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WAVE OF CHANGE

Grupo Iberostar is committed to the oceans

Today more than ever, we are aware of the vital role played by the seas and oceans. We get the majority of our oxygen from them, which in turn makes up the atmosphere. They also provide raw materials and food, and form the basis of several economic activities.

At the Iberostar Group, which has more than 80% of our hotels on the seafront, we have always had a policy of responsible and sustainable management in the environments in which we operate, because we understand the valuable and priceless exchange of resources provided by the seas and oceans. But today, we are taking a step forward and we are implementing a new project that we are calling “Wave of Change” with three complementary, but clearly different action lines: reducing the consumption of single-use plastics, the promotion of sustainable fishing and the improvement of coastal well-being.

We hope that “Wave of Change” becomes a large movement that our employees, customers, suppliers and society at large joins, and with everyone’s collaboration we will be able to contribute to the evolution of the sector toward increasingly sustainable tourism.

1. Elimination of single-use plastics

It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic are deposited into our oceans every year, and if action is not taken, by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. That’s why Iberostar is substituting single-use plastics for reusable alternatives or for materials that are less harmful to the environment. That’s why the Group’s first step was to eliminate all single-use plastics from its hotel rooms in Spain during 2018, and to extend this commitment to the more than 110 hotels in 2019. We are therefore becoming the first chain in Spain to commit to this change. To raise awareness, we have set a goal to spread this message of responsibility to society at large, as well as to our employees, customers and suppliers.

2. Sustainable fishing

Our purchasing team and kitchen advisors work together with our suppliers to better trace our fishing products, so we can adjust our offer to responsible consumption at all of our destinations. Based on the advice of international experts, we are redesigning our menus to highlight local and seasonal seafood. These decisions, along with the continual training of our employees and communication with our customers, help us to create responsible consumption habits that do not compromise on the conservation of species and their ecosystems, as well as to prevent and reduce their exploitation. At the same time, we are also working on eliminating from our offers any species that are more sensitive to seasons and which cannot be proven to have been caught responsibly. Beyond our firm commitment to responsible fishing, and to raise even more awareness of the importance of responsible consumption, some of our hotels have also been granted the MSC/ASC chain of custody certification, making us the first hotel chain in Spain and the fourth in Europe to earn this certification.

3. Coastal Health

By way of agreements with Universities and Research Centres, we are working closely with scientific experts to protect and care for the coastlines where our hotels are located. This third action area includes the research, protection and preservation of coral reefs and mangrove ecosystems, as well as the promotion of knowledge and the nurturing of marine life. The first coral reef nursery has already been created at one of our hotel complexes in the Dominican Republic. When it comes to mangrove ecosystems, studies are being carried out to make the most of its natural biofiltration properties to purify wastewater. And by way of the recently-created “Iberostar Maritime Professorship” in collaboration with the Universidad de las Islas Baleares, marine ecology will be encouraged, as well as the creation of new teams that will research marine life, among other things.