Our goal for 2022: ZERO tons of CO2 into the atmosphere
One of the added value of Royal Son Bou Family Club is and has always been the care for the environment. I remember when I started working at the hotel (in 1997) we collaborated with GOB Menorca in the release of birds in the Prat de Son Bou (the wetland area just behind the beach). Another thing that caught my attention back then was that the buffet did not use single portions, but everything was in bulk, all by the fact of consuming less packaging.
We believe in Menorca like Biosphere Reserve and we are aware that our sector (tourism) is responsible for up to 8% of global CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, so it is vital to implement all possible actions to minimize the impact of our activity in this privileged environment.
Already in 2005 we got our first Tui Umwelt Champion (award given by the tour operator Tui Germany to the best hotels in environmental management politics), an award that we have got consecutively until 2020 (year that is no longer awarded), to Except for 2010, which took the hotel with a generational change. In addition, in 2011 we achieved the Travelife Gold certification, which we have been renewing year after year.
We have pioneered in putting recycling bins in the common areas of the hotel and in the apartments, in having a paper and cardboard compactor machine, on replacing plastic cups for cardboard cups, etc.
For the last two years, in order to continue working on improving the environment, we have been certified with ISO-14001.
In 2017 we decided to bet hard and set ourselves a long term aim: to be a 0 CO2 emissions hotel. For that it is had to take in consideration 3 heavy investments to be made:
- Change the air conditioning cooling machines. They were released in 2018 and we managed to lower consumption by almost 200,000 kWh. This resulted into a reduction of -29% in 2018 and -38% in 2019 in emissions. Very positive data that encouraged us to continue further.
- We planned to release the high-temperature heat pumps in 2020, replacing the diesel boilers used to heat the hot water used throughout the hotel. Covid pandemic made it impossible for us, but we are carrying it out this winter. This investment will allow us to save about 46,000 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere. An equivalent of 700 m² of Mediterranean forest surface, due to the effect of photosynthesis.
- In 2019 we started up the machinery to create a photovoltaic solar park that provides us with enough electricity to be self-sufficient. To this day we are still waiting for the necessary permits. We already have the approved connection point. We are waiting for the Environmental Impact Statement to be issued shortly, in order to continue with the procedures for its execution. We hope to have them before this summer and that in 2022 this photovoltaic solar park will be a reality. With this, we would become the first hotel with 0 CO2 emissions in Menorca and the first hotel to become self-sufficient from renewable and sustainable energy, so abundant in Menorca, such as the sun. This installation is planned in the upper area of Son Bou, right next to the treatment plant. The hotel has rented some land classified as rustic to install the solar panels for a power of 1,188 MWp. The proposed solar photovoltaic plant has been planned with 2,700 modules of 440 Wp.
In total the investment of the 3 shares will be 1.5 Million Euros. With this, we will go from emitting 1,321.95 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2017 to 0 in 2022.
We are very much looking forward to the bureaucratic procedures of the photovoltaic solar park go through quickly in order to be able to emit less CO2 into the atmosphere as soon as possible, because we care about the environment.