The Spanish hotel chain's commitment to responsible tourism is based on three strategic pillars: the circular economy, responsible seafood consumption and coastal health.
Wave of change
Quality, sustainability and innovation represent the Group's values and are the pillars of a responsible tourism model focused on the well-being of individuals and the preservation of the oceans, driven by the Group's transformation dynamic.
1. Circular economy: Reducing waste, eliminating plastics
One of the cornerstones of Iberostar's sustainable development strategy is the pursuit of a circular economy. To counter the global plastic crisis, Iberostar hotels have been free of single-use plastics since 2021, the completion of a process begun in 2018.
Iberostar has set up 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) teams in 80% of its hotels, made up of over 200 people dedicated to waste reduction and management. In addition, the company has installed water fountains in its establishments, offering guests an alternative to disposable plastic bottles and reducing plastic waste.
Leveraging technology, Iberostar has implemented artificial intelligence systems to combat food waste. By using Winnow systems (a solution for food waste) in 20 hotels, the company has saved a volume of 1,600 tons of food per year, preventing 533,000 meals from being thrown away in 2022 alone. In addition, over 100,000 kilograms of compost have been produced in Mexico, contributing to the sustainable development of the country.
In addition to waste reduction, the Group has set itself targets to become carbon neutral by 2030, aiming to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 85% and Scope 3 emissions by 50%.
To achieve these goals, Iberostar is focusing on various initiatives, such as reducing energy consumption by 35% across all its properties. The company is also electrifying all its hotels in Montenegro and investing in innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence. The adoption of renewable energy sources is another key aspect of Iberostar's sustainability efforts, with the aim of using 100% renewable energy in Spain and achieving net-zero buildings.
2. Responsible seafood: Enjoying the flavours of the ocean in a sustainable way
As a company deeply tied to the coastal regions where it operates, Iberostar aims to ensure that by 2025 all seafood served in its establishments comes from a responsible source. This is currently the case for 78%.
Beyond sourcing, the company works closely with its chefs to create menus that highlight local flavors while prioritizing sustainable seafood. With over 210 species on its menus, Iberostar celebrates biodiversity and supports small-scale local fishing in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Peru and Spain.
3. Coastal health: Protecting and preserving ecosystems
Recognizing the importance of coastal ecosystems and the challenges they face as a result of climate change, the company has taken proactive steps to improve the ecological health of the coasts surrounding its properties. Through various initiatives, Iberostar aims to raise customer awareness of the importance of these ecosystems.
The Coastal Health Roadmap, announced at the UN Oceans Conference 2022, underlines Iberostar's commitment to coastal preservation. The company has created coral nurseries, with over 100 structures and more than 2,000 fragments, and mangrove nurseries in the Dominican Republic, resulting in the donation of 14,815 mangroves.
Also, dune restoration projects in four destinations have enabled 9,000 plants to take root, contributing to the resilience of the coastal ecosystem. Iberostar also prioritizes the creation of green spaces for the well-being of its guests. By encouraging collaboration with scientific institutions, such as the University of the Balearic Islands, Iberostar supports research and education initiatives focused on the protection of marine resources, including Posidonia Oceanica, an endangered species in the Mediterranean. Iberostar Alcudia Park is also home to a climate change observatory.
Iberostar has launched the "Star Camp" program, redefining the concept of kids' clubs. The program encourages children to interact, collaborate and participate in fun and educational activities, with over 140 age-specific activities in 12 categories.
As part of its "Wave of Change" movement, Star Camp devotes a full day each week to ocean-related activities, including searching beaches for microplastics and making recycled materials. During these days, children learn about the environment while having fun, reinforcing Iberostar's commitment to sustainable practices.
Two establishments currently embody this concept: Iberostar Cala Domingos and Iberostar Club Cala Barca.
The Iberostar Group
Iberostar, a 100% family-owned company, has been in the tourism business since 1956. Headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, its entrepreneurial roots date back to 1877.
The Group operates in 16 countries: Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Greece, Jamaica, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and the United States. It is preparing to continue its expansion with the forthcoming opening of a hotel in Aruba.
With a portfolio of 100 hotels and more on the horizon, the group currently has 34,000 rooms, with a further 3,713 rooms under development.
The teams are made up of employees of over 95 different nationalities, and the group has 5.6 million customers worldwide.
Iberostar's activities are divided into four business units: Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, which offers a range of hotel experiences; Iberostar The Club, which offers personalized services to loyal and new customers; Iberostate Golf, Villas and Condos, which builds high-end residences; and World2meet, the travel division of the Iberostar Group, which operates as a vertically integrated tour operator (VITO).
Under the Iberostar brand, the group presents three distinct offerings: Iberostar Grand, a collection of 5-star hotels; Iberostar Selection, offering premium 4-star and 5-star leisure hotels and luxury properties; and Iberostar, the classic 4-star hotel brand.
At the end of 2022, IHG and Iberostar signed a long-term commercial agreement for resorts and all-inclusive hotels, adding 70 hotels to the IHG system under the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts brand, now IHG's 18th brand.