Tigaiga – fostering sustainable change
It is difficult to separate the environmental commitment of Hotel Tigaiga from the activity it has been developing for 60 years (1959-2019). Just to name one example, our hotel was the first in the Canary Islands to install solar panels in 1982.
As a family run business, we have deployed a strategy based on enhancing local development under the prism of sustainability and respect for the environment, working with the stakeholders of our organization, with a very broad vision of the social value of a company. Our business decisions are made based on a life cycle analysis, approved environmental criteria and their social and environmental impact.
This strategy has allowed us to be widely recognized in the tourism sector, having obtained one of the most important awards in the field of travel tour operators, the Umwelt Champion Awards TUI, from 1995 to 2019 each consecutive year. Enforcing continuous improvement in our environmental performance has even lead to achieve in the years 2002 and 2012 the first place in the worlds ranking fulfilling TUI organisations and clients requirements. As pioneers, the Hotel Tigaiga was also one of the first hotels in Spain to obtain the EMAS registry in 2002 (E-IC-00006).
In 2018 we were awarded the Sustainable Tourism Award of the Cabildo de Tenerife, in the accommodation category, for the value of our Environmental Declaration. The sustainability strategy is therefore clear and leads us to the need to measure, in what way it is being perceived among the interested parties. In this field in collaboration with the University of La Laguna, we have become the first Spanish hotel that has a report on the social and environmental value of our organization.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PLANS
Our establishment participates actively in initiatives that revolve around the environment and allow us to develop, with tangible actions, our business strategy. One example is our participation in recent years in pilot projects such as: Project Effi-green, an initiative that aimed to collect electricity and water consumption data in various guestrooms, entering this information into a computer program and transforming it into meaningful information for the manager, visible for the clients to increase their ecological responsiveness by reducing the environmental impact produced by themselves.
DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETENCES
We developed an intense program of environmental awareness and development for the staff. The new incorporations receive from the beginning, information about our environmental values and about the importance of reducing pollution. We continue training our employees to integrate our sustainable change indicators into their work routine and even to extrapolate these practices in their private life. Our staff actively participates in environmental volunteering activities beyond the facilities of our hotel. In this sense, activities to recover natural spaces are carried out annually and visits are made to the Complejo Insular de Residuos Sólidos to learn about the process of waste recovery on the Island of Tenerife. In 2018, as a consequence of the beach clean-up day, our organization and employees participated actively in a clean-up activity at Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz.
COLLABORATION WITH SUPPLIERS
In the field of working with suppliers as an interested party, we fundamentally do this by establishing long-lasting agreements, promoting the transfer of communication and choosing products and services that contribute to the development of the local economy. We have developed environmental criteria and good practices that our suppliers must meet to initiate a commercial agreement.
We work in an important way in cooperation with business organizations, educational institutions and NGOs that allows us to display the message of sustainability beyond the hotel facilities. We participate annually in talks in education centres, universities and events related to the environment, presenting the experience of the hotel and the actions we develop. Additionally, the hotel holds open days, which allow us to show in situ, the implementation of environmental management, with real practical cases.
Our hotel is a member of institutions such as Ashotel, Excelencia Turística de Tenerife and CIT Center for Initiatives and Tourism of Puerto de la Cruz, these important memberships allow us to promote the decision of these institutions and the value of sustainability. The collaborations with other administrations, city hall, Cabildo and Government of the Canary Islands are equally significant. Dialogue on a regular basis permits our organisation to attract the attention on environmental issues which affect our business and help promote sustainable improvements in the touristic sector.
For example, since 2014 our organization has calculated the carbon footprint under the tuition of Excelencia Turística de Tenerife, which provides us with bench-marking conclusions. Competitors have followed up to this initiative and the results of these studies are very significant: currently the emissions per overnight stay are around 3.04 Kgs of Co2, well below the average of a number of Tenerife hotels (7.65Kgs of Co2 per overnight stay). The outcome is partly due to the fact that 100% of the electric power supplied comes from certified renewable sources. This initiative has then encouraged us to be one of the few hotel establishments in the Canary Islands to have registered the Carbon Footprint in the Spanish Office of Climate Change.
As we have already mentioned, we also have a solar plant that is used to heat the pool (the high season in the Canary Islands is in winter). This and other environmental aspects are highlighted during the weekly hotel tours we organize for our clients. Here we show our customers how our organisation tries to minimize its environmental impact and have an excellent feedback which helps us to improve our environmental performance. We also advance in the promotion of sustainable mobility, installing in our hotel a charging point for electric vehicles available to customers.
Our garden is conceived as a vital and strategic space and not merely as a green area, it has an important collection of palm trees and the gardening staff is instructed in those issues that allow a more sustainable management of it. In this sense, in 2016 we took the technological leap by developing an online environmental guide of plants garden.tigaiga.com focused to provide interesting information to our customers, so they can know the varieties of plants that conform our subtropical gardens. Weekly, a guided tour with an expert in botany is carried out with clients, explaining significant aspects of the plant varieties, their care and origin. Regular customers are invited to participate in the planting of new species.
