Iberostar Hotels Outline Plans to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030
The Group’s carbon footprint in 2019 was 230,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses. While the company estimates emissions per hotel to decrease by 2030, through its work towards efficiency and by using renewable energy, Iberostar could be restoring up to 560,000 mangroves in its destinations to reach neutrality
The Group formalizes the beginning of this project by organizing a mangrove plantation with its employees at the Paraíso resort
In January 2020, Iberostar Group presented its own 2030 Agenda to eliminate waste, source responsible seafood, neutralize carbon emissions and improve the health of the ecosystems surrounding its hotels, among other objectives. As part of this commitment, the company now specifies its carbon emissions roadmap, which will offset emissions by implementing nature-based solutions at its destinations.
As tourist destinations are experiencing the double impacts of climate change and a global pandemic, Iberostar is fast-tracking solutions to build a responsible tourism model with science and the protection of nature at the core of its strategy. With 80% of its hotels being 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 in its strategy towards a circular economy. While the Group works tirelessly to improve overall efficiency of its operations and a move towards renewable energy, its 2019 carbon footprint frames the scope of this initiative: In 2019, 75% of its scope 1 and 2 emissions totaled 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.
Iberostar recognizes the potential that marine and coastal ecosystems have as a solution to climate change and proposes the incorporation of four general objectives to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality in 2030:
The 2030 Agenda and its goals are the cornerstone of the company’s effort to combat climate change. For Gloria Fluxà, Vice Chairman and CSO of Iberostar Group, “one of our commitments is to continue mitigating climate change through nature-based solutions by taking advantage of the potential that natural ecosystems have as opportunities for solution.”
As Megan Morikawa, the Group’s Global Sustainability Office Director, points out, “Mangroves are well developed along the coasts of countries like Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and constitute one of the largest carbon pools in the tropics. Our approach therefore includes the commitment to protecting and restoring them in order to achieve maximum carbon absorption and sequestration, and thereby reach the net balance of global emissions ”.
First actions to minimize CO2 emissions
Iberostar Group has formalized the beginning of its process to reduce CO2 emissions by organizing a mangrove planting event in the Paraíso resort (Riviera Maya, Mexico). The company celebrated this milestone with its employees by reforesting 70 gray mangroves (button mangroves) and the conditioning of an area recently devastated by natural phenomena. The initiative took place as part of the company’s educational and awareness-raising activities, part of its Wave of Change movement, and with the objective of strengthening local response capacities for the recovery of key marine and coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and coastal dunes.
Along these lines, Iberostar began in 2019 an ambitious mangrove restoration project at its Bávaro resort (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), where the company is recovering a large area of wetlands. The project encompasses a total restoration area of 36,470m2 and aims to reforest the area with red mangrove and gray mangrove (or button mangrove). Currently, 10,830m2 have already been restored with a total of 1,555 mangroves planted.