Environment Organization.

Situated close to the town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Belas Clube de Campo has been employing innovative sustainable management techniques since it opened in 1998. Pedro Texeira, Belas's Environmental Manager, is proud to have added the GEO award to the club's existing accreditations:

"As well as building our profile and international reputation, GEO's guidance-based programme helped us to understand and develop the environmental actions carried out on our golf course, highlighting sustainability issues and opportunities, and enabling us to identify our needs and future goals."

"Belas Clube de Campo fully understands the ecological value of our site and has embraced the opportunity to present a naturalized golf course, as have many other courses in Portugal. Belas sits comfortably within the local landscape, contributing to the protection, enhancement and function of local ecosystems. Between 2000 and 2010 our comprehensive woodland management strategy led to the planting of four thousand indigenous trees."

Full details of Belas Clube de Campo's GEO Certified™ award can be found at:

Alexandra Almeida, GEOSA, was distinctly impressed by thesustainability drive extending from staff right up to owner level:

"The Belas management team has successfully implemented and maintained an Environmental Management System (EMS) for more than ten years, being one of the first golf courses in the world to be certified according to ISO 14001 (environmental management systems standard). As result of its environmental policy and management strategy, the club has been able to show its excellent efforts with respect to the local ecosystems and to demonstrate the continuous improvement of its environmental performance and management practices.

"In achieving the GEO Certified award I sincerely hope that Belas Clube de Campo will inspire other Portuguese golf courses to obtain GEO's prestigious recognition."

André Jordan, developer and owner of Belas is proud to see the sustainability performance of his management team recognized by GEO:

"Golf development that works against the environment is costly, time consuming and creates a legacy of resource inefficiency over the long-term. Each resort developed by The André Jordan Group has aimed to enhance the quality of Portugal's landscape and ecosystems while presenting enjoyable and inspirational golf to members and customers. In receiving the first GEOCertified™ award on the Iberian Peninsula, my team at Belas can be extremely proud of their achievement."

Congratulating the club for their pioneering efforts, GEO Chief Executive Jonathan Smith added:

"Belas Club de Campo are demonstrating common sense environmental management in their day-to-day decision making. Great attention to detail and due diligence in risk management has delivered innovative projects in energy, waste management and water use. With a new Continual Improvement Plan to guide their efforts over the coming three years - at the end of which time another GEOSA Verifier will visit the site to review performance and support their future actions - we expect to see more innovation at Belas. In the meantime we look forward to seeing how they use their position of leadership to promote sustainability in golf - demonstrating that positive social and environmental action is good for golf and good for business bottom lines."

Manuel Agrellos, President of the Federacao Portuguesa de Golfe added:  

"This is an important landmark for Portuguese Golf. It builds on many years of environmental awareness raising and advocacy, and the production of guidelines and other resources for developers and existing facilities.  Much of this work has been done in direct partnership with our own government planning and environmental institutions as we strive to support Portuguese golf in a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future. In GEO Certified™ we recognise a programme that will help our member facilities in the ongoing attainment of this. It's a programme that is practical and relevant, streamlined and non bureaucratic - with a focus on real world action rather than systems administration. Specialist third party verification enables certified sites to promote their sustainability achievements with absolute confidence, thereby providing them with genuine marketing advantages. We hope this is the start of many more GEO Certified™ sites across Portugal."

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