Amanda Dolan, general manager at Coronado Beach Resort, chairs the green committee at Grand Pacific Resorts. Here she shares about the resort management company’s heart for the environment.
Q: Tell me a little bit about the green committee you chair.
A: There are currently 13 people on the committee. They’re all from different departments within Grand Pacific Resorts, and we’re leading the internal efforts to make the resorts in our family and our home office more sustainable. The committee has really picked up steam in the past year. We meet regularly to implement new initiatives and raise awareness among our associates and owners.
Q: What is Grand Pacific Resorts doing to reduce its environmental footprint?
A: Grand Pacific Resorts has a long history of caring for the environment. But we’ve always focused on the changes that are easy to make, like installing low-flow showerheads and having recycling bins in the units. We’ve done all that really well, but there’s been a shared feeling that we need to do more, and that’s what we’re working on now—taking it to the next level.
We recently joined the San Diego Sustainability Circle led by True Market Solutions, to bring in some outside ideas and partner with other local companies that have the same passion for green issues. It’s a six-month program, and at the end of it we’ll have a five-year action plan for Grand Pacific Resorts.
Q: How does sustainability fit into the overall mission of Grand Pacific Resorts—to enhance lives through extraordinary experiences?
A: In the timeshare industry, we’re all about bringing multiple generations together. David Brown, our Co-President, often talks about how owners look forward to passing their ownership down their kids and grandkids as a legacy. And ultimately, that’s what sustainability is all about—protecting our finite resources so they’re there for future generations. Timeshare ownership and sustainability go hand in hand.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing Grand Pacific Resorts when it comes to sustainability?
A: We have close to two dozen timeshare resorts in our family, plus our corporate office, and each homeowners association is unique. They all have different budgets and priorities. One of the main things we’re trying to do across the board is identify things that already need to be replaced—boilers, HVAC units and, at Coronado Beach Resort for example, the spa. We’re then working with the general managers and associations to see if we can find more energy efficient options.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your own passion for the environment and how you came to chair the sustainability committee.
A: I joined the committee about a year ago. They were looking for a new chair, and I decided to put my name in. At the time, we were talking a lot about our values and purpose as a company. To me, sustainability tied in so naturally, and all of the ideas that have come out of the committee can be traced back to our core values.
The more I learn, the more it hits me how everything on our planet is so finite, especially with Southern California going through a drought. It’s so easy to take advantage of our resources without appreciating their value in our lives.
Q: What’s next for the sustainability initiative within Grand Pacific Resorts?
A: There’s a big push for associate engagement and awareness. If you’re not living sustainably at home, you’re less likely to bring it into the workplace with you. My goal is to identify ways to speak to the associates at all levels, so they can see the opportunities every day and make sustainability important in their personal lives as well as at work.
Did you know the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day? The EPA estimates that 75 percent of that waste is recyclable, but only 30 percent is actually recycled. For more surprising statistics, visit www.greenwaste.com/recycling-stats.