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HOTELS & ACCOMMODATIONS
Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica

Introduction

Sandals Montego Bay, the very first Sandals resort, is located in the Tourism Capital of Jamaica; Montego Bay. With 249 rooms and suites located on the largest private white sand beach on the North Coast, we are considered the Entertainment Capital of the group. We also boast a non-denominational chapel onsite and offer our guests a “stay at one, play at three” concept where they get to enjoy all three properties in the Montego Bay area.

The first in the industry to create a “Green Village”; Sandals Montego Bay has developed an eco-friendly holiday option where Cottages 549 & 550 (Presidential Suites) are powered by alternative power. The extra energy generated is passed into the grid for additional property-wide savings. Our overall sustainability objectives are geared towards:

• Fresh Water Conservation
• Energy Conservation
• Solid Waste Management
• Waste Water Management
• Hazardous Chemicals Management (storage and use)
• Green House Gas Emissions
• Coastal Erosion
• Water Pollution
• Social and Cultural Development
• Marine Preservation

At Sandals Montego Bay we commit to sustainability under the realisation of the important role it plays in maintaining business viability. More importantly, we understand the potential negative impacts our operations could have on the environment. As responsible environmental stewards, we are committed through our environmental programme to minimise the effects of our environmental footprints.

How Travelife helped us

Travelife has assisted our programme in the areas of benchmark establishment, consistency of standards and validation of conformity. With their communication of expected or benchmarked standards for our sector, audits are carried out to ensure conformity and consistency over time. Certified as Travelife Gold, we take great pride in sharing our achievements with our valued guests. In testament, our plaque is displayed in the main lobby with informed staff available to answer any queries that guests may have about the initiative.

How we have improved water efficiency

We have taken two approaches to improving water efficiency – active and passive. We actively empower staff, guests and business partners to participate in the conservation of this precious resource through training and consistent internal audits. To complement this, we also invest in efficient equipment, flow restrictors, aerators, low flow shower heads, low flush toilets, etc. Our guests are advised during orientation about our environmental programme; it is displayed on our websites and included in the essential in-room documentation.

How we have improved their energy efficiency

Our approach to improving energy efficiency has also included active and passive approaches. Staff, guests and business partners are sensitized as to the need to use non-renewable resources in a responsible manner. Internal audits are conducted daily to discourage wastage, investments are made in energy efficient equipment including LCD TVs, LED lightings, LPG boilers, inverter technology A/C units and an extensive use of photovoltaic cells for water heating and supplemental electricity.

How we generate our own energy

In a bid to further minimise our carbon footprint, Sandals Montego Bay has made capital investments in renewable energy technology taking advantage of the power of the sun. Photovoltaic provides the primary method for water heating offsetting the general energy consumption by approximately 10-12 per cent. Our recent investment in creating an ‘eco-village’ allows us to have this area of the property fully powered by solar which also supplements the rest of the grid. This adds approximately another two per cent to the electricity savings quota for the property annually. Based on total project investment we anticipate a return on investment for this project in seven years. We are proud of these initiatives and make the details present in staff and guest related literature.

How we reduce waste

The reduction of solid waste begins with our purchasing department. We endeavour to buy items in bulk and items with less packaging. Where applicable, bulk portion items are used over single serve items, packages are re-used where applicable for other functions, papers are reused to make notepads, shredded papers are used in compost and in our central warehouse for storage, vegetable refuse and kitchen scraps are sent to local pig farmers and oils are sent to our local oil recycler. These are just some of the ways we reduce waste in our programme.

How we support local business

We actively support local businesses by purchasing local produce from the community where feasible, hiring local contractors for repairs and maintenance, hiring local talents for entertainment and on select days allowing local craft vendors to access the property and display their wares. In addition we host a Tour Desk onsite managed by Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours where guests are able to book local tours daily, getting them out into the surrounding communities.

How we support local charities or community groups

The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals through which we actively offer support in the areas of education, community and the environment. We actively partner with community groups, NGOs and encourage the community spirit in our staff and guests in making a difference in our communities.

In June 2011, Sandals Resorts, in conjunction with The Sandals Foundation and the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) launched Reading Road Trip, the resort company’s first official voluntourism program. Reading Road Trip is a volunteer literacy program aimed at improving listening, reading and comprehension skills of local children between the ages of 5 and 7 and expands on programming developed by the Sandals Foundation through their school adoption policy. The chance to ‘give back’ has been a customer request for some time and Reading Road Trip invites guests into the community to one of the Foundation’s participating adopted basic and primary schools to engage small groups of children in active reading strategies.



How we support conservation and cultural heritage

Sandals Montego Bay supports NGOs like the Montego Bay Marine Trust and conforms with local regulators like NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency) in the protection of local flora and fauna. We are perennial participants in projects like International Coastal Clean-up and periodically conduct reef clean-ups as a part of the dive experience with guests.



How we have involved our staff

A critical component of our mandatory orientation programme for all new employees is the Earthguard Training. Sandals Earthguard, powered by Earthcheck, is our environmental programme and all staff are trained in the best practices expected during their tenure. This is also complemented by on-going training throughout the tenure by the Environment Health & Safety Manager, Training Manager and key industry personnel. Staff are made to understand their role in achieving the wider environmental objectives of the resort.

And what our guests think

Guests respond positively to our sustainable approach to tourism. Most allude that more people are concerned about our role in the deteriorating environmental conditions globally and applaud our efforts to minimise out impacts.

To find out more

For more information about Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Resorts International please visit
www.sandals.co.uk.