Iberostar specifies its 2030 agenda to achieve neutrality in emissions
The hotel chain announced in January that it will achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030. Now, it presents its ambitious plan to offset at least 75% of its emissions
Grupo Iberostar presentó en enero de 2020 sus cinco grandes compromisos en materia de sostenibilidad para 2030: eliminar residuos, promover el consumo de pescado de fuentes responsables, neutralizar la emisión de carbono y mejorar la salud de los ecosistemas que rodean sus hoteles, entre otros. Como parte de este compromiso, la compañía concreta ahora su hoja de ruta sobre las emisiones de carbono, que compensará mediante soluciones basadas en la naturaleza e implementadas en los lugares donde opera.
While tourist destinations face a double impact, both from the global pandemic and from the effects of climate change, Iberostar is accelerating its plan to build a responsible tourism model, with science and the protection of nature at the center of its strategy . With 80% of its hotels on the seafront, the company's goal is to offset a minimum equivalent to 75% of its emissions through blue carbon solutions. This is the first major step Iberostar is taking in its circular economy strategy for its global operations. While it works tirelessly to improve the efficiency of its operation and move towards renewable energy, its 2019 carbon footprint frames the scope of this initiative. In 2019, 75% of its scope 1 and 2 emissions accounted for a total of 172. 500 metric tons. The roadmap announced by Iberostar indicates that the Group could protect approximately 138,400 acres of mangroves or other forests in tropical coastal areas, by planting or restoring 560,000 mangroves or 2,240,000 land plants, capable of actively sequestering that amount of CO2.
The company recognizes the potential that marine and coastal ecosystems have as a solution to climate change. Therefore, it proposes the incorporation of four general objectives to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality in 2030:
Implement programs for the protection and restoration of ecosystems, offsetting at least 75% of the CO2 emitted by Iberostar's global operations by 2030 in the places where the Group operates.
Use nature's blue carbon stores as an additional source to process excess nutrients after wastewater treatment, in all the properties where Grupo Iberostar has its own facilities for this treatment.
Heal destinations by adding at least 25% more green space (vegetation) in areas near selected Iberostar hotels, with the intention of protecting natural spaces in the places where the Group works.
Generate a solid outreach activity so that the Iberostar Group's clients, employees and partners experience their commitment to coastal health through the Wave of Change movement.
The 2030 Agenda and its goals are the cornerstone of the Group's efforts to combat climate change. For Gloria Fluxà, Vice President and CSO of Grupo Iberostar, “one of our commitments is to continue mitigating climate change through nature-based solutions. This approach aims to take advantage of the potential that natural ecosystems have as solution opportunities ”.
As Megan Morikawa, the Group's Global Director of Sustainability, points out, “mangroves are well developed along the coasts of countries such as Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and constitute one of the largest carbon pools in the tropics. In this sense, our approach includes the commitment to protect and restore them, to achieve maximum absorption and sequestration of carbon, so that we reach the net balance of global emissions ”.
First actions to minimize CO2 emissions
Iberostar Group has formalized the start of its work to reduce CO2 emissions by organizing a mangrove plantation event in the Paraíso complex (Riviera Maya, Mexico). Within the framework of awareness-raising and education activities, and as part of its Wave of Change movement, Iberostar with its employees celebrated this reforestation event of 70 gray mangroves (button mangrove), conditioning an area recently devastated by natural phenomena. The objective is to strengthen local response capacities for the recovery of key marine and coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and coastal dunes.
On the other hand, in the Dominican Republic, in 2019 Iberostar began an ambitious mangrove restoration project at its Bávaro complex (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic). The company is reclaiming a large area of wetlands. The project encompasses a total restoration area of 36,470 m2 and seeks to reforest the area with red mangrove and gray mangrove (or button mangrove). Currently, 10,830m2 have already been restored, in which a total of 1,555 mangroves have been planted.
Responsible recovery in tourism
From the Iberostar Group's perspective, responsible tourism must lead the way that helps tourism companies rebuild better after the pandemic by facing three challenges: adopting a long-term vision, aligning its objectives with science and considering any impact of the company on the environment.