From this month, seven resorts in the Cayman Islands are piloting a new initiative, being put in place jointly by the destination and its private tourism sector, to bring about improved environmental performance within the industry.The Sunshine Suites and Cobalt Coast on Grand Cayman, Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman Beach Resort and Pirates Point on Little Cayman, and Brac Reef Resort on Cayman Brac, are all pilot properties for the scheme.
The first phase of the Cayman Islands Environmental Project for the Tourism Sector (CEPTS), which commences this month and is due to last for 18 months, will focus on establishing environmental management systems for the resorts. Audits will be carried out on occupancy, water and electricity consumption, and wastewater generation, with performance results compared to industry benchmarks. Specific action points will be drawn up for the properties, with the ultimate goal of achieving Green Globe 21 Certification.
Additionally, Phase One will seek to establish island-wide certification for Little Cayman, which is often selected as a destination in its own right, particularly among the dive community and those seeking complete escapism. Little Cayman is already regarded as a pristine and unspoilt gem within the Caribbean, with a population of less than 150, few cars and hotels, healthy coral reefs and a thriving population of endangered birds and reptiles.
Further phases of the CEPTS will see the ‘greening’ of other tourism-related sectors and business such as restaurants, tour operators, watersports operators and attractions. Steps are already being taken by members of the private sector; for example, Caybrew - the Cayman Islands locally brewed beer - has already instigated its own ‘think local, drink local’ campaign and incentivises bars and restaurants to return bottles to its own high tech recycling plant