We’ve Received the Green Key Award….Again!
By Michelle da Silva Richmond
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is an environmental winner yet again after being awarded for the second year in a row, the coveted Green Key Award. The prestigious accolade is based on the company’s commitment to the environment and the promotion of sustainable tourism. The internationally acclaimed eco-label designation is offered to some 2,900 hotels in 57 countries and is the leading reward in the tourism sector for these initiatives.
Founded in Denmark in 1994, the Green Key has become the hallmark for tourist facilities and is one of the fastest growing initiatives in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean. Their focus is on contributing to the prevention of climate change and promoting sustainable tourism by employing best practices and changing the behavior of everyone involved in tourism. This includes guests and collaborators as well as local authorities and communities with an eye toward protecting the global environment.
Rigorous Requisites –
Our resort received the distinction following a stringent evaluation process, which involved our top management team and department heads, as well as an environmental manager in charge of ensuring compliance with established criteria. The criteria – evaluated annually – includes allocation of environmental policies, energy, solid waste generation and the measurement of the carbon footprint.
Vital to this designation is the participation of our employees who have been consistently trained in Good Environmental Practices, which includes several initiatives, such as the recycling of towels and sheets, thus allowing the hotel to conserve water, energy and chemicals. The classification and handling of solid waste with the use of containers to separate plastics, paper and metals, as well as organic and inorganic products is also part of the process. The recovery of recyclable materials allows the return of raw materials to big industries for re-use, rather than exploiting natural resources.
Ongoing Environmental Initiatives –
Throughout the year Grand Fiesta Americana Cancun is involved in several other environmental initiatives, many of which have garnered awards by Government Agencies:
- Collection of vegetable oil: In 2018, the kitchen staff collected nearly 2,000 gallons of burned vegetable oil, a main ingredient in the production of biodiesel fuel. This program is conducted in cooperation with UGA Soluciones.
- Recycling of items such as paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, computers, cartridges, chargers and such, yielded 100 tons of recyclable items, earning us recognition by several Government Ecology Agencies. Resort staff participates in ongoing training in these procedures. This program is overseen by the Municipality of Benito Juarez.
- Conservation of nature is also ongoing. Every year, in late September, the resort participates in International Beach Clean-Up Day to ensure that the ecology of the resort’s beach is maintained and the natural habitat is preserved.
- The Turtle Protection Program has resulted in the rescue of three marine turtles and the birth of 260 turtles throughout the years.
- The Energy Awareness Incentive is an ongoing training program to instruct staff on conserving energy by turning off lights, computers and other electrical devices as well as ovens, gas ranges etc. Employees are also encouraged to reduce the use of soap, shampoo, paper goods and water, while kitchen staff receives ongoing training about conserving water, as well as food.
Earth Hour –
- On March 30, the resort will participate in “Earth Hour,” an environmental global event organized by the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international, non-governmental organization founded in 1961 to preserve the wilderness and “reduce humanity’s footprint on the environment.”
- Starting as a symbolic, lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassrootsmovement to promote the environment.
- Every year, hundreds of millions of people around the globe turn off their lights for one designated hour to showcase their commitment to fight climate change.
- In keeping with this tradition, the resort will dim the lights in some of the corridors and exterior areas from 8:30 – 9: 30 p.m. on March 30.
- In addition, special activities will be planned during this time and children will be invited by the pool director to create illuminated figures, while guests will be given little candles and encouraged to participate in a group photo to honor the occasion.
- The celebration of Earth Hour encompasses 7,000 cities in 162 countries on all seven continents, with 154 multi-national corporations participating.