Always looking for ways to protect the environment and reduce its carbon footprint, Royal Resorts has entered the field of solar power. In a pilot project at The Royal Sands, 175 rooftop solar panels have been installed to supply 50% of the hot water needed by the villas. If savings are as expected, an additional 175 panels will be considered for 2012 thus covering villa demand completely, and the project may also be extended to other resorts.

In other green news, The Royal Sands recently joined The Royal Haciendas in being certified by MARTI as a resort with eco-friendly policies. Developed by Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Conservation International and the Coral Reef Alliance, MARTI or the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative works with local hotels, marinas, cruise lines and local government to implement better environmental practices, reduce pollution and other negative impacts that the tourist industry is having on the world’s second longest coral reef and area ecosystems.

The MARTI team of conservation experts met with Royal Resorts representatives earlier this year for an inspection visit of the resorts and to discuss measures to reduce electricity and water consumption, improve waste and sewage disposal, recycling and raise environmental awareness. They prepared a study, pointed out areas of opportunity and began to work with staff to make improvements, organize training courses and produce eco policy manuals, with the aim of eventually obtaining sustainable tourism certification.

Each resort formed a “Green Team” with representatives drawn from different areas of the company such as Housekeeping, Maintenance, Engineering, Gardening, the Spa, Restaurants, Stores, Administration and Management to discuss ideas, share experiences and implement eco-friendly policies in their departments and to educate staff. The hope being that informed and committed employees will also help spread the word about the need to protect the environment in the wider community.

The other four Cancun resorts continue to work towards certification and are set to achieve their goal in 2011.