2019 National Events Conference

The flagship industry conference for the Events & Festivals sector in Scotland
Embracing Innovation, Delivering Change


Monday 9 September

The Gleneagles Hotel

Jonathan Smith

Executive Director and Founder GEO Foundation

Jonathan Smith

For over twenty years Jonathan has dedicated his career to advancing sustainability in and through golf, and wider sport.

A geographer and graduate of the University of St Andrews, he led the environmental team at Scottish Golf before founding the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) in 2006 with the mission of helping golf succeed through sustainability, and become a leader in sustainable sport.

Over that time Jonathan has initiated and facilitated extensive international collaboration; researched and developed golf’s ‘sustainability agenda’; conceptualised practical and scalable solutions for grass roots clubs, new developments and events now adopted in over 75 countries; advocated widely at events and through media; and represented golf in the mainstream sustainability movement amongst governments, NGO’s and businesses.  He guides GEO Foundation’s purpose, strategy, knowledge, strategic partnerships and extension.

He has led GEO to become the only body in sport to meet the ISEAL Alliance membership criteria for sustainability standards, certification and reporting systems, joining peer groups such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council. He has also directly advised some of golf’s largest events including The Ryder Cup; The Open; European Tour; Solheim Cup and Olympic Golf.

Jonathan is a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and a Board member of the ISEAL Alliance.

He lives near Edinburgh with his wife and children, enjoys playing and watching many sports, including golf, and spending time in the great outdoors.


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