Meet the Paradisus hotel’s resident biologist, responsible for their program of sustainable development
Biologist Carlos Segura is an important member of the team based at the hotel Paradisus Playa del Carmen. His role and expertise are in the management of the environmental impact that the business has on the surrounding ecosystem. To learn more about what this involves, The Playa Times sat down with him for an interview.
The Playa Times: Tell me about what you do here in your current position?
Carlos Segura: We work with different factors here towards sustainable development: environmental, cultural, human, and economic. We have created and implemented an environmental administration system to execute and follow through on an action plan that involves all the departments of the hotel. The objective is to implement and work on the continuous improvement following the global criteria for sustainable tourism. We have clear objectives, and there is a team in charge of the processes. I am the leader of the green team.
How do you deal with issues related to climate change?
There is a project here called Turismo Carbono. It is a project to reduce our carbon footprint as a strategy to combat climate change. Since opening the hotel, we’ve been making inroads in reducing our climate footprint. One idea is to install solar panels to heat the pools.
We are also involved in national projects. One of them is GEI México. Every year, you submit a report about how you are reducing your carbon footprint. For staff, we have bicycle parking, and we calculate how much bicycle use reduces emissions, we have six electric car chargers, and then we share the information.
What about recycling?
We recycle glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, and cardboard. We send two tons of organic recycling to farms, daily. The farmers save $27,000 pesos’ as a result of the organic waste they use for compost each month. This project helps five families.
What about your beaches? How do you handle the turtles?
Turtle safety is very important to us. We collect the eggs, ID the species, and make sure they are not stepped on or taken and eaten by other animals. Then, we free them at night without any guests around. The problem is that everyone wants to touch them and take photos, which is illegal. If they are born during the day, which is rare, we take several actions to release them during the night. This helps avoid bird predation.
How do you deal with the sargassum?
In regards to sargassum we always put up announcements, apologizing “Sorry about the mess, the sargassum is helping our beach.”
We use a small bobcat to remove the sargassum, which is the lightest machine to do the job, as it reduces the risk of compressing the sand to avoid any impact on the turtles.
What about other animals?
There is a program for animals at risk or that are injured on the property or near the complex. We have rescued pelicans and owls. We take care of them and take them for veterinary care. There are no cages or concessions for photos with animals. We do not want to participate in the exploitation or trafficking of animal species.