The initiative will be supported by the Ladies Golf Union, LPGA and Ladies European Tour, together with players in this year's Championship, as well as IMG and Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Ricoh already support a number of projects around the world, including Seeds for Africa, which works with communities in Africa to develop sustainable farming programmes. GIFT will build on this very successful project by bringing the golfing community into the environmental arena.
The GIFT initiative will run on the Championship website www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com and will offer visitors the opportunity to pledge their support by offering to reduce their own CO2 footprint. Ricoh have pledged to plant a tree for every ten visitors that take part in the initiative, plus everyone will enter a free prize draw where the winner will plant a fully grown tree at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, together with Paula Creamer during the Championship.
Ricoh will again plant a tree for every birdie, five trees for every eagle and one thousand trees for every albatross during this year's Championship in their support of the Plant a Tree for Africa campaign. Last year over 1,800 trees were planted and the players will be looking to increase that total this year.
Ricoh global ambassador Paula Creamer commented, "The GIFT Initiative by Ricoh is a fantastic way to start reducing your carbon footprint and shows how you can directly contribute to planting trees in Africa and making our world a greener place. The GIFT website has made me very aware of all the little things my family and I can all do to make a difference, such as changing the light bulbs and riding my bike instead of jumping in the car. Obviously my favourite colour is very much still pink but with the things I have learnt from being involved with the GIFT initiative, I would say green is now running a close second!"
Steve Saito, COO at Ricoh Europe says, "At Ricoh sustainable business is a part of our DNA, touching every aspect of our company. We focus on reducing our environmental impact, while remaining a customer driven organisation. Our partnership with the Ricoh Women's British Open is an ideal opportunity to increase environmental awareness amongst our customers, partners, employees and golf fans."
Ricoh Women's British Open will be played at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, 30th July to 2nd August.
For further information please visit www.ricohwomensbritishopen/gift
DANA GORDON: This year the RICOH Women's British Open has gone green with the GIFT initiative, GIFT stands for Green Initiatives For Tomorrow, an initiative hosted by the championship on the championship website, and it encourages people to make changes in their everyday lives to reduce their carbon footprints. Paula, you are the RICOH global ambassador and are involved with this program. RICOH has pledged to plant a tree for every 10 visitors that take part in the initiative on the website, plus everyone who participates on the website will enter a drawing where the winner will plant a tree at Royal Lytham together with you.
If you wouldn't mind talking about this program and what it means to be involved.
PAULA CREAMER: No, I think it's great that RICOH is doing this. It's wonderful that I joined the RICOH team, first of all. I'm excited to be an ambassador for them. They're a wonderful company, especially showing what they're going to be able to do on Wednesday just shows how great they truly are. Like I said, I'm going to be excited planting the tree. I've never really done anything like this before. It's wonderful to be a part of. I think it's a great initiative for a lot of companies to start doing and looking at.