Secrets Resorts and Spa strives to prevent or reduce waste at the source and minimize our impact on the environment through good engineering practices. We will continue to research and implement new Standard Operating Procedures that will provide sustainable developments to environmental programs integrated in the hotel.
Energy Conservation Measures:
- Guest room energy conservation management system: a motion detector system that restricts energy usage when a guest room is unoccupied i.e. for air condition, lighting (florescent energy saving light bulbs utilized).
• Maintenance department supervises a computer system program that controls the usage of the air condition system, energy (lighting) around the hotels property.
• Roof top solar panels utilized for pre-heating potable water.
• 70 % of the equipment in use are energy efficient.
• All electrical equipment not in use, especially fans and lighting in work preparation areas should be off.
• All fridges, coolers and freezers are closed and have functional gaskets.
• Housekeeping : (guest room) conservation card provides guests with the option to reduce the amount of linen used during their stay, hence reducing the water , electricity and chemical used for laundry services.
Water Conservation Measures:
- Grey water treatment system–water is recycled from guests’ showers and used for irrigation use.
• Turn off all taps tightly to avoid drippings
• Only use the necessary amount of water required to wash hands , food , crockery, utensils etc.
• Report all leaky faucets , plumbing challenges to maintenance.
• Separate used from unused utensils since it wastes water to wash clean utensils.
• Housekeeping guest room conservation card provides guests with the option to reduce the amount of linen used during their stay, hence reducing the water , electricity and chemical used for laundry services.
• Aerators are installed in faucets in guests , public areas restrooms and other food and beverage work preparation areas.
Recycling and Waste Management Measures:
Diversion from Landfill:
- Used oil from the kitchen areas are collected by Green Fuel, local recycling company. Green Fuel converts the oil into feed stock.
The hotel deposits an average of 2000 litres of oil fortnightly. Initiated November , 2012 and on-going.
- Solid Waste Recycling Program with Jamaica Recyclables: Cardboard, plastic bottles and paper recycling with the aid of a baler machine. Initiated May 2013.
- Departments recycle paper (printing on both sides of each sheet of paper) for other office duties and it is also used in composting. Office paper is also shredded and removed to the compost.
- Composting of vegetables and fruits peelings from our pantry, which is used as fertilizer for the property’s plants.
- The hotel has constructed a compost site that produces a yield of 4200 kg of organic waste every three months; utilized as fertilizers around the property. Initiated October, 2012.
- Fruits and vegetable peelings from pantry are donated to local pig farmers.
- Recycling used toners and inks with INET who reuses electronic waste. Initiated September 2013.
Optimizing operational practices for responsible waste management
Cardboard´s eco-friendly route
Secrets St. James and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, both found on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, decided to act upon noticing the large amount of waste generated by their operations.
The main waste output is corrugated cardboard.
Most of the supplies used in the resort’s day-to-day operations arrive in cardboard. Corrugated cardboard can be perfectly recycled when adequately processed by separation, storage, transportation, and finally, disposal.
The main objectives of this initiative have been to encourage a sustainable mind-set among employees, to cut down the cost of the responsible management of waste, and to reduce the environmental impact caused by an accumulation of waste at the local dump due to lack of proper handling.
The process begins with creating awareness and training employees from each department led by the hotel´s green officers committee. All employees were taught about cardboard separation from other waste materials and about the handling process.
The cardboard’s journey begins the moment supplies arrive, first being unpacked and then the boxes are dismantled. Next, these boxes are taken to be compressed by machinery rented to facilitate the disposal process.
Finally, as there are no recycling facilities on the island, the compressed
cardboard is picked up by local supplier, Jamaica Recycles, who exports it to Canada to be recycled into paper and other products.
The responsible handling of cardboard improves not only the hotels’ positive environmental impacts, but also for the destination. This practice contributes to a reduction in GHG emissions, and the pollution caused by waste incineration, energy use, and logging. It also supports a significant reduction of operational costs due to storage or final disposal of the cardboard.
Furthermore, this action helps establish the hotels within the group of environmentally friendly businesses in Jamaica. The commercial agreement with Jamaica Recycles is a win win situation for all involved, minimizing environmental impact and proving to be cost-effective for the hotels as well as for the contractor.
Outstanding positive results:
- 131 bales of corrugated cardboard sent to be recycled in 2022
- A monthly average of 56.22 metric tons of cardboard handled responsibly in 2022
- A reduction of 60% in costs of storage and final disposal of waste
- A 25% reimbursement of the total cost of cardboard waste handling services
- 100% of employees educated and trained on managing waste from source and how to recycle ensuring to separate waste based on the color codes for each type of waste.
Environmental Awareness and Management
- Monthly beach and mangrove cleanup projects are carried out on property; this is led by our Outdoor Facilities Department. 2013 – present
- The hotel is a proud sponsor and participant of the International Coastal Clean Up Day. In Coastline clean- up and shoreline clean- ups completed yearly. In 2022 Secrets removed 156 kg from the mangrove. Our top performer, Mr. Enrique Scott, collected 1200 plastic bottles alone.
- Proud sponsors and participants of World Wetlands Day (Mangrove Tree Planting). February 2014- Present.
- Nature Walks are led by a Landscaping employee daily at 10:00 am. Meeting place Coco Cafe.
- Labor Day Project 2017,” Team Up to Clean Up” – Shoreline and Mangrove clean- up of the Freeport environment. Over 70 employees were involved. Over 5000 lbs. of garbage removed. In 2022 we cleaned up and refurbished some sections of the restroom and office at Johns Hall Primary School. Enrique cleaned the external peripheral of the property.
- Coral Reef Tour with our partners, the Montego Bay Marine Park, 2017- 2022.
- Signs are placed in back-of-the-house on energy conservation, water conservation, climate action and different aspects of the 17 SDGs.
- Guests are implored to recycle cans, plastic bottles and organic waste.
- Quarterly Tree Planting (over 1000 trees and plants planted in 2022.
- We protect our mangrove on property and monitored by the Green Garden team.
- Yearly Sustainability Education and Boat Tour-Marine Park
- Monthly Supplier Visit (Safety and Sustainability verification) and Training Program
- Sustainability Training for Staff Guest and Community
- Food Donation Program
- Monthly Linen Donation to Churches, Funeral Homes, Schools
The hotel continues to embark in community sustainability projects to aid in the development of our society by engaging in charitable donations in the form of cash or kind and time to schools, churches and other organizations in need.
World Wetland Day Project
On World Wetlands Day (February 2, 2019, -2023), On February 6, 2023, our main theme was to conduct a clean-up within the Freeport Mangrove and along the Freeport main road (opposite the Shipping Port) to expose and remove the amount of garbage that litters the environment and stifles further growth. With the help of 65 volunteers, we collected approximately 200 kg of solid waste from the areas. We spoke about the effect of pollution and how it affects climate change. We also spoke about the importance of mangroves and the reason why it is necessary to practice proper recycling methods.
The Nature Walk is a daily walk done with the guest of Secrets Resort & Spa and it is conducted by our very own “Elaine” from our landscaping/outdoor facilities department. This walk serves as an educational platform in which the guest can learn about the different plants and flowers around the property, the different purposes they serve and the natural remedies they can be used for. Also, she briefly discusses the marine life we have surrounding the property such as the “Starfishes” and the importance of not taking them out the water or throwing items in the sea. In her presentation she talk about our mangrove and touch a little about our culture and some cultural sites that the guest can visit.