10/11/2008Xel-Ha Begins Green Globe International Certification Process

Xel-Ha became the first park in Latin America to apply for Green Globe international certification, one of a kind worldwide, acknowledged in the spheres of sustainable tourism, and greatly influential on the sector’s most important tour operators’ decision making.

This was made public after the inspective visit made to Xel-Ha on behalf of Gustavo Ramos, Green Globe Latin America coordinator, during which he was presented with the set of principles, commitments, and actions that make this Natural Park the model of sustainable tourist recreation it is, by Xel-Ha’s executive director, Elizabeth Lugo, and the Park’s Executive Committee.

Green Globe’s certification process formally began with the consolidation of the “Blue Team,” which is further divided into four groups: “Policy and Legislation,” led by Ricardo Saenz, Sustainable Development manager for Xel-Ha; “Water and Energy” headed by Sergio Vargas, General Service manager; “Ecosystems, Residue, and Substance,” led by Saitra Perez, head of Environmental Education; and “Community Relations and Cultural Heritage,” under the supervision of Josefina Galvan, head of Social Wellbeing.

The “Blue Team” aims to divulge the Green Globe program’s information to all collaborators in the park, as well as visitors and suppliers, creating awareness towards the various activities that Xel-Ha carries out.

Green Globe is the only internationally valid certification for sustainable tourism and is based on the Agenda 21 plan, an agreement signed by Mexico alongside 182 other countries, committing to increase tourism resources while maintaining cultural, social, and environmental integrity. Green Globe standards are based on five pillars: 1) Environmental policy; 2) Regulatory work frame; 3) Key maintenance areas; 4) Environmental system management; 5) Consultation and communication with key participants.

In turn, the “key maintenance area” section considers aspects such as “Energy management and preservation”, “Drinkable water resources management”, “Ecosystem management and preservation”, “Social and cultural aspects management”, “Planning and use of soil”, “Air quality protection”, “Waste reduction and recycling”, “Storage and use of hazardous substances”.

Green Globe certification criteria perfectly matches the vision with which Xel-Ha has been managed since 1994, which rests upon a fundamental principle: to use this resource, improving its status to that of an authentic tourist product offering world class services, to generate wealth and employment, contributing to the establishment of this tourist destination, and guarantee its viability in the medium and long-terms, for the use and enjoyment of future generations.

In this sense, Xel-Ha is today one of the most important tourist products of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, as well as representing a natural wonder in which ecosystems are protected and preserved, and a role model for its performance as a Socially Responsible Company (ESR by its initials in Spanish).

During 7 consecutive years, Xel-Ha has been recipient of the ESR acknowledgement grated by the Mexican Centre for Philanthropy (CEMEFI), and
and human development policies have given Xel-Ha standing amongst the top 100 Best Places to Work in Mexico, the 100 Best Places to Work in Latin America, and one of the 20 Best Places to Work for Women, according to the Great Place To Work Institute.

This year Xel-Ha received a First Place award of National Acknowledgement for Waste Management, granted by the Environmental and Natural Resources Secretariat, as well as the CEMEFI’s Acknowledgement to the Best Corporate Pratices for its Waste Recollection and Transfer Centre. Xel-Ha’s WRTC has allowed 73% of total waste to be destined to recycling, annually preventing almost 300 tons of garbage from being sent to landfills.

Contact: David Iturbe Vargas, PR Manager