PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN—Oceans make up approximately 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and are a vital resource for sustaining life on the planet. The Iberostar Group, a hotel chain with strong ties to the oceans and seas—more than 80 percent of its hotels boast seafront locations—is determined to make a real and effective contribution to the protection and conservation of this unique asset.
To accomplish this, the Iberostar Group has implemented its ‘Wave of Change’ program, an ambitious initiative designed in line with Goal 14 of the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), focused on three main areas: the reduction of plastic pollution, the promotion of sustainable fishing and the conservation and protection of marine ecosystems.
Reducing plastic pollution is at the core of Iberostar’s commitment to the oceans. Thanks to an ambitious policy designed to eliminate and replace single use plastics with alternative eco-friendly materials, the company will have successfully prevented the generation of 200,000 kilograms of plastic waste in 2018.
Plastic Bottles Replaced with Glass Alternatives
This number, which refers to Iberostar’s hotel portfolio in Spain, is the result of replacing plastic bottles with glass alternatives—saving 43,800 kilograms of plastic—and substituting all plastic bin liners for others made from vegetable and potato starch-based materials, thereby reducing the amount of plastic used by 134,619 kilograms. Additionally, the redesign of amenities and accessories, such as pens and pencils, will also cut down the amount of plastic generated by an additional 3,000 kilograms in 2018.
In addition to its determined commitment to ensuring single-use plastic free rooms, Iberostar is also working on the elimination of plastics from other areas of its hotels. To date, this has resulted in the saving of 21,200 kilograms of plastic plates, glasses and cutlery, which have been replaced with bamboo or similar products.
The new bracelets, made of organic fabric, and the replacement of plastic packaging for alternatives made of top quality certified recycled and recyclable materials, are some of the other measures adopted, which are also in line with the policy of encouraging a circular economy.
Company in Second Year of Program
Iberostar Group launched the first phase of this program in 2017 by eliminating the use of 10 million plastic straws and has announced it will have removed all disposable plastic items from its hotel rooms in Spain by 2018, an achievement that will be extended to the rest of its hotels around the world in 2019.
Besides bringing about real changes to the way the hotel and resorts chain operates, the ‘Wave of Change’ program seeks to get both guests and employees involved in a common project that will contribute to the fight against climate change on the planet. In this sense, the company will be joining the World Oceans Day initiative under the slogan “Our oceans, our future”.
Consequently, last month, all Iberostar hotels around the world organized a program of original and fun filled activities aimed at raising awareness of the need to care for our oceans. The hotel lobbies were lined with murals created with guests’ fingerprints, and the beaches became impromptu art galleries with ocean-based figures and patterns traced in the sand. Iberostar guests were able to share their artistic creations through photographs and posts on their social media, using the hashtags #OlaDeCambio and #WaveOfChange.