Last week I mentioned tangentially the latest recognition of Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa. The Spanish high-end resort won the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency. Thanks to Miguel Girbés, director of golf at Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa, I was able to learn more about what was implemented to achieve a more sustainable golf course operation.
What is Finca Cortesin doing for sustainability?
They are the first Spanish golf resort to feature a new, environmentally-friendly type of Bermuda grass on all its putting surfaces.
Here are the other changes in the upgraded 18-hole golf course:
- New greens system that is more eco-friendly, cost-effective and sustainable.
- Began a three-year implementation process: testing a variety of different grasses on the practice putting green and short-game area: changed to the grass species on the greens to a warm-weather, Ultra Dwarf Bermuda grass (more tolerant of heat and mechanical stresses). It will be interesting to see if this new Bermuda grass will be susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases or not. So the superintendents will have to be on guard.
- Bunker drainage improvement program (in the summer of 2017): utilizing ‘Better Billy Bunker’ system.
- Annually certified to ISO 14001 environmental standards, Finca Cortesin uses 100% recycled waste-water from a local town and has managed to reduce its consumption by 40%.
- Installed Toro Lynx irrigation management: it contributed to the reduced amount of pesticides used. The Toro Lynx irrigation management solution enables golf courses to have all of their irrigation information in one place and optimally manage your resources and water. It can help golf courses to irrigate by minutes and inches.
- Finca Cortesin environmental strategy extends also to the trees, shrubs, and fauna. They allow self-sufficient indigenous plant species to survive and flourish in their natural surroundings.
In addition to this, Finca Cortesin is participating in Golf Environment Organization‘s OnCourse® program. This requires/demands from the resort to improve in these areas:
- supply chain,
- pollution control,
- and community.
While we are striving for sustainability, we should not underestimate the importance of authenticity. Cohn & Wolf authenticity study found that 78% of consumers do not think brands are authentic. The very same study says that 88% of customers will reward authenticity. This means it has got an impact on our revenues.
This is more than just providing traditional Spanish cuisine and interior design, but also:
- usage of organic food (e.g. Americans spend nearly $50 billion on organic foods annually),
- personal data protection,
- staff welfare,
- pricing and finances (e.g. no hidden costs!),
- engagement and communication (e.g. communicate every customer-related issues in time).