The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina recently received the award “4 palm trees” designation of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Housing Program, the organization’s highest level of recognition.
The “4 palm trees” is the highest four-level designation awarded by the Green Lodging program, making the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina the only resort in Lee County, or Southwest Florida, to have such a status.
According to the Green Lodging Program website, only seven hotel properties in the state have reached the “4 palm trees” ranking
Alexandra Kuchta, press secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said the Pink Shell Resort and Marina has gone from being designated three palms to four palms as part of the Florida Green Lodging program on the basis of several initiatives undertaken by the complex.
Initiatives undertaken by the Pink Shell Resort include:
Â· Addition of a charging station for electric cars and a public transport stop at the station.
Â· Cut down on single-use plastics to reduce the amount of litter found on the beach.
Â· Replacement of water bottles offered for meetings by a water station in the meeting rooms.
Â· Purchase of furniture for a new on-site restaurant made from recycled plastic bottles.
Â· Replacement of in-room DVD players with streaming services.
In a statement, Kucha said the DEP âvalues ââthe commitment that properties like Pink Shell have made to protect Florida’s environment. DEP looks forward to continuing to work with this and other accommodation facilities to implement sustainable initiatives at properties across the state.
According to the DEP website, the Florida Green Lodging Program is an initiative of the DEP “Which designates and recognizes accommodation establishments that are voluntarily committed to conserving and protecting Florida’s natural resources.” The program’s environmental guidelines allow the hospitality industry to assess operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance.
To become designated, facilities must complete a comprehensive property assessment and implement a specified number of environmental practices in five areas of sustainable operation:
Communication and education (customers, employees, public).
Waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
Indoor air quality.
The Pink Shell first entered the Green Lodging program in 2008 as a “1 palm tree” and was the first resort in Southwest Florida to achieve this designation, said David Kastan, Marketing Director for Pink Shell Resort & Marina, in an announcement regarding the recognition.
“Protecting Florida’s vulnerable natural resources and being good stewards of the environment around our resort is a driving force behind everything we stand for at Pink Shell,” said Bill Waichulis, senior vice president of operations for Boykin Hospitality Management.
“It is a tremendous honor to obtain this recognition and, more importantly, to be true to one of our core values ââof social responsibility” Waichulis said.
Among the efforts and programs of the Pink Shell Resort & Marina cited to achieve the “4 palm trees” the designation is the installation of turtle-safe lighting in all visible exterior and interior spaces of the beach, the reduction of single-use plastics to reduce waste found on the beach, the use of heat pumps energy efficient instead of natural gas to heat swimming pools, installing UV air scrubbers in all air conditioning units, offering shared transportation at no cost to associates, purchasing furniture made from plastic recycling, the installation of an electric car charging station and our partnerships and efforts with Keep Lee County Belle, among others.