Q: Is there a growing demand from planners for more eco-friendly experiences?
A: Half Moon is mindful of the importance of sustaining the environment for the benefit of our citizens, guests and future generations. We are committed to the protection and preservation of our environment and endeavour to incorporate as best as possible those practices that will achieve those objectives. Over the past four years, Half Moon has seen an increase in the number of groups that have requested and implemented elements of green in their programs.
Q: How are you answering that demand?
A: A Green Globe certified resort, we have a dedicated team of staff volunteers headed by our Environmental Manager whose mission is to spearhead and institute environmental best practices both at the resort and in designated local communities.
We also implemented the “Beyond the Beach” CSR programme long before “green” became a megatrend. With Beyond the Beach we collaborate with a local DMC and offer groups an opportunity to leave a lasting footprint in the Montego Bay community. Activities include monetary donations to non-profit and educational organizations and/or hands-on work to enhance the lives of the needy. Recently we hosted a large group that donated money, school and sporting supplies to the Barrett Town All Age School, Montego Bay.
Assisting children is always a big request and one that gets a lot more participants. Our ‘Pack for a Purpose’ program gives our guests the opportunity to contribute to the needs of the less fortunate children.
Q: How can planners make the concept of sustainability more exciting for groups?
A: Two ways to achieve this is to satisfy a real need and through food & beverage. The easier of the two is to work with our Executive Chef to develop some exciting, flavourful and unique menu options to serve at events. The Chef can also be invited to give additional details of the ingredients and how this will make a difference to a healthier planet and you.
Secondly, don’t just do a CSR outreach because it is popular. Work with the local communities to identify and address a real need—the satisfaction of doing this is far more fulfilling and memorable. For example, our very own organic herbal garden used by our chefs allows the group participants to further appreciate our commitment.