The Sustainability Hat-Trick

How integrating the three pillars of sustainability in to your decision making will make you a winner every time.

A History Lesson
In 1835 an English Cricketer by the name of Heathfield Harman "HH" Stephenson was the first to take three wickets in three balls. Later HH Stephenson was awarded a hat for his achievement and the term “Hat-Trick” was coined. Since then the term has been adopted to explain significant achievements that come in threes, like three goals in Hockey, Football/Soccer, or as in golf three consecutive wins of the same Tour event constitutes a “Hat-Trick”.

In March of 1987 the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations agreed that the definition of “Sustainable Development” is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Later in 2005 at the World Summit held in New York City, it was agreed upon by the participating nations that to attain sustainable development it would require reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands. This became known as the “Three Pillars” of sustainability, but also referred to as the 3 P’s: People, Planet, Profit.

Image Source 

Integrated - It’s not just for Pest Management anymore!
The “reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands” means that development, or in our case individual projects or products, must account for each of these areas. A single focused solution is a temporary response to a problem and is based on a system of cheap and easily accessible fuels, materials and labor. This is the difference between “sustainability” and single focused methods of making something just “green”, “cheap” or “aesthetically pleasing”. The old linear decision making process of “I have one problem and therefore need one solution” does not take into account the effect on the inputs and outputs of the 3 P’s. At this time in our game, economy and environment, we need a major win. I believe that sustainable planning can deliver us this win.

So what are the dimensions of the Cultural, Economic and Environmental functions related to a golf course?

Cultural Dimensions of Golf Course Management

  • To provide recreational opportunities
  • To make golf accessible
  • To promote the rules of golf
  • To make golf fun, playable and provide advancement opportunities
  • To embrace the historic cultural aspects of the game
  • To provide a venue and activity for community events and functions
  • To provide a social venue for special occasions (banquets and weddings)
  • To preserve and protect the health of peoples

Economic Dimensions of Golf Course Management

  • To provide employment opportunities
  • To provide services to local businesses (catering, conferences and banquets)
  • To use the services of other local companies to advertise, maintain and supply the golf course
  • To provide a fundraising opportunity for local charities
  • To generate electricity, fuels, materials for local use
  • To increase efficient use of resources
  • To reduce overhead costs

Environmental Dimensions of Golf Course Management

  • To provide functional habitat and embrace biodiversity
  • To contribute to the naturally occurring water cycle (recharge groundwater reserves, direct high flows, preserve low and seasonal flows)
  • To filter water and improve overall water quality
  • To sequester carbon and preserve air quality
  • To cool surface temperatures and reduce the heat island effect of urban areas
  • To process and use local green waste products

It is with the integration of these three dimensions that I believe golf can be a truly “sustainable” sport.


And just for the fun of it, here's a game every Leaf fan remembers featuring the "Greatest" Hat-Tricker of them all, #99. 


I attended a seminar recently that discussed the term Sustainability, but somehow your description is simpler and felt more complete.
Do you mind if I share it on my blog

Hi mynormas, yes you can repost. Thanks!