Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort gives back to Port Douglas community with smart approach to sustainability

by Ruth Hogan

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas has invested over AU$9 million in sustainable initiatives resulting in a 22% improvement in energy intensity over the last 12 months.

Guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Marriott International’s sustainability and social impact platform Serve 360, the hotel has introduced a range of energy efficient procedures and community support programs.

Initiatives include the use of electric vehicles and golf carts, smart irrigation systems, water saving showerheads and taps, energy efficient laundry procedures and equipment, as well as the installation of a filtration system to allow treated saltwater to be used in its on-site swimming pools.

Last week, the resort was awarded first runner in Sustainable Tourism Excellence at the Expedia Group TNQ Tourism Industry Excellence Awards.

“I am truly proud that our sustainability initiatives have been recognised amongst the best in the region,” said Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas General Manager, Steve Molnar.

“The resort strives to demonstrate exceptional leadership in sustainable tourism and best practices through our comprehensive, proactive approach to environmental conservation, community engagement, and continued investment to ensure improvements and innovation are continuous.

“Our sustainability programs and partnerships with local organisations and community groups are proving key drivers to attract both the leisure market and business events.

“Customers want to know that they can rely on us to help them travel as sustainably as possible. They’re conscious of their water and energy usage as well as waste, including food waste and they want assurance that they are leaving a positive impact on the surrounding environment.”

Waste and recycling efforts at the hotel include an on-site mulch system producing over 15 cubic tons per year and the use of refillable water bottles and Vestal Water stations has eliminated over 130,000 single use plastic bottles per year.

The hotel has committed to responsible sourcing of eggs (all cage-free), seafood and animal proteins, sugar, drinking water, cocoa, coffee, guest room amenities, cleaning supplies, paper products and textiles.

By buying local, the hotel has contributed over AU$75,000 annually to the local farming community and its support of local tour operators has generated over AU$600,000 generated via the resort’s tour desk.

“We employ 370 associates, making us the largest employer in Port Douglas,” said Molnar.

“Our highly dedicated resort team have been instrumental in embracing impactful initiatives designed to drive positive change and support global targets, guided by our Marriott360 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”