Viva Azteca, located in Playacar in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, is the first hotel in the country to achieve Green Globe 21 Certification. Since September 2002, the resort has been working towards achieving this certification and has done so by accomplishing all of the initiatives under the environmental action program as defined by the World Tourism Organisation, based on points agreed upon at the “Earth Summit” and current legislation in Mexico.
“We are very proud of Viva Azteca’s management, staff and guests for achieving the Green Globe 21 Certification for the property,” said Ettore Colussi, president of Viva Resorts. “Since 1999, the resort has actively pursued programs that promote environmental protection and preserve the natural environment that surrounds Viva Azteca, allowing our guests to experience the beauty of Playacar,” he added.
The Green Globe 21 standards are based on water conservation; energy conservation; conservation of the ecosystems; social and cultural development; the principles of reduce, re-use and recycle; and storage and use of chemical materials. The measures the resort undertook to meet these standards and achieve Green Globe 21 Certification include the following:
Creation of an environmental policy that outlines the resorts commitment towards environmentally-friendly actions; abiding by all Mexican laws and regulations; employing preferably local employees; working with local companies; and purchasing environmentally-friendly, local products.
Developing an Environment Administration System that focuses on environmental and social aspects and impacts; setting environmental and social targets; setting a plan of action of environmental procedures for each of the hotel’s departments to follow.
Creation of a plan of action for the use and conservation of water. To properly use and conserve water, the resort installed the following: new valves in the in-room bathrooms; tabs to control the number of gallons per minute that are distributed through the water faucets; water-saving tabs in each public bathroom; and water meters in the kitchen, laundry room, swimming pool and gardens. Guests were also encouraged to re-use bath and pool towels.
Creation of a plan of action for the use and conservation of energy. To achieve this goal Viva Azteca installed timers in all of the air conditioners, jacuzzis and pumps so these items would temporarily shut off when they were not being utilised. The resort also installed low consumption light bulbs and encouraged all employees to reduce energy consumption.
Creation of a plan of action for the conservation of the ecosystem. This including the use of native flora and fauna species; cooperation with sea turtle conservation organisations; and underwater conservation by the Viva Diving Center.
To meet the goals of social and cultural development, Viva Azteca trained, motivated and encouraged employees to be environmentally responsible and suggested that they develop their own environmental initiatives as well. The resort also provided suggestions to their suppliers and contractors so they could make environmental improvements within their own businesses. Viva Azteca worked in conjunction with various local organisations to organise campaigns to clean neighbourhoods and beaches and advised all customers about the resort’s environmental protection efforts.
Viva Azteca’s reduce, re-use and recycle principles included the elimination of the consumption of disposable products (cups, spoons, napkins, plastic bags); use of recycled inkjets; creation of compost from kitchen organic wastes into garden fertilizer; and separation of oils, plastics, aluminum and paper for recycling.
The resort also initiated special procedures to reduce and handle chemical products.
As a result of these environmentally-friendly actions, Viva Azteca has saved over US$25,000 in its first year and as a result the resort has applied this savings towards expenses incurred for environmentally-friendly programs and equipment over the past year.
Beginning in January 2004, Viva Azteca’s sister property, Viva Maya, which is also located in Playacar, Mexico, will begin efforts towards achieving Green Globe 21 Certification.
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