|Sandals Resorts going greener with EarthCheck|
|Thursday, 04 August 2011 10:06|
Sandals Resorts International has partnered with the developers of the Green Globe environmental standards to create its own programme to ensure that 14 Sandals resorts and four Beaches resorts are as green as they can be.
“Sandals Earthguard powered by EarthCheck” has been designed to reduce the company’s environmental footprint, improve bottom line efficiencies, and increase benefits to resort locations through sustainable tourism.
“The partnership SRI has with EarthCheck provides our group with access to a set of tools and data that is the very best there is out there,” explained Adam Stewart, chief executive officer for Sandals Resorts International. “With EarthCheck science at the heart of the Sandals Earthguard programme, our management team will be able to meet the more complex and demanding reporting needs of a new carbon economy and have better insight into the operational efficiencies of each resort.”
EC3 Global and the Australian government’s Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre developed the EarthCheck scientific benchmarking and reporting tools in 1997 that have been used to assess Green Globe certification.
In 2010 EarthCheck undertook an aggressive upgrade of its science and software and launched its own standard, and many in the tourism industry have switched from Green Globe to EarthCheck for certification.
Today, the EarthCheck Program is a standalone product, independent of Green Globe and is the largest environmental management system used by the travel and tourism industry for the benchmarking and certification of their operational practices.
Back in 1998, Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa became the first all inclusive resort to achieve what is now known as EarthCheck Certification. Soon after, the remaining Sandals and Beaches resorts achieved certification. Today, Sandals Negril holds the platinum level of certification — the highest possible achievement.
In order to provide ultimate transparency, all Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple properties will undergo regular, third party auditing. This will assess the standard of operational practices employed in areas such as consumption of natural resources, waste minimisation, use of sustainable building techniques and the effectiveness of sponsored community projects.
“There’s an increasing demand for transparency when it comes to sustainability,” explained EarthCheck CEO Stewart Moore. “This pressure isn’t just coming from guests and suppliers, but also from asset owners and investment funds.
“They expect companies to be reporting on sustainability — not just financials — and having an impact. We have worked with Sandals for more than a decade and the company has consistently demonstrated its forward thinking in this area.”
Communities where the resorts are located will benefit in many ways from the new programme.
“There’s a broader partnership in play here, with educational programs for schools, capacity building and community training all being part of wider social programs that ‘Sandals Earthguard powered by EarthCheck’ will help us deliver,” Stewart said.
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