A longtime supporter of conservation campaigns in the Mexican Caribbean, Royal Resorts is always looking for ways to make more efficient use of natural resources, save water and electricity and to reduce its carbon footprint. Today, in observance of World Tourism Day (WTD) which is being celebrated in 2012 with the theme Tourism & Sustainable Energy, Royal Resorts would like to tell you about some of the most important green initiatives underway at its six resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya:
(Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative) Recognizes Royal Resorts as Green Resorts
Royal Resorts is participating in MARTI, the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative founded by Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Conservation International and the Coral Reef Alliance. By working with hotels, marinas, cruise lines and local government, MARTI seeks to protect the world’s second longest coral reef through the implementation of better environmental practices to reduce pollution and minimize the impact of tourism on area ecosystems. Over 100 resorts and other companies in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel have already signed up to this initiative.
All six Royal Resorts are certified by MARTI (the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative) as a resorts with eco-friendly policies.
The Royal Haciendas®,The Royal Cancun® & The Royal Sands® Awarded Rainforest Alliance Verified™ Mark
In the summer of 2012, three of the Royal Resorts®: The Royal Haciendas® in the Riviera Maya, The Royal Cancun® and The Royal Sands® were awarded the Rainforest Alliance Verified™ mark in recognition of their compliance with the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainability standards and their commitment to a role of environmental stewardship.
Active in more than 70 countries around the globe, the Rainforest Alliance seeks to conserve biodiversity, prevent deforestation, curb climate change and alleviate poverty. For the past 25 years, it has championed the cause of sustainability by transforming land use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. It collaborates with farmers, forestry businesses, large multinational companies, community-based cooperatives, and with the tourism industry. It envisages a world where people and the environment prosper together. The Rainforest Alliance’s green frog emblem is recognized throughout the world as a symbol of environmental, economic and social sustainability.
Solar Panels Installed at The Royal Sands
In a pilot project at The Royal Sands in Cancun, 175 rooftop solar panels were installed in late 2010 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 the demand for hot water in the villas, and the project may be extended to other resorts.
Recycling goes on throughout Royal Resorts. There are recycling trashcans in public areas of the resort and guests are also encouraged to support the cause by separating plastic, glass, aluminum and cardboard waste and putting it in a special bin in their villa kitchen (kitchen bin coming soon in The Royal Haciendas). All waste suitable for recycling is collected by local conservation group Amigos de Sian Ka’an and sold as “trash for cash.” The money received is used to fund conservation and research projects in the Mexican Caribbean.
10,534.50 kg of aluminum
54,828.50 kg of plastic
125,309 kg of cardboard and paper
Royal Resorts in Cancun was one of the first resort chains to sign up to the Amigos de Sian Ka’an Recycling Campaign in 2007 and to date thousands of dollars have been raised for conservation as a result of its program.
A special collection bag is also provided in the villas for the disposal of toxic waste such as used batteries and guests can also drop off spent batteries at branches of La Paloma Gift Shop in The Royal Sands and The Royal Caribbean.
Paper, folders, envelopes and other office supplies are also recycled wherever possible in offices throughout the resorts.
All Royal Resorts employees take their turns in keeping our beautiful white sand pristine as part of our Beach Cleaning campaign. They pick up cigarette butts, fragments of plastic and polystyrene, the occasional bottle or can left on the beach, seaweed and other garbage that washes up on the shoreline.
Compost for the Gardens
The Royal Resorts gardeners are using garden refuse and organic waste such as coffee grounds, tea bags and vegetable peel from the restaurant kitchens to make compost.
Royal Restaurants Go Green
Apart from saving organic refuse for compost and recycling cooking oil, the Royal Restaurants are doing their bit for the environment in many other ways.
Food and drinks are now being served on reusable melamine plates and acrylic glasses in the pool and beach bars thus dramatically reducing the use of non-biodegradable polystyrene cups and foam take-out containers. In another move to protect the environment, straws are no longer given with lemonade, soft drinks and cocktails unless the customer specifically requests one.
Royal Resortshas been using Fluorescent/PL Energy saver bulbs in the 1,379 two-bedroom villas, walkways, corridors and offices at its six properties since 1994. LED bulbs were installed in the swimming pools and decks at The Royal Cancun in 2008. Dichroic light bulbs in the resort lobbies were replaced with energy saving LED lights in 2011.
