Rory McIlroy has revealed a sense of guilt descended upon him over his carbon footprint when he flew home on a private jet after winning in China.
The Northern Irishman, 32, is in Dubai this week for the final DP World Tour Championship under the moniker of the European Tour.
It has been an interesting year for McIlroy, who missed the cut at the Masters and slipped outside the top 10 in the official world rankings. He won at Quail Hollow and most recently captured his 20th PGA Tour title at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas. An exhausting and disappointing Ryder Cup reduced him to tears.
He spoke with the media in Dubai this morning and talked on a number of subjects that included his own game, the rebranding to the DP World Tour and how Greg Norman's involvement with the Saudis has only "hardened his disapproval" for breakaway leagues.
After COP26 convened in Glasgow, McIlroy was asked about golf not doing enough to tackle sustainability issues. McIlroy, of course, has a global schedule as he competes at the elite level. The question reminded him of the time he won the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
"Two years ago, after I won in China, I flew back home privately and it was just me on the plane," McIlroy said. "I just got this massive sense of guilt come over me, just because this can't be good and all that sort of stuff.
"So we ended up reaching out to the GEO Foundation, who do a lot of great sustainability things in golf, and that was the only sort of organisation that we knew of that I guess could help us go in the right direction.
"I wouldn't self-profess to be an eco warrior, but I'm someone that doesn't want to damage the environment in any way, so how can I make my travel around the world neutral, how can I neutralise what I do?
"And they came up with a few different ways that I can do that. So on top of that I pay to fly private, I pay quite a bit more on top of that to make sure I'm carbon neutral by the end of the year.
"It's something that I have a conscience about and I take it seriously, especially when you see some of these weather events that are happening. I live in a part of the world where hurricanes are very prevalent, and becoming more and more prevalent as the years go on."
He added: "I think we can all play our part in some way or another. I certainly don't think it's something that I've talked to many of the players about really. But just from my conscience and my mind, I know that when I do travel and I travel privately, that I'm not doing it to the detriment of the world that we live in."