Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort | The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism


  • The Glasgow Declaration of Climate ActionMr. Biemans signes The Glasgow Declaration of Climate Action in Tourism
  • The Glasgow Declaration of Climate Action in TourismMr. Biemans at The Glasgow Declaration of Climate Action in Tourism
  • Ewald Biemans - Bucuti & Tara Beach ResortEwald Biemans - Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Last Friday, November 5th, Ewald Biemans, owner/CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism together with secretary-general of the UNWTO & WTCC Pololikashvili. He also gave a presentation on November 9th at the 26th annual UN climate conference – the Conference of the Parties or COP26. He was invited to speak because Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is a CO2-neutral hotel since 2018 which eventually led to an award from the United Nations in 2020: the prestigious Global UN 2020 Climate Action Award for Climate Neutral Now.

Last month we also wrote an article about “the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, the only CO2-neutral hotel in the Caribbean shares framework for debt-free and sustainable holidays at the summit in Glasgow’’. In this article a link to the speech of Ewald Biemans and his view on where to start with sustainability as an hospitality entity. Check out The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism  for more information and opportunities to become a signatory.

Reading time: 3 minutes

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

Although Ewald Biemans was the only one from the Caribbean to be asked to do this honour of signing, every industry colleague – both from the Caribbean and worldwide – is full to join in taking this monumental step in the fight against climate change. With this signature, Bucuti & Tara commits to align its actions with the most recent scientific advice. In addition, the resort agrees to submit or update its Climate Action Plan within 12 months, aligned with the five pillars of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, Financing), issue an annual public report and collaborate with local and international colleagues to exchange experiences and share knowledge.

Mr. Biemans’ speech on November 9th was about the journey the resort has taken towards achieving CO2-neutral status. Check out his presentation and that of others here, the video takes 1 hour with different presentations on sustainability, Mr. Biemans’ is half way.

Your sustainable effort starts here

While it would be easy to start with quick task-oriented tips (changing out lights for LED lights, programming thermostats, ordering in bulk), Ewald encourages hoteliers to start with referencing the Glasgow Declaration as a starting point because it is designed to be industry specific: “This plan puts every player within our sector on equal footing; it allows for quicker understanding, directs them to resources, and hopefully, this will achieve faster action by all entities thanks to industry-specific templates and definition,” said Ewald Biemans.

The Glasgow Declaration was developed through the collaboration of UNWTO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Visit Scotland, the Travel Foundation, and Tourism Declare a Climate Emergency, within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme committed to accelerating sustainable consumption and production patterns.

More than 300 hospitality companies have become signatories so far – some in person at COP26 – and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is a launch signatory among them. The idea is to sign up the entire tourism industry. This creates community within hospitality, shows hospitality entities how to take action and not get sidelined by bureaucracy and creates a forum of best practices and accountability.

Trade carbon footprints for sandy footprints

Once the initiatives are in place, monitoring and tracking is key – and that’s why it’s important to start with certifications. While Bucuti & Tara’s sustainability journey began 30 years ago, that was before the quick launch (without so much trial and error) hospitality entities can experience today with the Glasgow Declaration. Bucuti & Tara forged its path through certifications (in order: Green Globe, ISO, Travelife, LEED Gold and CarbonNeutral) because each has certain strengths and each has monitoring and tracking in place. This takes place 24/7 and a property feeds these metrics to the respective certifying body. This is why instead of jumpstarting with quick-action initiatives, the first step is to start with the Glasgow Declaration and create the plan because the quick-actions still need metrics attached so a hotel/hospitality entity knows what emissions are being eliminated, which is also part of the Glasgow Declaration.

Check out the video of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort about their investments in sustainability with their great slogan: ‘Trade carbon footprints for sandy footprints’.

Website: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba

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