Applied Financing Solutions
In operation since/from: 2011
For 33 years, Bucuti & Tara Resort has striven to become a responsible steward of the environment – long before it became mainstream. Located in the Caribbean, Aruba, along with every other small island, is on the front lines of the climate crisis. Its miles of coastline, barely above sea level land mass and tropical climate make it vulnerable to global warming. Despite being on the widest swathe of Eagle Beach, Owner and CEO Ewald Biemans says unless there is a reversal of climate change, 20-30 years from now guests will have to snorkel to see what today’s white, sandy beach is.
In August 2018, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba became the Caribbean's first - and still only – hotel to achieve carbon neutral certification. Not one to rest, Bucuti's team continues its sustainability pledge by venturing to the goal of carbon negative. It achieved LEED Silver Certification already in 2015 and LEED Gold in 2020. Major leaps include installing the island’s largest private sector solar panel system, decreasing waste stream-to-landfill by 62% all the while increasing occupancy to 98.5%. They installed double-paned, insulated air-filled or film-coated windows, and converted from an air-condition/chiller system to an energy efficient cooling system. In 2018-19, they worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to reduce total food waste 30%. The Bucuti Resort prohibited single-use plastics and Styrofoam 20 years ago.
Even with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Bucuti & Tara implemented professional safety precautions to protect guests and staff while simultaneously caring for the planet.
Success Factor | Hero Moment
The most decisive moment took place when Owner/CEO Ewald Biemans was told achieving carbon neutrality would be impossible. Always one to follow his convictions, he decided and forged a path the Caribbean had never seen. He involved all the staff and vendors and worked with sustainability experts. By August 2018, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort became the Caribbean’s first carbon neutral hotel.
In Oct. 2020, the United Nations named Bucuti & Tara Resort as the first hotel in its history to receive a coveted Global United Nations 2020 Climate Action Award. The UN used it to signal to the world that the tourism sector – 10% of the world’s GDP – can and must play a significant role in combatting global warming.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba