The European Tour Group, parent company of golf’s DP World Tour, has become the first professional golf tour to announce its commitment towards net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The group signed up to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework and the Framework’s Race to Zero pledge, which sees all signatories commit to reducing direct emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040.

The Sports of Climate Action Framework was launched by the United Nations to challenge sports organizations and their stakeholders to tackle climate change through a set of five principles, including undertaking systemic efforts to promote greater environmental sustainability, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.

Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour group, said: "The group's DP World Tour is a global brand with millions of followers, so we have a clear responsibility and opportunity to use our platforms in the right way.

"Our net zero commitment shows that through Golf for Good we are serious about environmental responsibility and the role we can play.

"Our staff and leadership, under the guidance of our Head of Sustainability, are determined to ensure we fully meet all our pledges, and we appreciate the support of our expert partners and advisers in helping us do so. Of course, we also invite our partners and stakeholders to join us in making effective change."

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The move marks the next step for Golf for Good, the European Tour Group’s commitment to having a positive long-term impact on the courses, countries, and communities it visits, and will further the tour’s Green Drive initiative, which was re-launched on World Environment Day last year.

The group said detailed implantation plans are already underway spanning governance, operations, tournaments, venues, media and technology, communications, and partnerships.

Sustainability performance indicators and carbon emissions, meanwhile, are being tracked across all aspects of the Tour’s operations through new internal mechanisms, and tools provided by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, the delivery partner for the group’s Green Drive program.

Johnathan Smith, executive director of the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, said: “Over the last 12 months there has been a significant upscaling of commitment, resourcing, and action across the European Tour group – led by the board.

“We are delighted to help guide the ongoing development of the Tour’s emissions reduction strategy; support effective delivery, and track progress through externally accredited programs and tools developed over many years for this specific purpose.”

Earlier this month, the European Tour Group, announced it had made an operating profit of £6.92 million ($7.8 million) in 2021. In contrast, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the tour sustained a loss of £8.6 million and an operating loss of £18.7 million.

DP World Tour’s management is currently considering what stance to take on players who compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf venture. Currently, players are allowed to compete at events run by both organizations. This differs from the approach of the PGA Tour in the US, which has barred them from taking part in its events.

A decision on the status of LIV-associated players at DP World Tour events going forward will be taken in February next year.

Image: Andrew Redington/Getty Images