Resorts are realising that energy efficiency and sustainability serve multiple bottom lines. Consumers want it, and they’re willing to pay a premium for it. It’s not just a good thing to do – it’s also good for business.
Otherwise known as sustainable practices, eco-friendly policies at timeshare resorts have become increasingly more important to help reduce our carbon footprint and provide an experience that is environmentally friendly in the eyes of holiday owners. Sustainability initiatives range from reducing energy and water consumption, diverting waste and sourcing local produce to participating in local community programmes that help the environment and educate / influence all stakeholders on responsibility.
Timeshare is a leader when it comes to ‘going green’
Franz Hanning, the President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Club said in his blog: “I firmly believe that our industry is a leader when it comes to ‘going green.’ Re-using and recycling to avoid waste and pollution in addition to adding in-unit energy efficient and water-saving devices are at the forefront of new timeshare construction and renovations around the world. If eco-friendly resorts continue to incorporate and expand on these practices into the future, it will be the key to the timeshare industry’s success.”
Attracting a more environmentally sensitive timeshare owner
Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) is endeavoring to be part of the electric vehicle revolution and has also invested $1 million in a solar ‘garden’ comprising solar panels that are planted in the ground and used to offset energy use in the company’s administrative buildings. In addition to the solar ‘garden’, BGV maintains an actual garden that’s part of a community-garden zone with the town of Breckenridge. Employee volunteers sign up on a seasonal basis to maintain and harvest a mix of greens, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and other vegetables, which are then distributed to their fellow employees.
The 24/7 nature of timeshare properties makes it green
Joe Berry, River Run company president says, “I remember the genesis of River Run in the mid-1970s when we built 18 houses along a ski trail and kept most of the trees surrounding the trails in place. I was surprised when I went across to the other mountain and couldn’t see any of the houses. It’s about being subtle — doing new construction that’s not very impactful, being aware of how to build things that have minimal destruction.”
Timeshare is inherently conservationist by its very nature, because its buildings are almost always occupied – whereas other types of properties might only be occupied 20 nights a year.
“When we build our houses to put into a vacation-ownership regime, they get used at least 45 weeks. That is conservation. That is very green, in terms of buildings having high occupancy versus very little occupancy. River Run has used ‘dozens of tricks’ to make its properties as energy efficient as possible over the decades. “One of the things I’ve discovered – which is the good news about being environmentally conscious – is that everything you do is, coincidentally and wonderfully, very economical,” Berry said.