Cayman gears up for ‘green’ tourists

| 07/10/2009

(CNS):Fivetourism businesses in the Cayman Islands are going the extra mile to become environmentally and socio-economically responsible through their participation in the Cayman Islands Environmental Project for the Tourism Sector (CEPTS), a joint pilot project between the Departments of Tourism and Environment  (DoT and DoE) and the tourism private sector for improved environmental performance within the industry, the DoT said in a release. (Left: Recycling Caybrew beer bottles is part of Compass Point’s Green Team initiatives)

Cobalt Coast Resort, Compass Point Dive Resort and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in Grand Cayman; and Little Cayman Beach Resort and Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman, are currently undergoing the processes to become Green Globe Certified, a highly recognized and internationally respected green certification for the travel and tourism industry.

“We are so excited to watch these pilot properties and a major attraction go through the Certification process and be the first businesses in the Cayman Islands to become Green Globe Certified,” said Sharon Banfield-Bovell, the Department of Tourism’s Deputy Director responsible for Product Development. “Green Globe is the leading green certification for the travel and tourism industry and only businesses awarded the Green Globe seal can claim to be independently recognized as sustainable.”

The Green Globe Certification process consists of three stages: Indexing, Auditing and Certification. Little Cayman Beach Resort is currently preparing to complete the Indexing phase, which consists of 30 questions directed at their sustainability initiatives. The property is given a score depending on how many and what kind of initiatives they have in place. Businesses can review their scores in each category to see where they are doing well, or falling short. Some of the initiatives that will appear on their score card include the use of energy-efficient light bulbs and a water catchment system that utilizes rain water to supply their property as well as other properties on Little Cayman.

Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman and Compass Point Dive Resort, Cobalt Coast Resort and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in Grand Cayman are already Indexed and in the process of being Certified. During this stage, businesses are asked to evaluate their operations against the Green Globe Certification criteria. Once the property completes their own internal evaluation, Green Globe will come on property to verify the properties’ answers.

Each of these tourism businesses has already adopted “best practices” and purchased energy and water saving features. Southern Cross Club has implemented the use of solar water heating for its kitchen as well as toilet paper and office paper made from recycled products. Cobalt Coast Resort provides its guests with a list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can do on holiday to help the resort be as sustainable as possible. The property has also installed low-flow shower heads in all guest rooms to reduce water consumption. Taking it a step further, they supplied staff members with LED light bulbs in order to encourage sustainability at home.

In East End, Compass Point Dive Resort has enlisted one staff member from each department to form a Green Team within the resort. The team reviews the sustainability initiatives each month to ensure they are meeting their standards. The resort has begun to recycle its aluminium cans through National Recycling and also rents bicycles to its visitors to encourage guests not to drive their cars and explore the island in a more environmentally friendly manner.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is in the final stages of implementing a drip irrigation system, which will reduce their consumption dramatically. The Park is also a driving force in the rehabilitation of our indigenous blueiguana species and educates guests and the general public on the important of the species.

Once the five entities have been audited and meet the minimum criteria, the properties become Green Globe Certified.

All businesses certified by Green Globe receive a variety of promotional opportunities. Businesses are recognized by AAA (American Automobile Club), British Airways Holidays, Air Canada Vacations, Travelocity, and other tour operators. Certified businesses are also promoted across all Green Globe websites, including, and in popular travel magazine Islands.

For more information about becoming Green Globe Certified, contact the Department of Tourism at 949-0623.

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  1. dxtr says:

    A system that generates energy from rubbish is being sent by defence firm Qinetiq to the US army in Iraq.

    Can we have a couple of these power containers please. We have a whole mountain to supply us with power for years to come.


    • Not that easy says:

      Waste-to-energy is a bit of a pie in the sky idea and involves a lot more than just throwing all of the trash in a furnace.

      Mount Trashmore is a disgrace.  The island’s waste stream has been managed by a succession bureaucrats that have failed to see the big picture and tackle the fundamental issues.

      The amount of moisture in the waste in Mt T makes waste to energy virtually impossible as we would burn more energy drying it out than it would generate.

      Furthermore, the management of the waste going into the dump (up until recently) was non-existent.  More recently efforts have been made to divert oils, batteries, metals, etc. into seperate areas, but before that, it all went in one place.

      Presumably I do not have to outline what might happen if a random scoop of trash thrown into an incinerator included a couple of car batteries, some oil, a few gallons of paint and the like – can anyone say KABOOM?

      Going forward, if the waste stream is managed correctly, the safely combustible waste could be diverted to a waste to energy facility, but a lot of it could also be composted, exported for recycling and the like.

      Sadly, these ideas all involve money, innovation and hard work.  I doubt any of the above would be forthcoming from our government, so that leads the private sector.  There have been many offers from private entities both locally and from abroad to do this, but governent won’t relinquish control.

