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On March 30th it is celebrated the Earth Hour. At Pine Cliffs Resort, this is more than a date to give attention to environmental problems, itis a commitment with guests, associates and the Planet. The Assistant Director of Engineering of the Resort, Sérgio Luz, speaks about the path that Pine Cliffs Resort has been developing to increase its sustainability.

Since when is the Earth Hour celebrated at Pine Cliffs Resort?

The Earth Hour started as a symbolic gesture in only one city, Sidney, in Australia in 2007 and got a great international adherence. Today it is one of the biggest volunteer initiatives to fight climate changes. In 2010, Pine Cliffs Resort joined the cause, celebrating the Earth Hour. It became a way for us to show the respect we have for the nature and for the sustainability in our planet, valuing what we do best and to raise awareness of our guests and associates for this issue.

Do the activities promoted this day usually have a lot of adherence from guests?

Being one of the leaders on the Hospitality Market make us an example for the others, with extra responsibility for the sustainability of our planet. This awareness event would not make sense only for the guests, having in consideration that we employ over 700 associates during high season. At this Resort, we have the conscience of our importance towards the local community and to the environment where we are inserted, and we treat them both with the utmost respect, responsibility and compromise. Therefore we have decided to make the event both for guests and associates, so we can share unique and memorable moments with a great symbolic value. At Pine Cliffs Resort we always went beyond of what the event is meant to be and instead of celebrating only the Earth Hour we promote the Earth Day, with many activities along the day with the aim to raise awareness and value for our planet.

For the 30th of March, we are preparing remarkable activities, carefully prepared by our Take Care team together with other Departments, for everyone to feel involved and proud about the actions we take for the sustainability of the Planet.

Why do you think it is important for Hotel chains to join this type of cause?

Big Hotel chains have a big social and environmental responsibility regionally and worldwide. Raising awareness for this cause is fundamental for the balance and future of our planet. At Pine Cliffs Resort, as a Luxury Collection brand managed by Marriott International and owned by United Investments Portugal (UIP), we are always aiming for sustainability. Every year we look forward to do more and better on the awareness for our guests and associates and raise concrete actions in order to be an example for other hotels.

Besides “Earth Hour”, what other kind of eco-friendly activities have been developed by Pine Cliffs Resort?

At Pine Cliffs Resort we don’t stick our environmental friendly actions to the “Earth Hour” event. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of our business and if, on one hand, we continue to grow in terms of dimension, on the other hand we also continue to decrease our ecological footprint. Every year we establish new sustainability goals and landmarks to balance with nature. We have strategies and policies implemented, in which the Green Key certification is included, and that give us the status of sustainable tourism Resort. This status is becoming one of the key factors guests search for while booking, since environmental awareness is a growing concern for many people. Besides the measures taken to achieve Green Key, we have also other policies implemented, such as:

- Pine Cliffs Resort is responsible for the recycling of all waste produced, which means we separate correctly everything before sending it to the local competent organizations;
- We only use ground water to water the golf course and gardens;
- Every year we reduce our consumption of energy, water, gas and CO2 emissions;
- In 2019 the use of plastic straws was abolished;
- We have programs of food and clothing donations to several institutions;
- We produce different fruits and vegetables in site, that are used in our restaurants and associates cafeteria;
- The waste from the golf course and gardens is used for composting;
- We are replacing all our diesel powered buggies to new electric versions;
- Following this replacement, we are installing several electric chargers in the Resort, to promote the use of electric vehicles;
- We provide bicycles to our guests and promote its use;
- All water taps have flow limiters, in order to reduce water waste;
- The flushing in the toilets never exceed 6 liters;
- Our guests are given the possibility to choose if they want their bath towels to be changed or not;
- Our air conditioning system uses the outside temperature to control the temperature inside the buildings;
- After the Hotel renovation in 2016, we only use LED lamps in our lightning system;
- We only use paper from companies that are environmental certified.

Can we consider Pine Cliffs Resort as “eco-friendly”?

Without a doubt! Pine Cliffs Resort has the Green Key certificate, which confirms our position as a sustainable tourism Resort. As Sustainability Champion and member of the Take Care team, I am proud to work on these initiatives and promote them, making our Resort a role model in terms of respect and compromise with the sustainability of our planet.

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