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A tourism organization’s scientific approach to protecting our oceans

Guiding Principle 13: Operate business responsibly. Incentivize and reward tourism businesses and associated enterprises that support these principles through their actions and develop strong local supply chains that allow for higher-quality products and experiences.

Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational hotel brand with over 100 four and five-star hotels in 16 countries, 80% of which are located on beachfront properties. Given the scale of their operations, the potential environmental impact could be significant. However, Iberostar has taken proactive measures through its responsible tourism movement, Wave of Change, to address these concerns and has already made remarkable progress toward its ambitious goals.

The overarching objective of Wave of Change is to tackle the most pressing challenges facing the oceans today by leveraging the tourism industry's capabilities and the private sector's resources to scale up effective solutions. An essential aspect that distinguishes Iberostar's Wave of Change movement and drives transformative action is the rigorous scientific approach applied to Iberostar’s Agenda 2030. Iberostar has committed to becoming waste-free by 2025 and carbon-neutral by 2030, ensuring 100% responsible seafood consumption by 2025 and facilitating the improvement of ecological health in all ecosystems surrounding its properties alongside profitable tourism by 2030.

Iberostar’s decarbonization ambition was recognized and validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in October 2022, surpassing the required emissions reductions to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. Moreover, Iberostar's Decarbonization Roadmap was announced at COP27. This roadmap sets an ambitious target to achieve carbon neutrality across Scopes 1, 2, and 3 by 2030. Demonstrating their commitment to renewable energy, all 36 of their hotels and the golf course in Spain have been powered by renewable electricity since 2022, resulting in a substantial reduction of over 17,000 tons of CO2 equivalent in their global carbon footprint.

As of 2022, 75% of Iberostar’s seafood comes from responsible sources, marking an increase from 65% in 2021 and 41% in 2020. In 2021, Iberostar accomplished its goal of sourcing 100% seafood from responsible sources in Mexico. Iberostar prioritizes responsible seafood sourcing by collaborating closely with suppliers, identifying improvement opportunities, and supporting products from Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and certified fisheries and farms benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI). They also prioritize products rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

Iberostar introduced its Coastal Health Roadmap in July 2022, which outlines its strategies to ensure that all ecosystems experience enhanced ecological health while maintaining profitability in tourism by 2030. Additionally, Iberostar continued its journey to restoring ecosystem services by adding new coral nurseries, investing in mangrove conservation and restoration, establishing dune restoration and more.

These achievements underscore Iberostar's dedication to responsible tourism. Download their reports and roadmaps here.

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