Sandals Resorts International has underlined its sustainability credentials once again by launching a new environmental management programme.
‘Sandals Earthguard powered by EarthCheck’ has been designed to reduce the company’s environmental footprint, improve bottom line efficiencies, and increase the benefits host communities receive as a result of sustainable tourism.
SRI has strengthened their existing partnership with EarthCheck - the world’s leading environmental management, benchmarking and certification company – in order to bring about this significant initiative.
EarthCheck was established in 2000 and developed the Green Globe Benchmarking Standard, with which Sandals was previously affiliated.
In early 2010 EarthCheck undertook an aggressive upgrade of its science and software and launched its own standard.
This resulted in the alignment of EarthCheck with globally recognised environmental criteria and saw many in the tourism industry switch across from Green Globe to EarthCheck for certification.
“The partnership SRI has with EarthCheck provides our group with access to a set of tools and data that is the very best there is out there,” explained Adam Stewart, chief executive officer for Sandals Resorts International.
“With EarthCheck science at the heart of the Sandals Earthguard programme, our management team will be able to meet the more complex and demanding reporting needs of a new carbon economy and have better insight into the operational efficiencies of each resort.
“Sandals Earthguard allows us to take practical, meaningful action and we believe it will come to be seen by the industry as the most comprehensive and credible environmental programme in the industry,” he continued.
Sandals Resorts was last year recognised as the World’s Leading All-inclusive Company by the prestigious World Travel Awards.
Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple
In order to provide ultimate transparency, all Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple properties will undergo regular, third party auditing.
This will assess the standard of operational practices employed in areas such as consumption of natural resources, waste minimisation, use of sustainable building techniques and the effectiveness of sponsored community projects.
“There’s an increasing demand for transparency when it comes to sustainability,” explained EarthCheck chief executive Stewart Moore.
“This pressure isn’t just coming from guests and suppliers, but also from asset owners and investment funds.
They expect companies to be reporting on sustainability – not just financials – and having an impact. We have worked with Sandals for more than a decade and the company has consistently demonstrated its forward thinking in this area.”
In the past, the environmental management systems developed by Sandals have been adopted by governments and organisations internationally, and resulted in a long list of industry innovation awards.
This is because they are an early adopter and have a reputation for innovation.
Back in 1998, Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa become the first All Inclusive Resort to achieve what is now known as EarthCheck Certification.
Soon after, the remaining 13 Sandals resorts and four Beaches resorts followed suit and achieved certification. Today, Sandals Negril holds the Platinum level of certification; the highest possible achievement.
Sandals Earthguard will also deliver productive synergies with SRI’s philanthropic arm, The Sandals Foundation; an organisation involved in a wide range of community, educational and environmental initiatives throughout the Caribbean.
“There’s a broader partnership in play here,” concluded Stewart, “with educational programs for schools, capacity building and community training all being part of wider social programs that Sandals Earthguard powered by EarthCheck will help us deliver.”
A case study relating to Sandals la Toc achievements can be viewed here.
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