Robinson Club Quinta Da Ria, Algarve, Portugal

Situated in the eastern Algarve, the Robinson Club Quinta Da Ria is located within the Ria Formosa nature reserve.  With 285 rooms plus a selection of apartments and suites, the Club has already achieved awards for environmental management including the winner of the 'Portugal Tourism Award', as well as Travelife gold in Summer 2012.  However, they are never complacent about the sustainability management and are always looking for ways to improve.

Reducing energy and water consumption

The Club generates its own electricity through its 440 m2 of solar panels, providing hot water for the guest rooms, as well as the indoor pool. It also has a range of energy saving technologies, including a “Freecooling System” that takes in the cold night air to cool high temperature areas and a Masterswitch system using key cards, to regulate electricity within the guest rooms. There is also a disconnection system in all guest rooms which powers down the air conditioning if the windows are open. The Club regulates water consumption by installing and maintaining flow restrictors in guest room taps and showers and reduces the need to wash towels because they are changed only when a guest makes a request.

Working with local communities

The Club is committed to promoting greater economic and social benefits for the surrounding residents and businesses by supporting local community associations. For example, they work with youth organisations to offer work experience to young people, as well as gifting financial donations or giving furniture to local charities. They stock products and crafts manufactured locally, selling them in their shop, as well as inviting crafts people into the Club to showcase their products to the guests, offering them authentic souvenirs, as well as putting revenue into local businesses. The Club also buys locally sourced foods, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions from their transportation.

Protecting nature

The conservation of flora and fauna is important to the Club, particularly because they are situated in a nature reserve. By working together with environmental projects such as the Recovery and Research Centre for Wild Animals (RIAS), they actively involve guests in related activities and workshops. Each Friday, the Kids Club has a dedicated Environment and Nature Day, where they plant local trees and construct birds’ nests. The Club also provides guest information panels around the resort, explaining the biodiversity of the area and promoting greater understanding of its flora and fauna. Staff of the Club are also encouraged to get involved with regular clean ups around the area.

Reducing waste

The Club’s staff is advised to separate waste materials wherever possible, including paper, plastic, metal, glass, food waste, cooking oils, wood, packaging, chemicals, light bulbs, aerosol sprays, batteries, machinery and garden waste. Wherever possible, these materials are recycled. For example, cooking oil is collected and converted into biofuel and the garden waste is composted. The Club buys products in bulk to reduce packaging waste too. Colour-coded recycling bins are placed around the Club to encourage guests to recycle too.