      Which begs the question – if the ministers are calling for divesting of moey-losing assets, and they are cutting garbage fees completely – meaning evn less revenue for wast managemnt, why is Mt Trashmore not up for sale?

      Perhaps one day it will be transformed into the caribbean’s first ski resort…

      • Mozzie Fodder says:

        I agree. Cayman is stuck with this "dump" now. The time for action has passed. Very sad.


        • Skeeter... says:

          Thanks Buzz…

          Time to cap the dump, privatize waste management and let the new owners export/recycle 60%, Compost 30% and leave only 10% of our waste in the new, dump – presumably in an abandoned eastern-district quarry…

          Govt needs toget out of the waste business – do you see the US Govt running waste?  No, they regulate and ENFORCE, private firms take it over FOR PROFIT and therefore make it work…


        • Anonymous says:

          The new Owners of Mount Trashmore will be Dart.

          As soon as the Winter starts and the North winds start feeding the stench to Camama Bay, Mac will give in and divest Mount Trashmore to his buddies. What a commission that will be for Macs real estate company.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Will these green tourist be arriving by regular jet service or by UFOs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac said that CAL is getting a new fleet of rubberband planes that don’t burn any fuel at all….and it must be so because Mac said it !!!

      So these tourists are diffinitely ‘green’.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh Boy. I cant wait to sit in the back while my son flies one of those.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Trouble is the tourists will already have been put off when they fly over mt. trashmore on the way in. The final straw will be a few minutes after they get out of the airport and into a taxi. After the shock of the ridiculous pricing they will be shocked at the smog these vehicles are emitting along with all the other unroadworthy vehicles being used every day.

    The lack  of reliable public transport and the laziness of the local population means that everybody drives everywhere.

    ‘Responsible’ green tourists are not coming back just because some little hotel recycled a couple of bottles. The island needs to work a little bit harder at this before begininng these bigshot campaigns!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So here’s another great programme which was started over 12 months ago by former Minister Charles Clifford.

    I had to smile the other night when I was listening on the radio to Mac presenting his policy statement and he couldn’t bring himself to identify the programme as CEPTS because he and the country knew that Minister Clifford launched the programme so he just mentioned this very substantial programme as a "tourism environmental programme" as if it was a new programme.

    How juvenile can one get Mac ???

    You must have an opinion as to whether a programme is either good or bad for the country and call it as it is !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If research is done I think you will find that this "great programme" has been in the works for more like 6 or 7 years and possibly more. It certainly was NOT started by Charles Clifford – he was fortunate enough to have been Minister when it finally gained momentum is all.

      • da wa ya get says:

        The reason it gained momentum was because Mr. Clifford was the Minister at the time…Mac was the environment Minister during those 6 or 7 years you talk about. When have you ever seen Mac do anything good for the environment? I know I haven’t. Although I have seen the  the harm he has done, is doing, and plans to do in the name of progression.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anyone who is familiar with the tourism industry will be aware that former Minister Clifford launched this programme at the Annual Tourism Conference 2 years ago !

          • Anonymous says:

            Being ‘familiar’ with tourism is just not enough (though so many think it is) … there was real work being done on this for many years but the govt. structure for getting ministry approvals, going out to bid, tendering, reviewing contracts etc. etc. etc. takes far longer than anyone in the private sector could EVER imagine!

  5. Patricia says:

    Very cool!  Now… if someone can do something about the garbage that is washing ashore on the islands. Sad but true.

    The last time I was on the Brac, and I realize they have a LOT to contend with right now still recovering from last year’s hurricane, but the last time I was there which was before the hurricane, the beaches were littered with plastics and garbage that had washed ashore.

    "What if" all these items were recycled in going Green?


    • Ex Pat says:

      I would point out that tourists dont just visit 7 mile beach alone.  The once beautiful beaches of Bodden Town are now absolutely filthy, cluttered with rocks, and suffering for a substantial amount of debris washing ashore, along with broken bottles from those who like to consume alcolhol in the area.  I have also come across several discarded syringes there over the years.  This is disgusting and dangerous to tourists and locals alike – particularly children… but I expect as usual the eastern districts and this particular problem will continue to be ignored.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What action is there to reconcile a desire for "green eco-tourists" with the abomination that is the Boatswain’s Beach/Turtle Farm, and the multitude of island restaurantsthat serve up their endangered residents?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you suggesting that by farming turtles and restaurants serving those turtles that this is an abomination?  This is sustainable, if more seafood were farmed i.e. not taken from the wild our oceans would be much healthier.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously dont know that if it was not for the Turtle Farm, Turtles would long have been extinct around the Cayman Islands.

      • Mozzie Fodder says:

        If it wasn’t for Caymanians hunting and eating turtles then they wouldn’t nearly have become extinct. Then there would be no need for the turtle prison.