2021 WM Phoenix Open Looks To Become First Five-Time “GEO Certified” Tournament

2021 WM Phoenix Open Looks To Become First Five-Time “GEO Certified” Tournament
February 2, 2021
Posted by:
Garrett Wong

By WM Phoenix Open

Greenest show

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 1, 2021) – When the 2021 WM Phoenix Open is played this week at TPC Scottsdale, the tournament will attempt to become the first five-time “GEO Certified®” tournament – the highest international award for sustainability in golf, awarded by Scotland-based GEO Foundation.

To become “GEO Certified” the WM Phoenix Open must complete a custom-built program for golf tournaments, including: document and evidence submission, a third-party verification carried out by the Council for Responsible Sport (the official verification body for GEO Certified Tournaments in North America), a thorough review by GEO, and agree to a range of Continual Improvement Points.

The WM Phoenix Open has been awarded GEO certification following the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 tournaments. Since 2013, Waste Management has taken a zero-waste approach with the tournament, through recycling, composting, donation, reuse or creating energy – with more than 10.06 million pounds of material going to its next best use

.Internationally recognized as the largest verified zero waste event in the world, the tournament hosts, The Thunderbirds are limiting attendance at the 2021 WM Phoenix Open to fewer than 5,000 fans each day (Wednesday through Sunday) due to the pandemic. The tournament will also implement strict COVID safety protocols including the mandatory wearing of masks throughout the entire tournament grounds and thermal screening of every guest upon entry.Sustainability highlights for the 2021 tournament will include:

  • 100 percent diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.
  • Waste Management and The Thunderbirds implement water conservation measures to ensure water is used responsibly, including the collection of grey water from kitchens as well as the hospitality bars on the 16th hole to be reused in portable toilets to reduce freshwater
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the tournament will once again purchase 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service and fuel generators with biodiesel. In addition, Waste Management’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament will be fueled with compressed natural
  • The tournament will also offset 100 percent of the tournament’s carbon footprint, including all tournament operations, event management transportation, professional and amateur player travel, vendor travel and volunteer
  • WM published a new WM Phoenix Open Sustainability Report website and will share a new virtual sustainability tour during tournament week, with the goal of educating fans about zero waste, water restoration, greenhouse gas management and other sustainability
  • WM is providing all PGA TOUR players with gifts that highlight the value of the circular
  • The tournament is played at the TPC Scottsdale, which became a GEO Certified course in 2019 due to its outstanding management of on-course wildlife
  • In addition to the benefits to the environment, the tournament has an enormous impact on the community as well. The 2020 WM Phoenix Open raised $14 million for local charities and

$170,000 donated to environmental organizations from Green Out Day. 2021 figures are to be determined.In 2021, WM celebrates its 12th year as title sponsor of the WM Phoenix Open. Over the dozen years, Waste Management has turned the WM Phoenix Open into the most sustainable sporting event on the planet. The 2021 WM Phoenix Open may look and feel different due to the pandemic, however WM’s zero-waste approach continues.


Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The Company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, visit www.wm.com.


The 2021 WM Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale February 1-7. “The People’s Open” was named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR four times in the past six years (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) to acknowledge the tournament’s legendary status as one the most unique events in golf. The 2021 edition will mark the 86th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the 12th as the WM Phoenix Open.


GEO Foundation is the international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf. Its goal is to work collaboratively to help the sport embrace environmental and social issues and become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources and building healthy communities. GEO assures the OnCourse® programs for grassroots golf facilities, new developments and tournaments, each of which can lead to the internationally accredited, endorsed and independently verified GEO Certified® label.

Find out more at www.sustainable.golf.