By Mr Arnold Hopkin
Managing Director/Owner, Blue Horizons Garden Resort, Grenada
What does it take for a hotel to have a stellar performance in taking care of planet and people and receiving its just desserts for the effort?
Mr Arnold Hopkin, Managing Director of Blue Horizons Garden Resort in Grenada advises, “We, the family here at Blue Horizons have been involved in green initiatives over the past 13 years as we responded and continue to respond to ensuring that the negative impacts that can be visited upon the environment based on hotel operations were and are avoided, addressed or mitigated against wherever possible”
Gazing over the recently upgraded gardens and landscapes at BlueHorizons, Mr Arnold Hopkin is pleased to share that the recently added flora means that there are now more than 9500 local species of plants. These plantings enhance the general surroundings of the hotel in a natural way for guests to enjoy while simultaneously improving the habitat and feedstock for the birds and wildlife on the facility. This has prompted the development of training programme for staff members to act as tour guides to share knowledge on bird wildlife to avid bird watchers and other interested guests and parties.
One of the major success stories of the property is to see the reduction in energy consumption over the past three years to the order of 40% of consumption compared to figures in 2012. The 32 room property, having set long term goals targeting some of the energy intensive inputs, such as HVAC (air conditioning) and lighting options, has invested in fulfilling commitments and goals and is now realising the benefits. The property has replaced their fleet of traditional air conditioners with the newer inverter technology. LED lighting currently satisfies more than 95% of the property’s lighting needs. These two initiatives, along with solar water heating applications, are primarily responsible for successfully improving energy efficiency. In monetary terms this has resulted in average savings in excess of USD$45,000/annum.
Another initiative worth mentioning is how avidly the property has gone after addressing a major health and safety concern. As a facility offering self contained units, the property has opted to remain with the provision of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), rather than electricity which has greater carbon emissions associated with its production at the power plant. The team at Blue Horizons has taken on board ensuring that safety is paramount in the storage of these small cylinders. Whereas, the local laws and international convention stipulate that these units be stored externally of the kitchen and at a significant distance away from heat source i.e. the stove, this is not readily enforced. Re-configuration of the set-up in the cottage units and appropriate storage externally has been addressed by the facility to meet international standards. This ensures safety of guests and staff alike.
At Blue Horizons it is clearly demonstrated that the property has a heart for people. The property ensures that the residents at the Dorothy Hopkin Home for the Disabled receive bedding and other necessary supplies. Their effort to facilitate the medical care of Grenadians in specialties not readily available on island is also to be commended. Provision of accommodation to the team of doctors under the CHORES programme has helped to see many Grenadians, both children and adults, receive the care they need.
“We at Blue Horizons Garden Resort here in Grenada are pleased to accept the prestigious Gold Award as one of the elite Green Globe certified properties in the Caribbean and the first in Grenada. We look forward to playing our part in encouraging others to actively practice sustainable tourism and ensuring the future of our planet while contributing to the GDP of Grenada and the vision of a better world,” said Mr Arnold Hopkin, adding, ” The Blue Horizons family says thank you for the recognition as we graciously accept this accolade. Small…can be very powerful. Today we celebrate The Green in the Blue!”