The first private club assessed to reach a US leadership position in sustainability – even reaching a negative CO2 balance – the Venice Golf and Country Club is a small, private, member-owned club located in a gated community in Southwest Florida. Recognized as a leader of sustainable environmental business practices and praised for their environmentally sustainable, green initiatives, Venice GCC achieved significant financial benefits in the process.
Venice Golf and Country Club General Manager Jim Schell explained the cumulative impact of many small, medium, and some large decisions, which has been tremendous for VGCC.
“We have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars while helping the environment at the same time. The key is to slow down the consumption of resources and make incremental improvements, even one percent at a time. Cut electrical expenses by one percent each year, and you’ll start to see real money that can be budgeted elsewhere. Slow down the electric meter. LED lamps, occupancy sensors, demand control ventilation, geothermal heat transfer, and HVAC scheduling are just a few small changes that can bring about big results. Do the breakeven analysis and tackle the items with the quickest payback first. Make these changes incrementally, and then watch them add up over time.”
Since 2006, the Club has reduced its electric expenses by more than $350,000 with numerous small improvements. The capital expenditures required for these savings were minimal. Most improved technologies and efficiencies occurred when an older asset was replaced, since much of today’s technology delivers superior results with less power or fuel. A new, easy to use platform, “Vivid Leaf” will help any club and resort to achieve the same results without the need to research or understand the technical complexities of environmentally sound practices.
In addition to reducing expenses, sustainable practices elevate the membership experience. “Our members can take in all that nature has to offer while relaxing on their lanai or enjoying a game of golf,” said Schell.
“A one square mile Oasis in South West Florida – The Venice Golf and Country Club is living proof that sustainability can be achieved based on excellency in leadership and without large budgets. Every single environmentally sensitive initiative implemented at Venice Golf and Country Club was researched carefully in terms of its money-savings opportunity, presented to – and approved by the Board. Amongst other World-Class sustainability achievements, the clubhouse electrical bill was nearly cut in half in the last few years. Venice Golf and Country Club is the first club worldwide that has achieved our stringent Countrywide Leadership “Jade” level and is currently the greenest club in the USA that we have assessed. Venice Golf and Country Club has even achieved a negative CO2 balance while staying focused on improving membership experience.”Till von Ruexleben, COO of Vivid Leaf
About Vivid Leaf:
Developed with engineers of Europe’s largest “Renewable energy only” utility, Vivid Leaf is the industry’s most comprehensive sustainability platform. Vivid Leaf helps clubs like Venice GCC to identify the most relevant and highest financial return environmental initiatives and documents the progress on a private club’s or resort’s journey to sustainability based on an attractive and customizable online dashboard. Clubs using the platform will learn about new developments, new ways to reduce waste and resource usage, new ways to save money in an ongoing exchange amongst our engineers and other clubs and resorts.
Vivid Leaf’s certification encompasses all aspects of environmental Best Practices, including resource usage (water, energy, natural gas/propane, diesel, fuel), waste and recycling as well as greenhouse gas emissions and creation of natural habitats.