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Eco Rating Turneffe Flats

Name of propertyTurneffe Flats
Person completing this formCraig Hayes
PositionOwner
Address of propertyTurneffe Atoll, Belize
Mailing Address: PO Box 1676, Belize City
CountryBelize
Phone number including country code and area code888-512-8812, 623-742-3920
Web siteTurneffe Flats
E-mailcraig@tflats.com
Type of propertyEco-adventure, fly fishing & Scuba diving lodge
Number of rooms or cottages14
Maximum number of guests28
Eco memberships1% For the Planet, Turneffe Atoll Trust
Eco ratings, certifications, awardsBelize Tourism Board Environmental Award 2010.  Eco Rating at Eco Tropical Resorts 4.6 out of 5.
  • Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES/NO

If yes, please attach.

  • Do you have a written environmental management system?                  YES/NO

If yes, please attach.

  • Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased.

Turneffe Flats is located on a picturesque remote point on the Eastern side of Belize’s Turneffe Atoll.  Our resort encompasses 25 acres and is comprised of 14 buildings inclusive of guest accommodations and staff facilities.  The nearest services are 30 miles from us in Belize City.

Our mission is to provide high quality vacation experiences in an eco-friendly atmosphere balancing quality guest experiences with minimal environmental impacts.  We offer three distinct eco-tourism packages – Scuba diving, fly fishing and our marine eco-adventure package.  Our dive policies require strict reef protection practices and our fly fishing program requires that all sport fish are released unharmed.

The natural experience is provided by Turneffe Atoll’s incredible marine ecosystem through our knowledgeable guides.  We continually seek to educate our guests about the sensitive marine eco-system and the need to protect it.
(150 words max) 142

  • Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town.

Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean, and Turneffe Flats is located on the Eastern side of the atoll approximately 30 miles east of Belize City. We border an extensive back-reef flat frequented by tailing bonefish and have a magnificent view of the reef crest approximately 200 yards in front the lodge.

The nearest town is Belize City with a population of 70,000.  We meet our guests and pick up our supplies in Belize City.
(100 word max)

  • Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort.

This was really a very easy decision as we are dedicated conservationists and do not want to operate a resort/lodge at the expense of the environment. Turneffe Flats is located in an incredibly beautiful and environmentally sensitive area which clearly lends itself to being an eco resort.

We have established an ecologically and economically sustainable business and have sought over the past 30 years to offer a high level of service while minimizing our environmental impact.  This approach has helped in the development of our business as we find that many consumers are interested in supporting eco-friendly businesses.
(100 word max)

Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating

The Butterfly Club Eco Rating has five equally-weighted categories:

  • Energy;
  • Water;
  • Recycling and waste;
  • Land and nature conservation; and
  • Community.

Each category has five levels, designated by one to five butterflies.  Through self assessment, resort operators completing this rating will determine their own levels within each category based on their responses to items listed below.

Two categories – energy and water – have similar rating systems with Levels 1 and 2 addressing conservation of existing resources, and Levels 3, 4 and 5 addressing creation of renewable energy or capturing water.

Level five in every category also requires written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record consumption; (2) test and apply additional conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific targets.   We require a copy of your policies if you achieve level 5 in any category.

Eco Rating Turneffe Flats Energy

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

___  use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
_*_  use natural light during the day
_*_  minimise use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
_*_  use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water
_*_  air dry clothes/linens
_*_  wash dishes by hand
_*_  use energy efficient appliances and electronics
_*_  use low wattage fluorescent or LED light bulbs
_*_  change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
_*_  switch off lights when not used

Other energy conservation activities? Please list:

  • Ten years ago, we were the first lodge in Belize to converted from 2-stroke to 4-stoke outboard engines. This has reduced our outboard fuel usage by nearly 50% while generating much less oil pollution.
  • We have installed a SCADA real-time generator monitoring system which allows us to closely monitor our generators and utilize the smallest possible generator.
  • Outdoor lighting has been changed to either low voltage or solar.

Level 1 = four or fewer energy conservation activities

Level 2 = five or more energy conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – renewable energy: Indicate proportion (%) of energy from each source:

_5_  solar
_0_  wind
_0_  hydro
95   generator
_0_  public utility
Other energy sources? Please list:

100% TOTAL
How were these proportions developed?

Level 3 = renewable energy is employed and is less than 1/3 of all energy

Level 4 = renewable energy constitutes 1/3 – 2/3 of all energy

Level 5 = renewable energy constitutes 2/3 or more of all energy.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record energy consumption; (2) test and apply additional energy conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific energy targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Energy Level 5 (required).

Other energy Saving measures.

Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) =   3

Eco Rating Turneffe Flats Water

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

_*_   low flow faucets and showerheads
_*_  low water use toilets
_*_  change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
___  use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
_*_  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
_*_  treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes

Other water conservation activities?  Please list.

  • Approximately 150,000 gallons of rainwater storage on site.

Level 1 = three or fewer water conservation activities

Level 2 = four or more water conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – capture and treat fresh water and manage waste water. Capture water: Indicate proportion (%) of water from each source:

30% spring
0  river
50  % rain
10 % reuse gray
0   public utility

Other water sources?  Please list.
10% from a backup Reverse Osmosis System used only when we have unusually dry periods.

