Building a capacity for sustainability in all areas for the island’s small hoteliers is at the forefront of the work of the Secretariat and the Board of Directors for the Intimate Hotels of Barbados.
The Executive Director, Davina Layne is adamant that the development work should be multifaceted; she has the full support of the Board and, in light of this, the IHB has many thrusts planned.
In the area of Environmental Sustainability, we are currently pursuing two areas of emphasis. One such area, in its infant stage, is a food industry project; we are looking at swapping some imports with different local produce, for example, Irish/English potatoes with sweet potatoes. This work will be ongoing and encourages not only more innovation and showcasing of local produce, but it also incentivizes the agricultural industry to produce its product for a local captive market which, in turn, exposes indigenous recipes to a global palate. We have not done anything on this initiative to date.
To promote financial sustainability, we are pursuing funding to look at how to strengthen the organisation to become more sustainable, by examining avenues where IHB can raise money to assist members in various ways that contribute to their own sustainability and development. Our intention is to be strategic with plans which direct the members on a path of reducing their carbon footprint, water management, supply chain efficiency and management and renewable energy. This step aligns perfectly with our environmental wish list for the hotels. To this end, we have a plan in place to invest in renewable energy by having a solar farm to assist the group’s members with the cost of electricity.
These are all a part of the IHB vision and we will pay close attention to engaging with organisations and groups who are already working in these areas of sustainability. The IHB also understands the need for practical walk out of our plans and, therefore, we will also be acting as facilitators and solution initiators by onboarding members with our worthwhile initiatives.