Name: Nathaly Stanley
Title: Sustainability and Certifications Manager
Property: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba
Years with resort: Less than one
Primary responsibilities: “To ensure all departments continue to operate in a sustainable manner. Every day is different.”
Company’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: “Getting recertified every year for four different certifications. The owner has such a deep interest in it.”
Company’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: “Identifying new solutions for sustainability and having the ability to weigh the different solutions against one another.”
EAGLE BEACH, ARUBA—As Sustainability and Certifications Manager at Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Nathaly Stanley is carrying on a commitment to sustainability that was first made 30 years ago when owner Ewald Biemans opened the resort. Since that time the resort has earned a reputation not only in the Caribbean but around the world for its innovations and dedication to reducing its impact. Evidence of its commitment: its LEED Silver, Green Globe Platinum, Travelife Gold and ISO 14001 certifications.
“I always wanted to do something with the environment,” says Stanley, who previously held sustainability positions in hospitality and real estate in Aruba and the United States. These days, Stanley’s schedule is packed with carrying out the requirements needed for the certifications and making sure programs focused on energy and water conservation, waste management and community involvement run smoothly.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort has one of the longest lists of green initiatives on the planet. The property is currently switching over to LED lighting, it uses sensors in guestrooms to power down air-conditioning when guests leave their rooms, it has an ozone laundry system, and guests are given a $5 per night discount for opting into a “green stay” program in which light housekeeping services are provided daily with a full service twice per week.
“We just recently installed 618 solar panels, an investment of $400,000,” Stanley says. “The panels are expected to produce 22 percent of the electricity the resort needs. The 170 kW system sits on the Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort buildings, office buildings, fitness center and restaurant. A second solar installation heats water for guestrooms and the laundry. Extensive use of insulation, glazing, reflective coating and double pane windows reduce cooling needs.
Greywater Used for Irrigation
Aerators and low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption. UV-treated greywater is used for irrigation. At least 80 percent of cleaning products are eco-certified.
“We purchase in bulk,” Stanley says. “We refill dispensers in guestrooms. We don’t have that waste from the plastic bottles. We repurpose linens or donate them. We provide refillable water containers to our guests. We recycle cardboard and send food scraps to local farms. No food is thrown away.” Tablets are used as much as possible in order to reduce paper consumption. In Aruba there are no companies that recycle paper. The resort’s diversion rate is 50 percent.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort holds a beach cleanup every month, adjusts resort lighting to accommodate nesting and migrating turtles, seeks out local suppliers and purchases products made on Aruba in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
Pack For A Purpose, one of the resort’s most successful charitable programs, effectively ties home and vacation together. Through Pack For A Purpose, guests support Imeldahof Children’s Home by bringing along items from home to donate to the children. The Pack For A Purpose motto is, “Small Space. Little Effort. Big Impact.” Since Pack For A Purpose was launched in the summer of 2015, guests from around the world have brought more than 1,600 pounds of donations for the organization. Some guests have even gone above and beyond, traveling with entire boxes of donations—from clothing to school supplies, games, arts and crafts items, printer ink cartridges, and more.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort also subsidizes a stray dog and cat sterilization program to reduce the problem with overpopulation and abandoned dogs and cats on the island.
Enjoys Having a Positive Impact
Most resorts do not have someone dedicated to sustainability. Stanley says, “It is very important. You have someone keeping everyone on track and thinking about future projects and other ways to become sustainable. I enjoy the fact that I am in a position where I can make a difference.”
Stanley holds dual college degrees. As a graduate of the University of Aruba, she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Tourism Management. Following that, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Central Florida.
She first worked with Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort while completing an internship in sustainable tourism. She’s conducted research with Aruba’s nonprofit, Turtugaruba, studying the endangered sea turtles that nest on-island, shadowed a marine biologist working to protect sea turtles in Florida, and worked at the Aruba Animal Shelter.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.