RJ National achieves GEO Re-Certified

Ransomes Jacobsen’s three-hole golf course, The RJ National, located at their European headquarters on the outskirts of Ipswich, has been re-certified
by the Golf Environment Organization (GEO).

RJ National greenkeeper James Gotts proudly displaying the GEO Re-certification

RJ National greenkeeper James Gotts proudly displaying the GEO Re-certification

With this latest accolade, the RJ National becomes the first golf course in the UK to be awarded GEO Certified® status for commitment to sustainable
development for a third time.

In his report, Keith Duff, the independent verifier who carried out the course’s re-certification audit said the three-hole golf course and adjoining
noise testing area was designed for multiple uses – as a golf course, as a demonstration area for golf course maintenance machinery, and as a noise
testing facility for machinery.

“It was built in 2008 on industrial wasteland adjacent to the Ransomes Jacobson international headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ipswich. The
aim was to produce a sustainably managed golf course, using turf grasses (mainly bents and fescues) managed appropriately with low inputs of water,
fertiliser and pesticide. This has been achieved.

“There is a strong link with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, who provide ecological advice. All water abstraction and discharge, and energy use and waste management,
is undertaken as part of the whole site environmental management plan operated by Ransomes under ISO 14001. There is also a strong link with the nearby
Waldringfield Golf Club, whose Course Manager provides consultative support through a weekly visit in the summer. During the winter months, the retired
Course Manager from Woodbridge Golf Club provides monthly advice. Support is also provided, on an as needed basis, from Ipswich Golf Club greens staff,”
Keith said.

“There is clear evidence of steady continual improvement of all aspects of the facilities environmental performance over the nine years since initial certification
of the site, and especially with regard to ecosystems, energy and resources, environmental quality, and people and communities. The level of commitment
shown by the company, and their staff, is exemplary.”

The unique three-hole golf course was the brainchild of David Withers, the then Managing Director at Ransomes Jacobsen and now President of parent company,
Jacobsen.

“With the support of some our industry partners, our parent company Textron, and a tremendous team effort by everyone at Ipswich, especially our current
greenkeeper James Gotts, the RJ National has become a great success on many levels,” he said.

“The course is a great asset for testing machinery, showcasing the products we manufacture and is a facility to demonstrate our environmental leadership
to distributors and customers. Hopefully our example serves as an inspiration – showing that creating and maintaining a sustainable golf course can
be good for golf and good for business.”

GEO’s Chief executive Jonathan Smith concluded saying they were delighted that the RJ National has been re-certified, representing as it does, sustainability
throughout their golf environment through a continued commitment to protect and enhance nature, while using resources efficiently and carefully and
working together with their community.

“Re-certification is a vital point of credibility for all eco-labelling, affirming the important ‘continued improvement’ principle that makes sustainability
a mindset and a journey, rather than a static level to achieve. This also demonstrates that GEO Certified® can celebrate the achievements
of all types of courses, from RJ National’s innovative short course to high-profile, internationally recognised facilities.”

GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in sustainable development
and corporate responsibility. GEO administers GEO Certified®, golf’s international ecolabel. For more information, please visit www.golfenvironment.org

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