Le Guanahani: First Green Globe resort in St. Barth, French West Indies
Martein van Wagenberg, Managing Director at Le Guanahani said, “At Le Guanahani, we strive to be a leading example of green travel in the Caribbean through our dedication to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty and biodiversity of our protected plant and marine life on the island of St. Barth.
“Our sustainability commitment to the island's habitats provides an elevated experience and affords the opportunity for guests to have meaningful interactions with the lush surroundings – from wildlife viewing and monitoring to educational and restoration-oriented activities,” added Managing Director Wagenberg.
Le Guanahani is surrounded by the Réserve Naturelle of Saint-Barthelemy. This zone, established in 1996, is a marine park comprising 2,500 acres divided into five zones throughout the island.
Le Guanahani’s Blue&Green management provides staff training focusing on the protected areas of Réserve Naturelle, with education on native flora and fauna both inside and outside of the resort. Trained staff spread their knowledge to guests and, for example, can easily locate sea turtle tracks on the sand and explain how seagrass meadow protects marine life.
The Reserve Naturelle is also utilized by our Kids Club, through learning about the protected iguana, as well as a focus on the reuse of what they can find on the beach, and managing the resort’s lighting to avoid any disturbances to native animals.
Le Guanahani takes pride in its water management, and the resort is the only hotel in St. Barth with the ability to desalinate seawater without destabilizing the ecosystem. Desalinate water is supplied for guest use and operational needs, and then recycled for garden irrigation.
Water management also takes into account the laundry, which can wash up to 2.5 tons, or 5,500 pounds, a day during high season. The water is managed in a closed system and recycled for three weeks before being sent for garden irrigation. The filtered organic elements from this process are used by the Collectivity (Governing Council) of St. Barth to cool the incineration plant. Additionally, the resort uses the energy produced by its air conditioning system to heat the water and therefore decrease power needs.
In Le Guanahani restaurants, 75% of seafood comes from a local, seventh-generation fisherman who leaves directly from the resort’s beach for fishing trips. The benefits from this local sourcing are a decrease on environmental impact and the delivery of pristine seafood fresh straight the ocean. Resort guests can also participate with the “Cook your Catch” program where they enjoy a half-day of fishing and learn about sustainable seafood, and then the day’s catch is prepared according to their preference.
About Le Guanahani
Le Guanahani is committed to creating a unique, luxurious and natural experience that helps to sustain the planet, conserve wildlife and habitats, and reduce carbon emissions. Working with internationally recognized biologist Dr. Deborah Brosnan, the hotel has developed a long-range plan for preserving and protecting the land and sea surrounding the hotel. The initiative will also create programs that allow guests to get up-close-and-personal with the natural surroundings – from wildlife viewing and monitoring to educational and restoration-oriented activities.
Le Guanahani makes every effort to decrease its impact on the environment. The hotel employs green products and processes such as: paints and cleaning products chosen for their ecological value; papers produced from sustainably managed forests; low energy lighting; low-carbon products; and selective sorting. For laundry, the hotel brings in desalinated seawater to use with ecological detergents, which is then reused to irrigate the hotel gardens. And, significant hardware upgrades have been made to minimize air and water pollution. St. Barth is a “dry” island with no natural resource for drinking water; it desalinates seawater to address the island’s needs. Le Guanahani is equipped with two desalination plants; after fresh water is produced, it remains to reject residual brine into the sea without disrupting the ecosystem. The hotel invites guests to join in the conservation effort by reusing towels and linens.
About Green Globe Certification
Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). For information, please visit www.greenglobe.com
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