The Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel & Casino on Wednesday became the second hotel in Puerto Rico to receive the “Green Key Eco Label Award” environmental certification, an international recognition awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, an organization that currently certifies more than 2,000 tourism businesses in more than 38 countries worldwide.
FEE is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable development through education that is represented locally by the Organization Pro Sustainable Environment.
“The Green Key program is a voluntary eco-label for tourist facilities, which aims to contribute to sustainable development in tourism,” said Lourdes Díaz, vice president of FEE and Green Key program coordinator for the Caribbean. “It recognizes, through certification, those inns, campgrounds and other attractions that implement and promote good environmental management practices.”
She said the criteria for landing the “The Green Key” in Puerto Rico are based on common international standards mandatory in all countries. In the Four Point’s case, environmental management, human capital participation, information to guests/customers, water management, use of chemicals in cleaning, solid waste, energy use and management, food and beverage, indoor, parking and adjacent areas, green activities and administration, and management all influenced in the recognition, Díaz said.
The distinction is voluntarily requested by the company and after its evaluation is granted for one year, during which monitoring visits are conducted to verify that the rules are being carried out and the criteria are being met.
“The benefits for tourism businesses who choose voluntarily to be part of this program, include cost savings in water, energy and waste management, improved environmental image and marketing, as well as advantages and a better environment for customers and members personnel,” Díaz said. “The Green Key also acts as a management tool, which for many is one of the most important advantages of the program.”