EarthCheck small island members lead the way on 2014 World Environment Day

On World Environment Day, EarthCheck, the world’s leading benchmarking and certification program for the tourism and travel industry, will acknowledge the pioneering role in sustainability played by Sandals Hotels and Resorts Group in the Caribbean.

The small island resorts, located in Antigua, Barbuda, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, face threats brought on by climate change. This includes rising sea levels that have the potential to wipe out the golden beaches that attract millions of tourists annually.

Mr Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, said that on World Environment Day, EarthCheck is celebrating the leadership of Sandals Resorts & Beach Resorts in addressing the challenge of climate change.

“For ten years Sandals resorts have used the EarthCheck platform to develop initiatives that support sustainability and the need to minimise their environmental impact.

Mr Moore said the results from some of the properties were impressive.

“Sandals Negril located in Jamaica understands that water supply is critical; they implemented initiatives that put them above best practice for water conservation in their sector.

“Over the years these initiatives have included: installing dual and low flush toilets, low-flow taps and shower fittings, and minimising irrigation for landscaping. Each week the team makes additional efforts to check for water leaks.”

Denisha Powell, Environmental Health and Safety Manager from Sandals Negril, said in addition to water, Sandals Negril has made a huge effort to minimise waste sent to landfill.

“In 2012, we sent 1,507,690.8 litres of waste to landfill. By 2013, this figure was decreased to 751,922.3 litres. We effectively halved our waste to landfill; that is we reduced our waste to landfill by 755,768.5 litres. This amount of rubbish could fill seven double decker buses,” said Ms Powell.

Sandals Negril will highlight their commitment to minimising waste to landfill with the launch of a community-wide recycling initiative on World Environment Day.

Ms Powell said, “We want to involve our entire community with this initiative – from kids and schools, to hotels and small businesses – and by doing so, we will continue our mission to make Jamaica the greenest destination in the Caribbean.”

Jonathan Joseph, the Environmental Health and Safety Manager for a second Sandals property, Sandals Halcyon Beach St Lucia, said his property is also focusing on recycling water and waste.

“We have established a wastewater treatment plant that uses hotel waste water – this water is used on the hotel grounds and gardens, as well as on a small plant nursery that also uses composting waste from the hotel.

“Oil from our kitchens is collected and used to make biodiesel off-site.

“We also train beachfront staff in sea turtle identification and nesting habits. This data is relayed to the Fisheries Department on St Lucia to enhance their turtle conservation efforts.”

By minimising their environmental impact, these Sandals resorts and hotels echo the mission of Sandals Foundation, a non-for-profit foundation established by Sandals CEO that aims to reduce the problems faced by the Caribbean.

EarthCheck is proud to celebrate the achievements of these small island members who have taken positive steps towards reducing their impact on their environment.

For more information:

Tara Roberson
EarthCheck - Communications
T: +61 7 3238 1950
E: marketing@earthcheck.org

EarthCheck Caribbean members from Sandals Group:
Antigua & Barbuda:
Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa

Jamaica:
Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort
Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club

Saint Lucia:
Sandals Halcyon Beach St Lucia

About EarthCheck

EarthCheck, managed and owned by EC3 Global, is an internationally recognised environmental management and certification program with members in over 80 countries. The program improves operational performance of member organisations and reduces costs. Recent studies show that six million people a week are impacted by EarthCheck’s branded solutions. The company takes a scientific and systematic approach to risk mitigation and legislative requirements and is regarded as one of the world’s best practice environmental sustainability leaders. For more information, visit www.earthcheck.org.

Sandals Foundation

The Sandals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to continue and to expand upon the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken. It is the culmination of three decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where we operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community.

To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org.

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