For us, being green is more than words in a brochure, we get down and dirty. Throughout the property we have implemented solar hot water (with gas heat back up), low voltage lighting, rainwater harvesting, paper and cardboard recycling and an extensive composting program. All of our garden waste is chipper shredded to mix with our compost, or reused as ground cover on our garden beds. Plastic straws and plastic shopping bags have been eliminated from the property and we are working with our suppliers to reduce excess packaging. Guest rooms have AC cutoffs so an empty room is not left air conditioned all day in addition to a towel and linen reuse and recycling programs.
And we have no plan to stop there. We have committed to the elimination at least 90% of our single-use plastics on property by Earth Day on April 22, 2020. We have already implemented a refilling strategy for our in-room amenity products. A key part of this initiative is eradicating single-use plastic bottles from our minibars and bars. And because we are a community-based organization, we are supporting the establishment of a new local glass bottled water plant, Discovery Water to become our primary bottled water provider and we are working with them on a bottle recycling program. In 2018 Rockhouse and Skylark combined used almost 30,000 plastic bottles of water…our goal is to reduce that waste to zero in 2021.
To make sure this all runs smoothly, Rockhouse has implemented an environmental management system and has created a Green Team of senior management and representatives from all departments that meets on a weekly basis. We have appointed a Green Globe Manager, Ruel Rowe, who has the responsibility of ensuring ongoing environmental performance and implementing social sustainability
We encourage staff to share our commitment to environmental and social sustainability and our status under the Green Globe programme to our guests, suppliers, contractors, agents and wholesalers. Every year, we undergo an expert external environmental audit and bench mark against previous years. We continually compare to best industry practice and strive to achieve international best standards. Working together with our charitable arm, the Rockhouse Foundation, we are deeply committed to social sustainability and creating a profound positive impact in the local community.
It doesn’t stop at the property’s borders, we are getting the whole community involved. This year we hosted our tenth annual Negril Area Green Globe Quiz, a yearly competition developed by the Rockhouse Green Team a decade ago for local schools to enhance student’s environmental awareness. Conducted at the Negril Library, an environmental education curriculum is provided to all the local area primary schools. Teams of 6th grade children race to hit the buzzers to answer questions about sustainability while their teachers and peers cheer. With a trip to Kool Runnings Water Park as one of the prizes, the competition can get fierce!