Ongoing Villa Projects
Standard TV sets are gradually being replaced with LCD flat screen energy saving models at all the resorts. Flat screen TV technology uses 40 percent less electricity, thus reducing energy costs and helping conserve natural resources.
In the bathrooms low water flow showerheads are being replaced with single handle faucets and older 18-liter toilet tanks with six-liter flush capacity models. FillPro water saving devices have been installed in the remaining 18-liter tanks to control water levels.
Royal Resorts guests are entitled to a daily change of towels in their villa and one beach towel change per day, however they are encouraged to join us in protecting the environment by using the same towels for several days.
By switching to colored towels in 2010, Royal Resorts was also able to reduce the use of bleach in the resort laundries.
Behind the Scenes
Throughout the resorts departments collaborate to save water and electricity and hold regular meetings to discuss ideas, share experiences and implement eco-friendly policies. Enthusiastic and aware, employees are spreading the word about the need to protect the environment in the wider community.
Royal Resorts is purchasing environmentally friendly products wherever possible, always looking for ways to reduce its use of chemicals, opting for biodegradable alternatives or products that can be recycled.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Where possible, cleaning products, polishes and varnishes are being substituted for environmentally friendly options. Toxic waste is carefully disposed of and stored in a special chamber.
Automatic liquid dispensers have been installed in the resort laundries to regulate the use of detergents. An ozone dispenser for the laundry to help remove stains without recourse to chemical bleaches is currently being tested for implementation in all the resorts.
In 1997, heat exchangers were fitted in the air-conditioning systems to preheat water for villas at The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean, The Royal Islander and The Royal Sands. This project will soon be extended to include The Royal Cancun.
Ozone Pool Technology
As of this summer, ozone purification systems will be used to clean the pools, thus reducing the use of chemical disinfectants.
More Online Services
To cut paper consumption, printing and mailing costs, Royal Resorts is developing more online services and media resources.
All existing resort publications are printed on recycled paper.
Biodegradable bags are used at The Royal Marketand eco-friendly cloth bags are available for purchase.
Support for Conservation
Amigos de Sian Ka’an
Royal Resorts is proud to work with Amigos de Sian Ka’an, the Cancun-based conservation group that has done so much to protect the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the wildlife of the Yucatán Peninsula and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011.
Save the Jaguar and the Yucatán’s Other Wild Cats
Royal Resorts has joined forces with Amigos de Sian Ka’an and El Eden, a privately owned reserve in northern Quintana Roo in a campaign to save the jaguar and the Yucatán’s other wild cats, the puma, ocelot, margay and jaguarundi. Our goal is to raise money for a conservation project to monitor wildlife populations and their movements with motion sensitive cameras and to protect areas of their jungle habitat that are under threat. Royal Resorts members and guests can help by purchasing Save the Wild Cats donation cards for 10, 30 and 50 pesos on sale at The Royal Market and La Paloma Gift Shop, all proceeds go to this worthy cause.
Sea Turtle Conservation
Since 1985, Royal Resorts has been protecting the sea turtles that emerge from the sea during the summer to lay their eggs on the beaches of Cancun. It was among the first resort groups to sign up when municipal authorities subsequently launched a conservation campaign and now participates in the annual statewide turtle program coordinated by SEMARNAT, the Mexican Department of the Environment.
Since 1998 when record keeping began, Royal Resorts has protected 4,216 turtle nests and released 306,156 hatchlings.
Children & Nature
Royal Resortshas teamed up with Amigos de Sian Ka’an and Ak Kuxtal Sian Ka’an, a collective brand representing craftsmen in the Zona Maya in central Quintana Roo, to launch Children & Nature, a campaign to support conservation and improve the lives of Mayan families.
Bracelets made by craftsmen in central Quintana Roo using fallen wood and seeds gathered in the forest are on sale at The Royal Marketand La Paloma Gift Shop. By purchasing one of these sustainable and symbolic souvenirs members and guests will be helping the artisans forge a better future for their children and to conserve their ancestral jungle home.
Purchasing Regional Products
Organic coffee, chocolate, honey from the Yucatan, locally made handicrafts, herbal cosmetics and sauces are available at Royal Resorts stores and gift shops.
Royal Resorts purchases locally whenever possible to boost the local economy, reduce transport costs and conserve fuel. It is also supports regional businesses; for example, skilled carpenters in the neighboring state of Yucatán produce all the furniture in the villas at the resorts.