Guest column by
Wendy Walker-Drakes, Green Globe Caribbean Representative
In the world of sustainability and improving performances, there are times when small players make a big difference to the overall organizations. In this feature we would like to highlight individual hotels whose performance have effected change at the corporate level.
There are those general managers and hotel green teams that have a vision, clear understanding and interpretation of sustainable efforts as part of day to day operations. Their focus of increased efficiency, being a productive organ in the community and motivating staff to implement greening policies both at work and gaining the benefits at home pay big dividends and it is noticed. When these star properties shine in the corporate environment, their policies and methodologies are taken on board for broader application across the group.
Divi Southwinds Barbados is one such facility, a member of the Divi Hotels and present on 8 Caribbean islands. In 2013, the General Manager Alvin Jemmott and the Green Team led the way as the property beefed up their efforts to employ more greening initiatives – introduction of a greenhouse, organic meals, new restaurant showcasing efficient lighting – and the benefits showed in the bottom line. So in 2014, the Divi Group adopted a Go Green campaign across the whole group. For 2015 Divi Southwinds projected a campaign to address caring for personnel with special circumstances and again this was adopted across the whole group.
For the Elegant Group in Barbados, the star property for sustainability is the Turtle Beach Resort, the first of the five to attain Green Globe Certification. The property team, including GM Charles Maynard, Admin Assistant Danica Sealy, and Green Team Chairman Michael Barrow leading the charge, sought to create policies to address the Green Globe framework where corporate policy was not specific enough. This approach married to the business philosophy of the Elegant group and lead them to successfully achieving passes in all the relevant criteria. As a result, a number of the policies including their Sustainability Management Plan, Sustainability Policy and energy goals were adopted by the corporate office for group-wide usage.
These facilities have successfully demonstrated that sustainability works and that sometimes it is the little cog that turns the bigger wheel.