Protecting the planet, green initiatives at Royal Resorts
June is the month to strengthen our commitment to protect the planet with three important dates to raise global awareness: World Environment Day on June 5, World Oceans Day on June 8 and World Rainforest Day on June 22. At Royal Resorts, we work hard to reduce our environmental footprint and conserve natural resources and the precious ecosystems of the Yucatan. From recycling and switching to eco-friendly cleaning products to going paperless, we have green programs operating throughout the company and at all our resorts.
Conserving natural resources
LED lighting and energy efficient flat screen TVs and kitchen appliances are utilized at all the resorts and high efficiency boilers and air-conditioning centrifuges that are heat exchangers are used to preheat water in the machine houses. There are even solar panels on the roof at The Royal Sands which supply 50 percent of the resort’s hot water.
Resort guests can join our conservation campaign and do their bit to protect the planet and conserve water by not requesting a change of bed linens, towels and beach towels on a daily basis.
Switching to eco-friendly products
The resort housekeeping and maintenance departments use eco-friendly cleaning products, soaps, polishes and varnishes wherever possible. The washing up liquid, dishwasher soap and bathroom amenities in the villas are biodegradable. By using ozone technology in the swimming pools to keep the water clean, we have been able to reduce our use of chlorine by 40 percent.
In the resort pool and beach bars food and drinks are served on reusable melamine plates and acrylic glasses, replacing non-biodegradable polystyrene cups and take-out containers. Additionally, drinking straws are no longer given with drinks and cocktails in the resort restaurants and bars. For guests that request one, eco-friendly biodegradable straws made from natural materials are given.
Royal Resorts has a commitment to going paperless and even before the pandemic many of its services had moved online to reduce paper consumption and printing. Since 2020, this has expanded with the increasing use of apps with menus and activity programs, online billing and more.
Recycling for a good cause
All plastic, aluminum, glass and paper and cardboard trash thrown away by guests and employees at the resorts is separated and recycled. All waste that can be recycled is sold to a local recycling company as trash for cash and the proceeds go to the Royal Resorts Foundation to support its conservation and community causes.
Organic waste is used to make compost and we even recycle cooking oil used in the restaurant kitchens, selling it for use in a biofuel plant.
Spreading the environmental message
At Royal Resorts we want our staff to take the eco message home and help transmit it in their families and the community. They attend seminars and workshops during the year on topics including the importance of separating trash and recycling, plastic pollution, climate change, ocean conservation, biodiversity, reforestation and working towards sustainability in the workplace and community
Volunteers also participate in local beach cleaning, reforestation and other community initiatives during the year.
Protecting sea turtles
Since 1998, we have released more than one million baby turtles at Royal Resorts and counting. This summer, our security teams at The Royal Sands, The Royal Islander and Royal Uno and at Grand Residences and The Royal Haciendas further to the south will be patrolling the beaches at night on the lookout for female turtles emerging from the sea to lay their eggs in the sand.
Native shrubs and trees
Eco-friendly practices extend to the gardens with the use of biodegradable products, composting and planting native trees and shrubs. There are herb plots and a small botanical garden at The Royal Cancun and many species that are bird, butterfly and bee friendly.
Palm trees are planted on the beaches of Cancun to anchor the sand and limit coastal erosion and the landscaping at Grand Residences blends with the mangrove forest.
Royal Resorts is a longtime supporter of conservation in the Mexican Caribbean and makes an annual donation to Amigos de Sian Ka’an to support its many initiatives to protect the area’s precious natural heritage.
Founded in 1986 in Cancun to study and protect the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the work of Amigos de Sian Ka’an has gone far beyond the reserve. It has spearheaded the move to protect more than 1,100,000 hectares of jungle, wetlands and marine ecosystems and the creation of 13 different reserves in the state of Quintana Roo designated by the state and federal governments.
From research projects in Sian Ka’an to protecting the jungle and lobbying for the creation of wildlife corridors where keystone species like jaguars can roam freely, Amigos de Sian Ka’an biologists and conservationists are involved. The multidisciplinary team is also mapping the state of Quintana Roo’s and Yucatan’s aquifers and is working with the authorities, universities and the private sector to develop a regional water management policy that protects the underground rivers and cenotes.
Marine biologists monitor the health of the Mesoamerican Reef and fish populations. Others are involved in sustainable development projects in Mayan villages, combating climate change and in environmental education in schools and communities.
The Maya Ka’an community tourism initiative has the goal of bringing visitors to Maya villages in the reserve and central Quintana Roo and improve the livelihoods of their inhabitants.
Founded by Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Conservation International and the Coral Reef
Alliance, MARTI, the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative is a joint program with the public and private sector to establish better environmental practices in hotels, cruise lines, marinas and other tourism companies and protect the coral reefs and other ecosystems in the area. Royal Resorts is a member of this program.
Royal Resorts has been donating the services of a gardener in support of Parque Cancun, a new community park between Bonampak Avenue and Nichupte Lagoon in Downtown Cancun.
The park has been developed on the site of the original landfill for Cancun and is an example of how a degraded area can be restored and transformed into a community space for all to enjoy. It recently opened after being delayed by the pandemic.
Parque Cancun is home to a variety of birds including Yucatan jays, parrots, woodpeckers and owls, coatimundi, raccoons and even deer.
Reef building at The Royal Cancun
Royal Resorts is participating in a global coral reef conservation initiative called Ocean Rescue Alliance and teamed up with a company called CCell Renovables in a pilot project to create an artificial reef in front of The Royal Cancun in September 2021.
A metal structure which forms the base of the reef was submerged under the wooden pier in the bay. A camera transmits images so that the project team can monitor the reef and the presence of marine life regularly.
The natural process of calcium carbonate sedimentation is advancing, and the metal is now completely covered in the chalky white deposit which is the base for reef building.
The project team will soon plant the first corals and with time, they will form coral colonies, transforming the structure into a reef. Algae and red sponges are already colonizing the structure.
Artificial reefs become habitats for fish and other marine life such as sea urchins, sponges, sea fans and crustaceans and can help alleviate pressure on beleaguered coral reefs around the world.
Pipe fish, sergeant majors, angelfish, pufferfish, scrawled cowfish, lionfish and rays are often spotted in the waters around the deck at The Royal Cancun and snorkelers also report seeing lobsters and young turtles on the sea grass beds in the bay. The latest photos show butterfly fish, blue tangs and juvenile angel fish that have found refuge on the reef. We hope that many more will join them in the future.