Aubrey McCormick 

We took the liberty to sit down with Aubrey McCormick and learn more about her ideas on sustainability and where she sees the industry going. We also asked about her move to Washington state and living in Seattle. Aubrey McCormick joined SBC this year as our new VP of Business Strategy. She is a thought leader of sustainability in the Golf industry, writing the first CSR report in the history of the sport and collaborating with industry leaders to drive impact. Aubrey has 10+ years of strategy work, including assessments, CSR, implementation, and partnership development. She’s a trusted partner of the Green Sports Alliance, World Golf Foundation, Renewable Now TV Network, and Pet Sustainability Coalition to name a few.


SBC: What are you most excited about now living in Seattle?

AM: I’m excited to experience everything the PNW has to offer, especially the beautiful mountains and spending as much time outdoors as possible! Living in Colorado for the past couple of years, I definitely had my fair share of the mountains, but I’m excited to see a different part of the country and also spend time on the water this summer.


SBC: What is your favorite golf course in WA State?

AM: Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, WA – its beautiful, I love playing that course.


SBC: What made you want to get into sustainability work? Are there instances that sparked your passion for this work?

AM: I’ve cared about the planet and animals since I was a kid, but it was really after spending ten years playing golf that triggered me to leave the sport and go into environmental non-profit work. I saw the gap in efforts around recycling, composting, top-down leadership, and resources for golf courses to implement deeper sustainable solutions. After speaking with the pioneers in the industry, many who were coming from a scientific perspective, I was encouraged to speak out and started to create opportunities for the golf industry to work harder around their sustainability goals.


SBC: Working in the sustainability sector and also a former professional golfer, where do you see the largest environmental and social opportunities for the golf world?

AM: The industry has a strong reach into many business sectors, local communities, and with individuals looking to play the game. I believe the golf industry would benefit from an overall strategic plan on how each association, tour, and industry “leader” can come together and set goals toward climate action. Right now, the industry is reactive and protecting their brands, which is understandable. However, if the industry as a whole, set a Call-To-Action to lower their carbon emissions, it would drive inclusiveness, innovation, and encourage future generations that golf is dedicated to making a difference.


SBC: What other industries do you think can lead the charge on this work?

AM: Individuals with large media platforms and extended reach. Change happens from the ground level within local communities, however professional athletes, world leaders, actors/actresses, and innovators have the financial means to truly invest in this work and support ground level work while tying it to the global movement around climate action.

If I had to choose industries, I would say the Sports industry which is estimate to reach $73.5B in revenue in 2019, the Pet industry ($63B), Cosmetics ($2B). Each of these industries has a direct connection to consumers and can better position themselves as sustainable leaders.


SBC: What are your hopes for the sustainability industry.

AM: I’d love to see more leaders open their networks and collaborate to educate/reach as many people as possible, breaking down competitive silos, and driving cross sector partnerships that impact communities across the globe. The more we understand this is a collaborative effort, the more opportunity to develop strong supportive programs for our future generations.


SBC: What are you most excited about for your future in this industry? With SBC?

AM: To work with major brand leaders across the globe and integrate solutions that drive impact toward climate action. My goal with SBC is to enhance the brand and expand into key markets where our expertise is needed. I’m excited about engaging with new partners and bringing our forward-thinking approach to scale.

SBC: If you have one piece of advice for companies just starting their journey, what would it be?

AM: Align your goals to a larger strategy that is implementable over time. Many companies get discouraged or their sustainability programs fall flat because a strategy isn’t put in place from the beginning. It’s much easier to implement programs when your entire team is on board, and they understand how each of their departments play a role in the process. Employees are Ambassadors, they just need to understand the overall journey their company wants to take them on.


Follow Aubrey on LinkedIn for more thought leadership and other sustainability trends! Also follow SBC on social media for the latest news, events and trends in the sustainability industry.