The Impulsa Balears Foundation has presented the launch of a new action aimed at facilitating the adoption of circular economy guidelines in the hotel sector of the islands and identify, at the same time, the good practices that are already being carried out in this regard. This action is the first one carried out under the collaboration that the Foundation signed last April with the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, in order to contribute to the broad strategic reformulation process facing the sector. The presentation, which has been carried out at the headquarters of said United Nations Agency, has been organized as a meeting-conversation with the press and has been attended by Manuel Butler, executive director of UNWTO, Carmen Planas and Antoni Riera, president and technical director of Impulsa Balears, respectively, and Soraya Romero, director of Sustainability of EMEA of Iberostar Group, which assumes, on this occasion, the role of patron of a performance that is part of the relative initiative to the activation of strategic levers to boost competitiveness.
The advance of the Balearic hotel plant towards circularity is, in the words of Manuel Butler, “a great opportunity to activate the commitment of regional actors with various sustainable development objectives, specifically with the One Planet Program, and accelerate, thus, the real and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda ”. At the same time, from the regional perspective, the circular economy stands, as Antoni Riera points out, “in an important way of progress to transform the current hotel business model and guarantee, at the same time, its contribution to the boost of competitiveness Balearic Islands ”. From this perspective, the island's hotel plant can act, Riera continues, “as a circularity laboratory for other relevant segments of the regional tourism sphere, as well as for other destinations,” while having a high capacity to “weave relationships circulars with their main stakeholders –The suppliers and the clients–, because it plays a double and simultaneous role, as consumer of goods and service provider ”.
In this regard, it should be taken into account that the sector is running, increasingly, as a proactive actor in environmental management. The commitment of Grupo Iberostar, materialized through the Wave of Change movement, is also channeled through the Foundation in favor of sustainability, because, according to Soraya Romero, “we are convinced that, with the implementation of circular economy strategies , we contribute positively to the promotion of a responsible tourism model and the protection of our seas and oceans, making the most of our resources and reducing the amount of waste we produce ”. Romero recalls that "with Wave Of Change, Grupo Iberostar has been committed since 2017 to assume leadership from corporate social responsibility, be the catalysts of change and encourage, inspire and sensitize those around us to act and get involved."
The 14 hotel chains that are part of the Board of Directors of Impulsa Balears constitute, as its president, Carmen Planas, points out, “a critical mass sufficient to cover the scope of an action of these characteristics, since it concentrates 1 out of every 4 hotels on the islands and he know-how from a portfolio of 1,003 hotels worldwide. ” It is expected that next April the actors will have a new pack of surveillance resources that allow establishing and monitoring the implementation of a circular hotel strategy.