GRENADA—The 32-room Blue Horizons Garden Resort in Grenada has achieved the prestigious Green Globe Benchmark Certificate under the new Green Globe Certification program, which recognizes the property’s commitment to operating at the world’s highest environmental standard.
Achieving this distinction means Blue Horizons Garden Resort can now proceed to the next step—securing the coveted Green Globe Certification. Blue Horizons first obtained the Green Globe Benchmark distinction in 2004 but it expired during the time the property was closed (as a result of Hurricane Ivan). During the $1.5 million renovation project that ensued, Blue Horizons made sure to keep environmentally-conscious operating procedures in mind because attaining Green Globe Certification upon completion of the project was a definitive goal.
“If we don’t practice sustainable policies, then we are doing a great disservice to the tourism industry,” says Arnold Hopkin, owner/manager of Blue Horizons. “The natural resources of our island, such as our beautiful beaches and a rich environment teeming with birds and flora, are what make a vacation to Grenada appealing, so it’s the responsibility of everyone involved in tourism to play a part in preserving our best assets.”
Green Globe Explained
Green Globe is the global Benchmarking, Certification and improvement system assisting the international travel and tourism industry to attain sustainability. Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet including the greenhouse effect, over-use of freshwater resources, destruction of biodiversity, production of solid and biological waste, and social issues.
Benchmarking is a means by which the operation can assess and improve its environmental performance. This Benchmarking requires the submission of information over a 12-month period about the operation’s environmental and social sustainability performance against a number of indicators such as energy and water consumption, etc.
Following are examples of environmental practices instituted at Blue Horizons Garden Resort that paved the way for the property achieving the Green Globe Benchmark distinction:
• Creation of a fully-organic composting heap.
• Introduction of water-saving toilets in 100 percent of the rooms.
• Introduction of energy-saving air-conditioners in 100 percent of the rooms (roofs are also insulated to reduce heat).
• Installation of solar water heating systems in 100 percent of the rooms.
• Installation of water-saving showerheads in 100 percent of the rooms.
• Replacement of louver windows with more efficient, air-tight windows.
• Placement of energy-saving bulbs in 98 percent of the hotel.
• Installation of an Ozonator in the pool to minimize the amount of chlorine used.
• Use of environmentally-friendly chemicals in the housekeeping department.
• Planting of more drought-resistant flora such as bougainvillea, buttercup and oleander so less water is used, particularly during the dry season.
• Establishment of a towel reuse program, asking guests to separate garbage into appropriate bins (instructions provided in all rooms), and requesting that they turn off the air-conditioner when leaving rooms.
• Staff training program in every department to ensure the highest possible health and hygiene standards.
• Recycling of paper in the front and back offices.