Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Arenal, Costa Rica, has achieved the Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS), becoming the first luxury hotel in the country and the second luxury hotel in the world to pass the intensive desk audit and on-site inspections required. The innovative program developed by Leading Hotels of the World in partnership with Sustainable Travel International awards LECS based on high marks in policy and documentation, energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and community. Tabacon was certified 100% carbon neutral in May 2009.
LECS is the first global certification program of its kind for luxury properties and was created through a partnership between Sustainable Travel International, the global non-profit leader in sustainable travel solutions, and Leading Quality Assurance, a joint venture of Leading Hotels that specializes in quality assurance, benchmarking and training to the luxury hospitality industry. The program focuses on Triple Bottom Line management achievements where people, planet and profit are all part of the property's business objectives.
Brian T. Mullis, Sustainable Travel International president stated, "By achieving the Luxury Eco Certification Standard, Tabacón has demonstrated its superiority not only in quality and service but also in the resort's commitment to safeguarding the natural and cultural heritage of our planet for future generations." Noted Uwe Wagner, director general, "In an area with tropical rainforest, the Arenal Volcano and many kinds of wildlife, conservation and environmental care are critical. We actively encourage both our staff members and our guests to become involved in sustainability."
A globally recognized resort by Conde Nast Johansens, Travel + Leisure, and Luxury SpaFinder and winner of the recent Luxist Reader's Choice Award for Best International Spa, Tabacón exemplifies both luxury and sustainability. Certified 100% carbon neutral since 2009, the resort, which also includes the hot springs complex and the Grand Spa, practices environmental protection as a way of life. Tabacón scored top grades in water and electricity use, waste management, staff training and involvement, community programs and environmental protection.
The recipient of three-leaf designation for Sustainable Tourism, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort prides itself on its leadership role in sustainability efforts, protection of the environment, and community involvement in sustainable efforts in the Northern region of Costa Rica. As the country gears up to become the world's first carbon-neutral country by 2021, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort has introduced its own far-reaching sustainability program, Tabacon Green, to further environmental awareness and allow guests to contribute in a meaningful and memorable way.
Through this ground-breaking Tabacon Green Sustainable Tourism program and the training and commitment of its staff, the Green Brigade, the resort's own green initiatives are supplemented by a guest participation program of planting trees to minimize the carbon footprint of arrivals by car or bus, with more than 3000 trees planted thus far. Over 50% of the more than 872 acres total land owned by Tabacon is under protection as primary or secondary rainforest. The resort also supports the local community through resort and guest contributions to the local community development fund, and promotion of local products and handcrafts in its shops.
Guests and employees are encouraged to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum and glass by utilizing provided receptacles. Tabacon also integrates a program of information, education and motivation towards both guests and employees concerning environmental and cultural conservation and preservation. Of key eco-importance are Tabacón's two underground reservoirs that provide the entirety of the resort's water and are naturally heated by the nearby active Arenal Volcano, eliminating the need for external energy sources. The hotel and Grand Spa also reduce water consumption with low-flow showers and installed automatic closings of sanitary services. With its own wastewater treatment plant, Tabacón processes all of its refuse waters and supplies organic waste to local farmers for use with livestock. The resort also emphasizes mindful use of electricity through set procedures and the use of eco-friendly technologies including fluorescent lighting, photo voltaic cells in gardens and paths, and lighting timers. Products purchased for resort maintenance and guest consumption are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, recyclable and/or reusable.