Memorable hospitality can be green19 January 2021
/ A Caribbean resort is the first hotel to win the UN award for climate action /
“If we do not stop global warming, guests will need snorkels to see our world-famous beach!” Ewald Biemans, founder and CEO of the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, repeats these words often, and with good reason: the resort stands on Eagle Beach, the widest beach on this Caribbean island, but with sea level rise predictions, the turquoise waters could be lapping at the resort’s backdoors in 20-30 years. The Caribbeans are on the front lines of the climate crisis: barely above sea level, and with a tropical climate, the islands are extremely vulnerable to global warming. That’s why Biemans built his resort around sustainability. “We are not in the tourism business; we are in the nature business,” he says.
The results of this commitment are evident and have been recognized: in October 2020, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort became the first-ever hotel in the world to win the prestigious Global United Nations 2020 Climate Action Award for Climate Neutral Now. These UN awards have been assigned for 10 years, and past recipients include global giants and household names such as Apple and Infosys, and projects backed by major banks. By giving the award to a hotel, the UN is signaling to the world the importance for the hospitality sector (which represents more than 10% of the world’s GDP) to combat climate change.
The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort’s journey to sustainability began with a single guest raising the issue of disposable plastic cups. The seed was planted, and soon after the resort banned single-use plastic and Styrofoam, long before it was ever discussed in mainstream media. Soon, every resort project was more carefully reviewed, and a full-time sustainability and certifications manager was added to the staff. Thanks to…
Photo Courtesy: Bacuti & Tara Beach Resort
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