Tips for running an eco-friendly property.
The United Nations has designated 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development, indicating that travelers and industry professionals already have the environment on their minds. Brian Bruno, head of the RCI Green Council, shares his advice on running a more sustainable property.
“There are many ways for resorts to become eco-friendly,” Bruno says. The main principle is to operate “as efficiently as possible to conserve energy and water while minimizing waste to landfill.” This can be as simple as swapping incandescent light bulbs for LED or replacing high-energy appliances with more-efficient ones. (Click here for more tips on reducing resorts’ footprints.)
One of the best times to integrate sustainable features is during renovation and construction. Bruno recommends new windows, better insulation and high-efficiency HVAC and water-reuse mechanisms. These updates can yield long-term efficiency benefits and reduce operating costs.
RCI affiliated resorts that prioritize sustainable practices can be submitted to the RCI Green Awards. Performance at the sixth annual RCI Green Awards, which were given out during the American Resort Development Association’s annual convention in March 2017, was greater than ever before. “We had more resorts achieving higher scores overall, meaning properties are excelling in all aspects,” Bruno says.
Resorts already focused on environmental efficiency may want to get the word out through certifications such as those given by Energy Star and LEED. “Leveraging these third-party certifications also helps [resorts] market themselves on websites for travelers looking for eco-friendly options,” Bruno says. “Some are free and provide additional ideas and great eco-friendly tips, too.”
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