The fifth Interregional Learning Event (ILE) of the CAPonLITTER project, was organized by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German project partner, and it took place on 13 April 2021. This event featured presentations from all the project partners, regarding the theme “How regulatory instruments can be used to prevent specific items of marine litter”.
The Vila Galé Group was the invited stakeholder by LP1 – NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon to present their experience on the aforementioned topic.
Vila Galé Group was founded in 1986 and is one of the largest Portuguese Hotel groups, ranking in the top 182 hotel companies in the world. It is comprised of various companies, of which the largest and most important is VILA GALÉ - Sociedade de Empreendimentos Turísticos, S.A. (Association of Tourism Enterprises). The Vila Galé Group is currently in charge of the management of 37 units: 27 in Portugal and 10 in Brazil.
Because the management model of the Vila Galé Group considers that the Environment, Quality, Security, Health, Food Safety, Social Liability and Economic Feasibility are values of an integrated system governed by a set of ethical principles that respect the people and the environment, they already have a series of implemented good practices on the topics:
- Reduction and control of energy, water and raw materials consumption
- Resources Optimization
- Waste Management
- Directive (UE) 2019/904 and Law No. 76/2019 on packaging and packaging waste
Consequently, the Vila Galé Group was invited to make a presentation about the “Use of Certification Schemes for Sustainability Awareness and Single-Use Plastics Reduction in Beach Hotels”, which focused on the Eco Hotel Vila Galé Albacora.
In 2009, Vila Galé took on its first major project in the area of sustainability. This is seen as a means of managing environmental resources, while respecting the socio-cultural identity of the community of Tavira, ensuring a viable economic activity in the long run and providing economic benefits to all involved. The Vila Galé Albacora Hotel grew out of the renovation of a typical, old tuna fish market. Thanks to its origins, the Albacora hotel has unique architectural and cultural features set right in the middle of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, in the Algarve.
The Hotel seeks to develop activities with better environmental performance, as well as a team that is trained and aware of the project. In fact, a set of informative environmental activities are developed throughout the year, which include routes in the surrounding natural area. The Vila Galé Albacora is also a member of the Almargem Association (ONGA).
The Eco Hotel Vila Galé Albacora presents itself as an Integrated Ecotourism Project, providing guests and visitors with Nature Tourism activities all year round, interpreted by Nature Guides or Biologists, as well an Environmental Conservation Project, focused on the preservation and planting of native vegetation and the cleaning of exotic species in the area surrounding the hotel. Additionally, it promotes and carries out environmental education, training in Ecotourism, and Bird Watching annually in its facilities.
In the context of the commitment and based on the principles of continuous improvement, prevention and conservation of nature, Hotel Vila Galé Albacora gives scope to the following certificates/projects:
- Green Key
- TUI UNWELT CHAMPION