Written by Federico Moreno-Nickerson, ALG Development
The hospitality industry joined the global movement toward sustainability well over a decade ago upon recognizing the long-term financial gains that green operations can affect. Today, water and energy as well as waste reductions are the primary focus for most hotel properties. In fact, the 2015 study Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry, the most recent paper on the subject from Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, found that certain water-efficient systems like greywater recycling can cut as much as 23 percent of a hotel’s total water consumption.
ALG Development recognizes the impact that such practices can have on our resorts’ bottom lines and we make them a priority. Our practices are in lockstep with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s sustainability priorities, so we focus our endeavors on counteracting climate change, jobs, skills and employment.
Last year, our efforts earned six more resorts certification with the Rainforest Alliance. Today, a total of 30 AMResorts’ properties across Mexico and the Caribbean are certified by the non-profit organization. These resorts commit to going green at various levels. Among the newly certified properties, the sustainability initiatives at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort have been so effectual that the resort has further received Travellife Gold accreditation.
Across all 30 of these Rainforest Alliance certified properties, ALG has expanded its sustainability programing through sustainable management planning and the employment of local vendors, to coordinating beach clean-ups and diminishing water consumption through recycling among other strategies.
At Dreams Las Mareas in Costa Rica, water waste goes to a treatment plant where it is processed through active mud for appropriate reuse. The treated water is used in the property’s hydro system, which waters its 80,000 square meters of green space. To date, the resort has saved more than 125,000 cubic meters of water and more than US$324,000.
The Cost of Sustainability
Sustainability is not unattainable for any resort, but quite the contrary. It can be a matter of small steps taken as part of a long-term, overarching strategy because it is the aggregate result of a long series of actions. But as energy costs continue to increase around the globe, we can invest in light bulbs that use less wattage and provide more lumens. Yes, they are more expensive than traditional bulbs, but they come with a clear long-term cost benefit. Rainwater collection can also be used toward green space irrigation, as water too is becoming an increasingly scarce and expensive commodity. Recently enacted energy reform legislation can also offset certain sustainable investments such as Mexico’s reform on providing credits at market rates for the excess and transferable energy generated by solar panels.
ALG experts can share more sustainability best practices – reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Hotel sustainability comes with the added benefit of positive public image and internal communications. Affecting positive change for everyone is a means of motivating staff and championing the dedication of those who participated in specific green projects.
Communicating successful sustainability practices to guests, past, present and potential, is really a matter of reputation management. As the Cornell study cites, “green operations still do not override considerations of price and convenience in selecting a hotel.” The study also notes that environmentally friendly programs and operations don’t diminish guest satisfaction either. Releasing baby sea turtles back into the ocean is an annual event that has generated repeat business at Now Jade Riviera Cancun and Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun.
Now more than ever, guests expect sustainability to be standard feature of the property just as they expect excellent service and WiFi. Younger generations of North American travelers are placing greater emphasis on sustainability and environmental stewardship and their preferences are likely to signal more companies to engage in green business initiatives.
With that objective in mind, ALG Development will continue to build upon current sustainability at our resorts. We’re confident that green initiatives will continue to compliment the revenues generated by our hotel management structure and our efficiently managed chain supply.
Whether your commitment is large or small, the bottom line is that going green can increase your bottom line. Connect with one of ALG Development’s experts at email@example.com to learn more.