The travel industry lost Gordon “Butch” Stewart this week. He was the founder of Sandals Resorts, the leading hotel chain in the Caribbean, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International. He was also the founder and chairman of the ATL Group of Companies and the Jamaica Observer.
Steward left behind a company strongly dedicated to green, sustainable practices. All the company’s resorts participate in the EarthCheck program. Resorts also adhere to the Oceanic Standard, a comprehensive guide to implementing sustainable practices in the hospitality industry, with a focus on reducing single-use plastics. Resorts have received the distinction of Sustainability Steward and are Straw-Free Certified.
Every Sandals Resort has eliminated Styrofoam used across the resorts. Energy management is a focus with the use of timers on electrical equipment such as whirlpools, steam rooms, outdoor lighting, refrigeration equipment, etc. All water use on property is monitored (pools, guestrooms, kitchen, dining room and garden areas).
Waste disposal practices and procedures at the hotels include the recycling of linen and bedspreads, food, office paper, and packages.
Promoting and selling local tours and attractions is emphasized with special recognition of “Green tours” at the tour desks. Local craft vendors are invited to hotels at least once per week to display and sell their craft items.
Team members participate in workshops and seminars conducted by the environmental committee, local government organizations, and by non-governmental environmental organizations.
The resort company was the first official hotel chain in the Caribbean to have a Group Director of Environmental Affairs whose sole responsibility is to lead the company’s corporate environmental sustainability effort. Since 1997, the company has had a formal environmental policy for all its resorts with dedicated Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Managers at each property to oversee and be accountable for environmental management performance indicators.
These are just a sample of some of the initiatives taking place within Sandals. Do a search on “Sandals” on Green Lodging News and you will find more than 20 additional articles.