Fighting global warming does not necessarily need to cost a fortune. The owner of one of Europe’s biggest golf resort has proven that investing in the environment can also make business sense.
When Poul Anker Lübker decided to invest some extra million Euros to make his new golf resort greener than average, he thought that he was doing a favour towards the fight against global warming. But it turned out that the move also benefited his own bank account.
“When I started this program in 2004, people thought I was insane. Now, five years later, they think I am quite intelligent. I make fifteen per cent more profit than an average golf course”.
Lübker explained Thursday at the Beyond Kyoto Conference that green investments really can work. “We have success because people want to play golf on a environmentally friendly course, on the way we are doing it. When people can choose between a green course and an average course they go for the green one because it makes them feel better,” Lübker says.
Golf courses without a green policy are one of the biggest polluters. They use more than six times as much pesticides as a farm does. In order to make sure there are no weeds growing on the course they poison the environment.
What sets him apart.
Paul Anker Lübker uses ninety percent less for his resort.. Lübker: “I still use pesticides for my course, but I use less because I have investigated the ground before it became what it is now. The outcome of that research was that the ground was used by farmers before it became a golf course. That means that there was a high level of pesticides in the ground already, so I can use less.”
Another thing is the use of water. The World Watch Institute published on their website a research about it. All the golf courses in the world use as much water as 4.7 billion people combined need every day to survive.
Lübker’s system for his course utilizes the water over and over again. “The water I use to drain my resort is already recycled. I can use the same recycled water several times because of an underground system that catches up the water. It is an investment that saves energy and is environmental friendly.”
This is just one example of how investing more in green technology has created a more profitable business. “If you behave bad, people do not want you anymore. We will make the world a better place to live. Big words but we really do believe that we can make a better world to live,” Lübker says.
By Rianne Kleistra