100% TOTAL

Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
_*__  naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:
Ultraviolet light

Our potable water is filtered and then disinfected with a UV system.
_*_  chemically.  List chemicals used:
Chlorine in storage tanks.

Waste water management:
_*  septic tanks
___  cesspools
___  other? List methods:

Level 3: Water is captured (from springs, rivers, rain or prior use) and constitutes less than 1/3 of water from all sources.  Water is treated chemically.  Water disposal does not minimise damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 4:  Captured water constitutes 1/3 to 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimises damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 5:  Captured water constitutes more than 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimises damage to coral reefs and rain forests.   In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record water consumption; (2) test and apply additional water conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific water targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Water Level 5 (required).

Your Water Level (select 1 – 5): 5

Eco Rating Turneffe Flats Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:

_*_   use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
_*_   buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
_*_   purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
_*_   recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminium
_*_   minimise emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
___   zero waste in the kitchen
_*_   serve local water, not bottled water
_*_   cleaning products are biodegradable
_*_   compost organic matter

Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.

  • glass bottles are ground and used as fill when concrete is poured
  • plastic and other waste that cannot be disposed of on site is crushed, bagged and transported to the mainland.
  • plastic bottles are transported to the mainland for recycling
  • office paper is shredded and composted

Level 1 = four or fewer recycling activities

Level 2 = five recycling activities

Level 3 = six recycling activities

Level 4 = seven recycling activities

Level 5 = eight or more recycling activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record recycling and waste; (2) test and apply additional recycling and waste conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific recycling and waste targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Recycling and Waste Level 5 (required).

Your Recycling and Waste Level (select 1 – 5): 5

Eco Rating Turneffe Flats Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:

_*_   minimise tree removal when building
___   use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
_*_   maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
_*_   use biodegradable cleaning products
_*_   minimise external illumination
_*_   take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.
_*_   Landscaping with native plants

Please list actions and projects:

  • Chaired the Turneffe Islands Coastal Advisory Committee in 2003 and subsequently the Turneffe Atoll Coastal Advisory Committee 2010-11 to develop Development and Management Guidelines for Turneffe Atoll.
  • Produced An Atoll at Risk , a DVD to educated school children and others about environmental concerns related to Turneffe Atoll.
  • Leader in enacting legislation in Belize mandating catch & release sport fishing.

Level 1: one or two land and nature conservation activities

Level 2: three land and nature conservation activities

Level 3: four land and nature conservation activities

Level 4: five land and nature conservation activities

Level 5: six or more land and nature conservation activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record land and nature conservation activities; (2) test and apply additional land and nature conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific land and nature conservation targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Land and Nature Conservation Level 5 (required).

Your Land and Nature Conservation Level (select 1 – 5): 5

Eco Rating Turneffe Flats Community

This category addresses policies and activities regarding staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the community.

Check all activities that apply:

_*_  hire staff residing near the resort           95% local nationals
_*_  use local suppliers                                  90% purchased goods produced locally
_*_  re-invest resort income locally               95 % income  locally
_*_  pay above local prevailing wage
_*_  pay into local social security
___  provide health insurance or coverage
_*_  use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
_*__  provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
_*__  provide sustainable transport to work for staff
_*_  take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.

  • Formed the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Council (TASC) to organize the Turneffe Atoll residents in an attempt to form a representative community structure.
  • Funded summer ecology camp for grade school children.
  • Funded ecology scholarship at the University of Belize.
  • Funded Turneffe-related Masters Degree thesis on hurricane damage.
  • Implemented regular patrols at Turneffe through a cooperative effort between The Fisheries Department, the Belize Coast Guard and Turneffe Atoll Trust to improve fisheries enforcement and security for residents of the atoll.

___  Have enrolled your staff in any personal green training/certification schemes such as ecohelpline.com green leaf certification.

Level 1: one or two community activities

Level 2: three to five community activities

Level 3: six to seven community activities

Level 4: eight to nine community activities

Level 5: ten or more community activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record community activities; (2) test and apply additional methods to support the community; and (3) work towards specific community targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Community Level 5 (required).

Your Community Level (select 1 – 5): 5

YOUR OVERALL ECO SCORE (add your level for each category and divide by 5 and enter the result with the decimal point, e.g. 3.6): 4.4

We have three final questions which are not part of the eco rating:

  • Please describe your single most important eco achievement:

We are a charter member of 1% For The Planet and have used our conservation donations to 1% to establish and build a non-profit organization named Turneffe Atoll Trust. Turneffe Atoll Trust led the way for Belize in establishing the landmark Catch and Release Legislation in 2009 and we are the lead agency working to establish Turneffe Atoll as a Marine Reserve.

  • Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.

We are in the process of a major energy analysis to determine the feasibility of adding a significant solar and wind power system.  We will very likely revise our power system over the next year with as much renewable energy as possible.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add to this eco rating?

Our work through Turneffe Atoll Trust (www.turneffeatoll.org)  demonstrates  our high level of commitment to current and future conservation efforts.

Thank you very much for completing and returning this survey. Lise Tyrell will post your completed form to the Web site, www.eco-tropicalresorts.com.

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