Sustainability 2.1 – Continuing Leadership in Sustainable Hospitality

We are in the sustainability planning process for the Cayuga Hotels and Lodges for 2017 and beyond.  Zero Waste Production – Child Care for all of our Staff – Functional Gardens – Carbon Neutrality – Gender Equality and Opportunities – Cayuga University – 100 percent Renewable Energy – Company Doctors – Sustainable Food and Beverages are just a few of our goals.

About three to four times a year we get together with the hotel and lodge managers and the corporate support team to focus on a specific area in our operations.  Earlier in the year we focused on Food & Beverage, Administration & Accounting, Human Resources and this past week it was time to talk about our strategy into the future in terms of sustainability.

In 2015, we developed a document called “Sustainability 2.0” that would propel us to the next level of sustainable hospitality with innovations, focus and exploring areas that were not traditionally considered part of sustainable hospitality.  The Experience & Sustainability Managers from the hotels and lodges gave presentations on what was achieved in the last year at each property.

Sharing experiences about the implementation of the Sustainability 2.0 program was an inspiration for the team as the advances in the past year were great.
Sharing experiences about the implementation of the Sustainability 2.0.  Jorge Carcache from Jicaro Lodge in Nicaragua explains his reforestation projects near the lodge.

We visited two projects in the San Jose and Central Valley area that we thought would be an “inspiration” for us.

The first one was SIFAIS.  It is a private non-profitable project that promotes self-advancement and social integration through the teaching and learning of art, sports or trades. Music, arts or sports are an excuse: the goal is social inclusion through.  This project operates in La Carpio, one of San Jose’s poorest and “roughest” neighborhoods.  

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A walking tour of the La Carpio neighborhood left a strong impression on the Cayuga Team and made all of realized that there is lot of social work to be done out there.

 

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We were all very impressed by the presentation of some of the teenagers that learned to play instruments and are now part of a successful orchestra.  An admirable project indeed.

 

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The inspiration and motor behind the Sifais project.  Alicia is a local community leader that was a true inspiration to all of us and Maris Stella is a Costa Rican entrepreneur that has supported the project since the very beginning.

 

The second project was the Ark Herb Farm located in the foothills of the Poas Volcano near Alajuela.  An impressive botanical garden and herb farm created by the north American expat Tommy Thomas during the last 25 years.

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Tommy Thomas explains the medicinal qualities of the plants in his gardens to the Cayuga Management Team.

 

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All hotels and lodges feature herb and vegetable gardens.  But it is not always easy to grow things in costal tropical locations.  The visit to the Herb Garden was a great inspiration of what is possible for the team.

 

Since the culinary aspect of things is very important to us at Cayuga, we asked the owners of Costa Rica Meadery to prepare a special lunch for us.  Only local ingredients and preferably from the ark farm.

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Alejandra and Michael prepared a wonderful lunch featuring  goat, wild beans, tortillas and goat cheese accompanied by  locally produced Honey Wine and Ginger Beer.  Another proof that nothing beats “local” and “fresh”.

We finished the day at the Grano de Oro Hotel with a happy hour.  Our concept of Experience – Learn – Connect – Relax was lived to the fullest during those two days.

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Happy Hour at Grano de Oro.  Time to let go and connect with the managers from the different hotels and lodges all over Costa Rica and in Nicaragua.

Stay tuned for our Sustainability Report 2016 and our plans for 2017.  If you would like to experience sustainable hospitality at our hotels and lodges, send us a note.  We would love to show you our approach to sustainability.

2 responses to “Sustainability 2.1 – Continuing Leadership in Sustainable Hospitality”

  1. I actually love to experience sustainble hospitality as part of the team at Jicaro Island. Couldn’t find a better place to develop my eco-practices!

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