Aug. 23, 2010, Costa Rica - It not only up to superheroes to save the world. Condé Nast Traveler magazine has just named Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality as a World Saver and the world’s most socially responsible small hotel chain.
In compiling its fourth-annual list of World Savers Award winners, Condé Nast looked at airlines, city hotels, cruise lines, large hotel chains, large resorts/lodges, small hotel chains, small resorts/lodges and tour operators - and at how each exhibited social responsibility. A record 164 applicants were judged in five areas: education programs, health initiatives, poverty relief, environmental and cultural preservation and wildlife conservation. An additional category, called “doing it all,” was developed to recognize companies with achievements in all five areas.
“It’s an honor to be named as the world’s most socially responsible small hotel chain,” said Hans Pfister, CEO of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality. “To be recognized in all categories, including the special ‘doing it all’ category is an achievement the whole team is very proud of. And to top it off, we also came out with two overall runner-up awards under education programs and environmental and cultural preservation.”
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality was also the only company to sweep all six World Savers Awards in their category. To win, each applicant had to answer more than 20 questions. Next, a panel of 22 judges, made up of academics, CEOs and philanthropists, and seven Condé Nast Traveler editors chose the 32 finalists.
“Here at Cayuga, we’re taking sustainable steps now to ensure the future health of our communities and, on a grander scale, our planet,” said Pfister. “And through our creative actions, such as using discarded bags from the banana industry as roof tiles at our Arenas Del Mar location or installing an underground electricity system in order to avoid interfering with surrounding wildlife, we’re embodying what it really means to be a World Saver.”
Each Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality resort and hotel applies the highest standard of sustainability. In terms of environmental sustainability, Cayuga, its properties and managers focus on wastewater management, water usage, energy usage, solid waste reduction and natural and native plant landscaping.
Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort was built with sustainability in mind. The total construction of the resort covers less than 25 per cent of the property – the rest has become a private nature reserve that acts as an ecological corridor to expand the area surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park. The hotel also contributes directly to the Titi Conservation Alliance, a non-profit group that protects the endangered Titi (squirrel) monkey in areas surrounding the park.
Created in the 1990s under the philosophy that “a rainforest left standing is worth more than cut down,” Costa Rica’s Lapa Rios Ecolodge is set on a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. And with 80 per cent of the lodge made from renewable materials, Lapa Rios has been awarded with Costa Rica’s highest sustainable tourism certification.
As part of its commitment to the quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit and place, Latitude 10 Beach Resort hires almost exclusively from the local community and encourages guests to explore Santa Teresa, set on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The resort provides bicycles to guests so they can discover the surrounding area that offers an abundance of local culture, restaurants and a reputation for ecological consciousness that has awarded the community a "blue flag” since 2001.
The Harmony Hotel supports the efforts of Sibu Sanctuary and Nosara Wildlife Refuge – two small local organizations that work to protect, rescue and rehabilitate arboreal mammals. The hotel has donated funds for the construction of an outdoor rehabilitation habitat and has formed a staff volunteer team to assist with the rescue of monkeys and other animals.
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn was the first certified sustainable hotel in Costa Rica – and the only to achieve a perfect score on the Sustainable Tourism Certification program. Some of the sustainable features on the property include recycling coffee pulp into fertilizer, using solar panels for heating and allowing only electric cars on the property.
Set on a private island, located a short boat ride from the colonial town of Granada, Jicaro Island Ecolodge was built with minimum impact to the island and with very careful planning in terms of water supply, wastewater treatment and electricity usage. The eco-lodge uses cross-ventilation and ceiling fans instead of air conditioning units and is committed to providing guests with a food experience that celebrates local, sustainable ingredients with healthy, natural dishes.
To view the complete list of World Saver Award recipients, visit here.