Eco Rating Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Name of property Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge
Person completing this form Kimberly Spier
Position Owner/Operator
Address of property 22 kilometers south of Puerto Jiménez, Osa Peninsula
Country Costa Rica
Phone number including country code and area code (506) 2735-5443 (Reservations) ; (506) 8389-2846 (Front Desk)
Web site Bosque Del Cabo
E-mail reservations@bosquedelcabo.com
Type of property Tropical Rainforest
Number of rooms or cottages 15 accommodations (12 bungalows and 3 rental houses)
Maximum number of guests 50
Eco memberships Sustainabletrip.org; Costa Rican Eco-tourism Chamber (CANAECO); It’s a Green Green World; Amigos de Los Parques (National Park System Fundraising Program)
Eco ratings, certifications, awards 4 Leaves in Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). Eco Rating at Eco Tropical Resorts: 5 out of 5.
  1. Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES/NO

If yes, please attach.  YES (Bosque Sustainability Manual)

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

If yes, please attach. YES (Impact Study, Sustainability Manual)

  1. Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased (150 words max)

Crowning a point 500 feet above the Golfo Dulce nestled in the unspoiled jungles of the Osa Peninsula is a paradise found.  Bosque del Cabo is a romantic rainforest getaway and a naturalist’s dream come true.  This 750-acre forest reserve features private bungalows and gorgeous houses perched atop the cliffs of Cabo Matapalo.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth and is home to the world famous Corcovado National Park.  Bosque del Cabo offers a rare opportunity to comfortably vacation among all this natural splendor.  At the end of our  driveway, you’re transported to a private Eden joining thriving rainforest with the beauty of manicured grounds and breathtaking views.  The lush gardens attract many of the area’s colorful residents, including macaws, toucans, monkeys, and peccaries.

  1. Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town (100 words max)

Bosque del Cabo is located on the cape of the Osa Peninsula.  Most guests choose to fly into Puerto Jiménez, the largest town in the area, with either Nature Air and Sansa.
We will arrange a 4×4 vehicle to be waiting at the airport to take you on the 45 minute (14-mile) ride up to the lodge, crossing pasture land and eventually ascending into primary rainforest. This is where the adventure begins, as you will cross several streams on the way and start to see some of the area’s fantastic wildlife.

  1. Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort (100 word max)

 

From the beginning, we understood the balance between connecting family and friends to this area and the need to protect its workings.  During these 20 years our efforts have evolved into the creation of Bosque del Cabo, a rainforest lodge that  seeks the ever-illusive title of “sustainability” through a financially-successful business model that assures the highest quality of service while maintaining a healthy ecosystem and a thriving local community.  We hope to solidify our life’s work at the lodge by protecting in perpetuity this once-overgrazed cow pasture that has regenerated into over 750 acres of flourishing tropical forest.

Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating

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

  1. Energy;
  2. Water;
  3. Recycling and waste;
  4. Land and nature conservation; and
  5. 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 Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Energy

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

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

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:

_45%__  solar
___  wind
_45%_  hydro
_10%_  generator
___  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).

Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) =   5

ATTACHED: InterDinámica Energy Report, Sustainability Manual; Energy Consumption Data

Eco Rating Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Water

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

_x_  low flow faucets and showerheads
_x_  low water use toilets
_x_  change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
___use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
_x_  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
_x_  treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes
Other water conservation activities?  Please list.

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:

_100__  spring
___  river
___  rain
___  reuse gray
___  public utility
Other water sources? Please list.

100% TOTAL

Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
_x__  naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:
Spring water is channeled in sanitary PVC tubes and filtered.   
___  chemically.  List chemicals used:

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

Artificial Wetlands/Biofilter is used to treat all grey waters from Restaurant Kitchen and Employee Housing.

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 minimize 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 minimizes 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 minimizes 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

ATTACHED Water consumption data; Biofilter description; Sustainability Manual

Eco Rating Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:

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

-Raw organic matter is composted in traditional method and with vermi-composting system.  Cooked organic matter is donated to local pig farmer.

-We do not offer bottled water at the hotel.  We sell “intelligent plastic” water bottles using the d2w (oxo-biodegradable) technology.  These bottles begin to decompose naturally after 36 months.

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

ATTACH: Recycling Data (Waste Analysis); Sustainability Booklet

Eco Rating Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:

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

-All our construction has been done on previously deforested land (when property was bought it was a cow pasture).  The open green area represents only 3% of the 750 acre property.  The rest is primary and secondary rainforest.
-The compost we produce on the grounds is used to improve the soil quality (and prevent pests, etc.).  Our gardeners weed by hand.
-Our “park ranger” provides maintenance to the trails and patrols the forest area, monitoring any irregularities.
-One fourth of our property is officially part of the OSA National Wildlife Refuge (the other 3/4ths will be integrated shortly).
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

ATTACH: Sustainability Manual; YAGUARÁ and FRIENDS OF THE OSA FLIERS (Two Conservation Programs supported by Bosque del Cabo); Letter Certifying Bosque Membership of OSA Wildlife Refuge (In Spanish)

Eco Rating Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Community

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

Check all activities that apply:

_x__  hire staff residing near the resort          _95__% local nationals
_x__  use local suppliers                                _75_% purchased goods produced locally
_x__  re-invest resort income locally            _30_% income re-invested locally
_x__  pay above local prevailing wage
_x__  pay into local social security
_x__  provide health insurance or coverage
_x__  use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
_x__  provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
_x__  provide sustainable transport to work for staff
_x__  take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.
___  Have enrolled your staff in any personal green training/certification schemes such as ecohelpline.com green leaf certification. (I don’t think we can claim this, unfortunately)

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

ATTACHED: SUSTAINABILITY MANUAL (with employee education programs)

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

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

  1. Please describe your single most important eco achievement:

Here at Bosque sustainability is not a simple goal, but rather the mentality with which we have structured our business, for both philosophical and practical reasons.  We are proud to provide our guests with electricity from an alternative energy system that is non-polluting, self-sustaining and almost 100% renewable.  The energy structure consists in 40 photovoltaic panels as well as a micro hydro-electric turbine.  Approximately 90% of the time these two elements meet the energy needs of our lodge.  If necessary, we are able to use a back-up generator, which we hope to be running on bio-diesel by the start of 2011.  By using efficient technology, from refrigeration to compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs, as well as promoting energy-saving practices with our guests and employees, we are able to run the hotel on little more than what the average three person household uses in the United States.

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

-Integrate use of bio-diesel with our backup generator (Diesel will be provided by “Diesel lo Verde”).
-Install a biodigestor with pig manure to generate gas for restaurant kitchen and employee housing.

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

-We have recently created a “Sustainability Booklet” that we have placed in all of our accommodations.  We are attaching the document to give you an idea of the type of information we provide to guests about our efforts.