A little more than three years ago, Ocean's Reach Condominiums secured distinction as the first such facility to be certified as a "Florida Green Lodging" establishment on Sanibel Island - a designation bestowed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that recognizes practices relative to the reduction of waste and conservation of natural resources.
The gulf-front resort recently went through a "spot audit inspection" from the DEP and again, achieved stellar scores. "We're pleased, but not surprised, that we came through the inspection with flying colors," said Ocean's Reach General Manager Andy Boyle.
"It seems as though we work harder than ever to make sure we can continue, and build upon, our initiatives to be environmentally responsible."
Charlie Knight, Dru Doyle and Andy Boyle are among the dedicated staff at Ocean's Reach who work diligently to maintain the resort's prestigious Florida Green Lodging designation.
According to Boyle, these initiatives have included programs targeting increased water conservation, energy efficiency, clean air processes and recycling in order to reduce their environmental footprint. Ocean's Reach continues to feature low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency air filters, clean air handler units and ENERGY STAR appliances in their 64 condominiums. The resort uses "green sealed" cleaning products and detergents, and EPA-approved organically based landscaping fertilizers. They have increased the use of high-efficiency lighting and programmable thermostats. Towel and linen re-use programs are employed in all units, and a comprehensive recycling program is in place throughout the resort for both guests and employees.
"Congratulations on your recent achievement," commented Jay Hammett with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. "As you are aware, the move toward sustainability often begins with many small steps, that when added together can lead to powerful results."
Ocean's Reach Condominiums was the first property on Sanibel Island to attain Florida Green Lodging certification on July 18, 2008. In the years since, seven other island properties have joined Ocean's Reach in completing the arduous certification process. Currently, less than 20% of Florida's approximately 5,000 South Florida resorts have successfully completed the DEP's extensive Green Lodging certification process. "It's been almost five years since our staff at Ocean's Reach set out to become more involved with the ecological conservancy efforts of the island," said Boyle. "I think we've accomplished that, and more, and invite all of our neighbors and guests to join us in helping to preserve our island's natural beauty."