We also promote the environmental value of our hotel to our customers, giving the possibility of participating in the recovery of natural spaces. Since 2013 we have been developing activities that invite clients to voluntarily participate or make contributions that our hotel channels through prestigious institutions, to recover degraded areas or areas on the verge of degradation. In these actions, customers are also invited to participate as a differential element of great value to expose our commitment to the environment.
Positive environmental/sustainable impact of our circular economy project
In the Tigaiga Hotel, the most common waste elements are collected, such as glass, paper / cardboard and packaging, metals, used vegetable oils, etc. In the refurbishment operations, all elements that were disposed of were analysed, identifying those that were of interest to local charities (example linen, furniture) such is the case of centres for the elderly or even the local animal shelter. On the other hand, being aware of the current problem of micro plastics and ocean pollution, we are developing actions within a plan to reduce single-use plastic containers, incorporating reusable bottles for staff and water dispensers, thus avoiding the excessive use of plastic bottles.
Another main area of action, is our intervention in one of the biggest environmental problems in the small islands: waste management. One of the most significant initiatives has been our participation in the URBAN WASTE Project. In spring 2018, waste generated through buffet-style breakfasts was just one of the issues to be highlighted during a ground-breaking campaign in the city of Puerto de la Cruz. Five hotels – Tigaiga, Tope, Marte, Noelia and Edén – pooled their ideas under the Urban Waste project which would implement eco-innovative measures once the first study phase was completed. They were joined by the local council, the company in charge of waste management in the city, Valoriza, the Government of the Canary Islands and Consulta Europa.
Among the measures to be carried out are the reduction of the production of waste from the buffets services through customer awareness, the implementation of self-composting systems, the selective collection of organic matter and through awareness and training of human resources, all this in a context of considering the local challenge of achieving the separation of 70 percent of waste by the year 2020. Our participation in the URBAN WASTE project, meant to begin to separate and weigh our waste using an application developed by the Linnaeus University in Sweden, a partner in this project. With this, we have an exact and daily control of all waste, which helps us to establish objectives aimed at the progressive reduction of the generation of organic matter in our kitchen and restaurants.
However, the challenge we set ourselves was to go a little further, and not only maintain control of the waste, so in July 2018 we introduced a new technology to achieve the recovery of organic waste, through a system of generation of compost through the kitchen and garden waste of the establishment itself. This action was motivated because the regional regulations oblige to dispose of the food surplus, but do not contemplate, at least not for now, a global composting plant where to transform this waste.
Our establishment has a self-composting machine that transforms 50% of all organic waste generated by the hotel into compost, which is subsequently used to nourish 5,000 square meters of gardens. It is the first and only hotel in the Canary Islands to have this technology. The installation and commissioning of this self-composting machine has also been the result of an agreement reached with the City Council of Puerto de la Cruz and the waste management company Valoriza. The mentioned machine, BigHanna technology from Sweden, processes about 40 kilos per day, approximately 1,200 kilos per month, and the complete cycle of processing the waste into compost lasts about three weeks. It is a completely natural process that does not carry any external additives, but is based on the fermentation of the products itself.
2002 and 2012 TUI Environmental champion – first place worldwide
2002 Among first hotels pilot project Spanish government to implement EMAS
2009 Green giants: The family-run Hotel Tigaiga celebrates 50 years since its inauguration this year, but nobody quite knows when, so the celebrations will continue throughout 2009.
2011 El proyecto tinerfeño ‘Effi-2 Play Grenn’ es galardonado en un concurso por la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/politica/Effi-2-Grenn-Union-Internacional-Telecomunicaciones_0_138237098.html
2013 Among first tree planting initiatives in Tenerife with our clients https://www.tenerifenews.com/2013/12/old-cars-new-trees-in-la-orotava/
2016 First hotel digital plant catalogue garden.tigaiga.com
Tigaiga in the vanguard / With their customary exquisite good taste, the Hotel Tigaiga today presented their latest advance, a digital garden
2018 Registered “Carbon foot print” OFICINA ESPAÑOLA DE CAMBIO CLIMATICO – OECC.
2018 Sustainable Tourism Price from Island Government Cabildo de Tenerife
http://www.diariodetenerife.info/cabildo-reconoce-instituciones-empresas-ciudadanos-compromiso-la-sostenibilidad-del-sector-turistico/ Best Tourism Establishment: Hotel Tigaiga for its environmental declaration.
2018 First Spanish touristic establishment with a report “Measuring the social value”, University of La Laguna https://www.ull.es/portal/agenda/evento/jornada-la-medicion-del-valor-social-para-la-sostenibilidad-de-las-organizaciones/
2018 Hotel sector and Puerto de la Cruz council joined together to mark the International Beach Clean-up Day. https://www.tenerifenews.com/2018/10/the-positive-and-not-so-positive-sides-of-puerto-beach-clean-up/
2018 First hotel in the Canaries with self-composting technology: Puerto and Tigaiga hotel lead the way in waste composting https://www.tenerifenews.com/2018/08/puerto-and-tigaiga-hotel-lead-the-way-in-waste-composting/