Solar energy, generators fuelled by vegetable oil and a fleet of electric cars are driving the cleanest Open ever in 2021

How The Open Championship Is Going Green

As golf fans flocked to the first round of The Open this morning the sun shone brightly in an almost cloudless sky on the Kent coast, right on cue.

The sunshine at Royal St. George’s is great news; it brightens everyone’s day at the golf; it lights up the TV pictures, it will firm up the course and speed up the greens, it will ensure a good pay day for the ice-cream sellers, and also, for the first time this year, it will help to power the fleet of all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQ vehicles serving the championship.

At an innovative Sustainability Zone at Royal St. George’s, the fleet of electric vehicles – which produce zero local emissions – are being powered partly by solar energy, and partly by generators fuelled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a sustainable biodiesel.

Compared to fossil diesel, HVO can reduce generator emissions by up to 40 percent.

If you walk through the narrow, partly cobbled lanes of Sandwich – a model of preserved medieval Britain – you would never imagine the future of clean energy has arrived at the golf course. It’s a striking contrast.

“Mercedes-Benz and the R&A share the ambition to actively shape the future with sustainable innovations and new standards, both in golf and mobility,” says Bettina Fetzer of Mercedes-Benz, which is providing a fleet of more that 100 cars for The Open.

“We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of staging The Open and with our partners, continually looking at new ways to invest in cleaner energy and transport solutions for staging the Championship,” adds Phil Anderton, chief development officer at the R&A.

“We are aware of the challenges presented by climate change and so feel a real responsibility to play our part in reducing emissions while transitioning to low-carbon technologies such as those being used at Royal St George’s this year.”