Green Globe today announced certification of the resort Half Moon on the northern coast of Jamaica. The resort achieved 82 percent compliance against the Green Globe Standard for Sustainable Travel and Tourism.
With a comprehensive Sustainability Management Plan in place, Half Moon was able to lower energy costs significantly, through replacing light bulbs with low-energy light bulbs, irrigating the property with more than 130,000 gallons of treated waste water per day, and implementing an excellent midnight light reduction policy - at night the resort uses only 15-20 percent of the lighting in place during the day. Half Moon´s new management company, RockResorts, supports all sustainable efforts through training and assistance in engineering, IT, and various other departments.
Aram Zerunian, General Manager of Half Moon, said: “We are thrilled to receive this mark of distinction, because it represents the commitment of our board of directors and management to implement sound environmental practices. More importantly, it represents the commitment of our staff to implement the small measures, enforce larger policies, and reach out to the community.”
Through Half Moon´s community outreach program, the luxury resort has completed several environmental projects, such as the staging of an annual symposium and poster competition in recognition of Earth Day. The resort also partners with the local Barrett Town All Age School to carry out the “Pack for a Purpose” program, which aims to solicit donations of school and medical supplies. Most of the school´s 330 students are not able to afford enough school materials through their parents; pencils are often cut in half to be shared, and the school, owned and operated by the government of Jamaica, greatly lacks resources to provide missing supplies.
Green Globe Certification’s CEO, Guido Bauer, said: “The staff at Half Moon really takes ownership of the Sustainability Management Plan. The ongoing effort to push the envelope and find and create opportunities for improvement is obvious throughout all departments. One example is that Half Moon ingeniously re-purposes and reuses waste materials as art supplies in the Kids’ Club. Saw dust from the hotel´s own furniture shop is used in landscaping, to produce dolls for local children´s homes, and as horse bedding in the hotel´s Equestrian Center.”
Half Moon employs skilled artisans from the local community in its on-site nursery, carpentry, and furniture shop, as well as upholstery and drapery center to manufacture the antique furniture used throughout the property. In addition, around 90 percent of groceries are purchased from local providers.
Half Moon is also the only resort in the Caribbean that features a natural Dolphin Lagoon on site where guests can come face-to-face and swim with the two resident Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. Trained handlers provide a detailed orientation and education session, introducing participants to the world of the dolphins.
Half Moon´s Equestrian Center has a pony park and offers horseback riding along the beach where guests can also swim with their favorite horses.