Swiss Travel: we believe in sustainability
Interview with: Emilia Gamboa, President of Swiss Travel
From the conception of Swiss Travel we noticed the importance of finding a balance between the pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social), which is why our mission “With the accent on service” is reflected in our sustainability policy.
“The accent that we all place on Service, for the benefit of our customers, is backed by a solid Sustainability Management System to constantly improve their level of satisfaction, the prevention of pollution, and our social responsibility, wherever we operate; thus achieving economic success for our Company”.
Thanks to our understanding of the importance of sustainability, our business plan focuses our actions on the three sustainable pillars.
- Why did Swiss Travel decide to be a sustainable company?
Because we realized what was coming … climate change, damage of aquifers by waste, increase of the social and economic gap, among thousands of other problems. Therefore, our deep interest in taking action and preaching by example, for the improvement of the country, environment, society and economy.
- What does it mean to be a sustainable company?
Very much, sustainability provides credibility to our customers, ensures business continuity and generates social development and environmental conservation, consistently over time. Means to extend the commitments and sustainable efforts, not only in our company, but also in the destination we offer in each tour, each hotel, each home that is part of this value chain.
- Why do you believe in sustainability?
Sustainability is the only mechanism that guarantees that we, as well as future generations, can have a quality life. I give you an example: I take out the recycling of my house, approximately every 22 days, and it is such the amount of plastic, newspaper and packaging that, I do not imagine how it would be to send all that to a place where they do not manage it correctly. This is sustainability. Every action, even if we visualize it as small, counts. It is not small.
- What benefits has sustainability brought to the company?
Many … competitive and comparative advantages, customers respect us more and see us as an example to other companies around the world, national incentives, prestige, quality in the work environment, financial stability, receptive communities that accept our work, among many others things.
- What would you say to your collaborators, clients and suppliers to get involved in the subject?
Collaborators: Please, put your hand in your heart and collaborate in the efforts made by the company in sustainable matters. For example, something that we must improve together is the management of waste. We have recipients everywhere and we offer training, but we keep mixing materials, especially in the dining area. This interfere the work of the waste management area, plus all the environmental and social impact that this generates.
Clients: We invite you to be part of the commitments and sustainable activities that the company facilitates; we really make a big effort on the subject.
Suppliers: Believe in sustainability and let’s continue working together for it. It is worth investing in sustainability.
Our Improvements in Waste Management
Since last year, we started a process of training to our staff and adapting the waste management system in the company. In the first stage, the following actions were carried out:
Improvements in San José Collection Center: We made improvements in thepreselection of waste, weighing, separation and storage area. This has allowed more order and cleanliness in the collection center, so that the material is taken to the final management center. We placed waste bins for the correct selection of waste and the green areas were labeled in both San José and Guanacaste. Soon the action will be develop in the collection center of Guanacaste and the Transportation Unit.
Control and monitoring system: The system was initially implemented in Eventos del Sol and is about to start in Guanacaste, we already have trash cans and signs placed. The control, with a traffic light, allows the sustainability and cleaning staff to carry out weekly evaluations, verifying the correct separation of the waste and cleaning.
According to the obtained result, the color of the semaphore will change; green +90 points, yellow from 80 points to 70 points and red from -69 points or less. This plan will soon reach San José and our Transportation Unit.
Corporate level achievements: Increase in the amount of waste collected to send to treatment. The collection center collected 43% of ordinary waste or garbage in 2017 and 57% of recoverable waste. There was a reduction of 0.5 kilos of waste generated per person, this percentage represents a decrease of 93.10 kilos, with respect to 2016 (taking into account that the number of the staff has been maintained).
We will continue working so that the percentage of ordinary waste is minimized and thus start to reduce the recyclable waste by rejection and reduction actions.
Reject, reuse and recycle!
Training First Aid Brigade
Swiss Travel, as part of the monitoring and consolidation of emergency response brigades, taught through the INA, the Introduction to Emergency Care course, to the company’s brigade.
The topics covered were:
- Threats and Vulnerabilities
- Profiles and responsibilities in emergency
- Instructions and means of protection
This month will finish the training in first aid and our headquarters in Guanacaste will be aligned within this structure.