TROY, New York – Audubon International, the environmentally focused non-profit organization offering members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play, has announced the addition of a new Signature Sanctuary Platinum Certification level.

Signature Sanctuary Certification is specifically designed for properties undergoing renovation or new development with the goal of ensuring sustainable design, construction, and long-term management of golf courses, resorts, and communities, and has traditionally been offered on three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. 

The Platinum Certification level offers the opportunity to encompass an entire resort under one certification umbrella – Signature Sanctuary for golf course and maintenance structures and systems and Green Lodging and Green Hospitality for the clubhouse, and if there’s lodging onsite, the resort aspect as well.

“The Signature Sanctuary Platinum Certification level provides an opportunity to have an all-encompassing certification for a property,” says Kat Welch, Director, Signature Sanctuary Certification. “The nice part about Signature Platinum level is that it is a single title, encompassing multiple certifications, which is easier for the public or the client to understand and appreciate.”

Directed by Audubon International COO Fred Realbuto, the Green Lodging and Green Hospitality programs currently have about 130 full-service Certified resort members. By blending elements of the Lodging/Hospitality curricula with Signature’s property development requirements, Platinum Certification gives qualifying properties more options to meet their overall sustainability goals.

“If a resort is established and operating, but undergoing a renovation to only the golf course, it can still be a candidate for Platinum,” Welch says, “because the Green Lodging and Green Hospitality Certifications were designed for existing properties. If it’s a totally new construction, we look for the criteria to be built into the architectural plan.”

For golf course grounds and structures including cart barns and maintenance buildings, Platinum Certification adds a new slate of requirements to its already comprehensive Gold level. For instance, native plantings must occupy 90% of out-of-play golf course acreage, rather than Gold Level’s 75%.

Welch adds that The Signature Sanctuary process as a whole is currently going through an update, including the list of criteria handed out at enrollment and necessary for certification. “We’re working with American Society of Golf Course Architects on revising and expanding it in certain areas. We are launching it later this year.”

But for properties looking for a complete certification solution, the Green Hospitality and Green Lodging elements truly set Signature Sanctuary Platinum apart in Audubon International’s suite of Certification programs.

For information about joining AI’s Signature Sanctuary Certification please contact Kat Welch at

To learn more about how your local golf course, community or resort can gain recognition for your environmental efforts or to learn how to expand your initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit


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