Key Caribbean Leaders To Improve Energy Efficiencies In Hospitality Sector
FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (October 1, 2016) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Caribbean Clean Energy Program (CARCEP) yesterday signed a collaboration agreement with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in a landmark move to bolster energy efficiency in the Caribbean’s hotel sector, the largest electricity consumer sector in the region. At the signing were key energy efficiency experts, including Denaye Hinds, OBMI’s Director of Sustainability.
The agreement, which was signed during the official ceremony of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in Puerto Rico, defines the joint actions to be taken to effectively address the sector’s needs, primarily in the areas of energy policy reform and research and capacity development. This initiative is largely directed at beneficiary countries under USAID CARCEP’s mandate – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Hotel owners in these nations will be equipped with access to technical tools, training, and other resources to help them understand and adopt energy efficiency best practices for reducing their energy consumption.
Hinds played an instrumental role in reviewing the initiative and consulting in order to ensure it was all-inclusive of the region. “With any new program, there’s always going to be that challenge. Unfortunately, in the past, many of these initiatives impacted only a select few countries. Through a new training and online component, this initiative will expand its reach to include projects in eight countries throughout the Caribbean with key resources available to all countries.” This agreement symbolizes the start of a larger benefit for sustainable growth in the region. Reductions in energy consumption will deliver environmental benefits while improving regional economic competitiveness. There are approximately 2,500 hotels that can profit from this initiative.
Each year CHIEF, staged by CHTA, attracts a large percentage of hoteliers, association executives, and other targeted stakeholders and as such provides a central platform for the introduction to and uptake of these resources. Hinds also discussed how to use the property’s environmental features as unique selling points for enticing eco-conscious and responsible travelers and shed light on how guests’ engagement with green initiatives can improve the bottom line and strengthen guest relations.