Sustainability certification and “green” initiatives are helping hotel chains like Sandals Resorts and Saunders Group Hotel save on valuable energy and water resources, while helping their bottom lines as more companies and consumers consider a hotel’s sustainability as part of their selection criteria.
Sandals Resorts International (SRI), for example, is partnering with EarthCheck to upgrade all of its Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts properties in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas to the EarthCheck Program for sustainability certification.
A spate of Asian-Pacific resorts including the Carlson Hotels also made the move to certify their resorts under the EarthCheck Program.
The latest partnership adds to SRI’s green credentials, which includes the first all-inclusive resort — Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa — to earn the Green Globe Certification in 1998. The remaining 13 Sandals Resorts and four Beaches Resorts all earned the award within three years.
In 2008, Sandals Negril achieved the highest level of certification (Platinum), becoming the first and only hotel in the world to reach this level, according to the company. The chain’s sustainability practices have earned SRI an average resource savings of 40 percent for water, 55 to 60 percent for waste and 40 percent for energy.
In addition, sustainability practices help the resort’s bottom line as more conference organizers and planners target venues with eco-friendly practices. As an example, Nestle will no longer book events with conference venues that don’t have sustainability policies in place.
Meanwhile, the Comfort Inn & Suites Logan International Airport, a Saunders Group Hotel, is almost done with its $2 million eco renovation that entails more than 90 green practices.
Materials, fabrics and finishes used in the renovation were chosen for their highest sustainability footprint and lowest environmental impact, and the property’s landscaping was designed to use 95 percent indigenous plants and trees that need less water. The project also used low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and Green Seal certified cleaners and air fresheners.
During the renovation, nearly 80 percent of all debris removed from the property was recycled.
Other green practices include in-room recycling bins, food waste composting, a pool ionizing system that eliminates the need for chlorine and a fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) shuttles. The hotel also installed motion sensor thermostats to reduce energy use and costs, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in public areas, Energy Star equipment, and double-paned low E windows to conserve energy and lower costs.