Five destinations, and five properties comprising 15 individual hotels managed by Palladium Hotel Group have been recognised for their commitment to sustainability by global tourism advisory firm EarthCheck.
Properties in the portfolio include;
- Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, Mexico (Certified Gold)
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, Jamaica (Certified Gold)
- Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa – Dominican Republic (Certified Gold)
- Grand Palladium Imbassai Resort & Spa – Brazil (Certified Silver)
- Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort & Spa – Mexico (Certified Gold)
With a mandate to help local communities share the wealth of natural resources around them while building resilience to the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and resource conflicts, Palladium is known for their multi-stakeholder approach to governing natural resources.
During more than a decade of membership in the EarthCheck program, Palladium properties – many of which include multiple hotels within a larger development – have demonstrated a significant long-term commitment to benchmarking their performance in key areas.
These include water, waste and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, occupational health and safety, cultural considerations, risk management, community contributions and the use of chemicals through the MyEarthCheck cloud software. Each Palladium property has undergone annual independent audits which verify the results of their data.
Combined, the resorts have independently audited data confirming total savings valued at more than US$10,000,000.
How did they do it?
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa demonstrated a 97.8% reduction in waste sent to landfill between 2011-2016. Waste management strategies for recycling and reusing materials in the resort include composting green waste and detailed separation of wastes for recycling.
Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort & Spa saw a 64.9% reduction, and Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa had a 69.3% reduction in waste sent to landfill. Both of these properties utilise significant waste sorting and separation strategies to ensure as much waste is recycled as possible.
Grand Palladium Imbassaí Resort & Spa reduced waste sent to landfill by 47.1%, by increasing recycling and composting strategies, such as composting eggshells and coffee along with other kitchen wastes.
Learnings: Time-tested strategies still work! Composting, sorting and separation for recycling can make a huge impact on a hotel or resort’s total waste sent to landfill. Increasingly, tourism brands are looking towards zero-waste models such as the one being pioneered in Bali.
Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort & Spa has achieved a 44.7% reduction in potable water use through a management program which includes sourcing water from authorised wells, treating wastewater onsite and using it to irrigate green areas of the property.
Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa has invested in staff training regarding water efficiency and reuse, after installing low-flow faucets and programs to reuse towels and sheets where possible, resulting in a 31.3% decline in potable water use since joining the EarthCheck program.
EarthCheck’s trademark ‘Zero Leak’ program which trains staff to identify and act to prevent leaks on a daily and weekly basis has been instrumental in the 13.7 reduction of potable water use by Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa.
Learnings: Staff involvement is a vital part of any sustainability efforts—they must be involved and understand the motivation and risks/rewards involved.
A staff engagement program to stimulate interest in energy efficiency among employees has been an incredible force in the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort & Spa achieving a 46.5% reduction in energy consumption. Energy saving light bulbs and regular preventative maintenance are also key factors.
The Grand Palladium Imbassi Resort & Spa has shown a 14.3% reduction in energy consumption.
Learnings: Large, 5-star properties should not assume that it is ‘too hard’ or ‘too expensive’ to achieve energy savings. It can be done and the payoff for the environment and in financial savings makes it worth the effort.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa was recently awarded the Dominican Republic Government “Cleaner Production” for being the first hotel to convert to the use of environmentally friendly refrigerants.
Grand Palladium Imbassaí Resort & Spa has shown the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with a 14.5% reduction since joining EarthCheck, and Grand Palladium and Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa has also experienced a downward trend with an 8.9% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, after installing solar panels onsite..
Learnings: GHG emissions are fast becoming a key sustainability indicator, with talk of ‘Carbon Budgets’ being set by many countries and industries. No hotel or resort will ever reduce their GHG Emissions without positive, pro-active steps.
EarthCheck Founder and CEO Mr Stewart Moore said the achievements placed the Palladium within a relatively small segment of the tourism industry who could genuinely quantify their claims of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
“EarthCheck Certified is by far the tourism industry’s most scientifically rigorous benchmarking program, backed up by independent audits of operational performance, and our members cannot achieve Certification without doing the hard yards,” Mr Moore said.
“We believe what’s good for the planet can also be good for business, and we are thrilled to release such positive data-based evidence of cost and resource savings for Palladium,” he said.
Rebeca García – Quality, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Director Palladium Hotels Group said EarthCheck Certified membership provided access to incredible knowledge, resources and advice, empowered staff and helped Palladium meet the expectations of stakeholders.
“The EarthCheck Certified technology is unlike anything else used in the industry—each consecutive year of our benchmarking and auditing journey revealed successes and areas for improvement—which we were then able to implement the following year,” she said.
“The results speak for themselves—we are proud of our EarthCheck Gold status—and even prouder of our ongoing commitment to continued benchmarking and improvement through the program,” she said.