The tourism industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with emissions expected to grow 135 percent by 2035 under a business-as-usual scenario. Along with energy consumption and associated emissions, other sustainability-related challenges that the industry faces include water consumption, waste management, and loss of biological diversity. The tourism industry can help reduce its impact on the environment by managing its use of natural resources and employing various sustainable operational practices.i
PortAventura is a leading family-oriented theme park, water park, and destination resort in Southern Europe, near Barcelona, Spain. PortAventura has been working on improving the efficiency of its large operations for a number of years in order to reduce its use of water and electricity. The company also aligns its actions with various environmental frameworks and in 2015 committed to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
PortAventura seeks to improve its environmental impact by managing its energy and water use, among other issues. The company aims to be a Smart Resort, based on the Smart City concept, by implementing various strategies and smart control systems to improve its water and energy efficiency as well as control costs. The company is managing resource usage at different business units and consumption points, such as the theme park, water rides, hotels, and convention center meeting rooms. In accordance with its environmental system management, the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, and to foster continuous improvement, new environmental objectives are regularly proposed by its Equip Verd (Environmental Committee). This group consists of employee representatives of various departments and oversees the correct and uniform management of the environment throughout the resort.
Response — Water Use (Operations)
In order to manage its water use in 2015, PortAventura:
- Differentiated between four different types of water: 1) water for human use; 2) water for recreation and/or swimming; 3) reclaimed water for irrigation; and 4) other water for irrigation.
- Installed new meters to increase control over the consumption of drinking water.
- Connected the three elephants special effect in Angkor attraction to its own channel in order to save drinking water.
- Installed a grid for maximum use of recreational water at the base of the little pigs fountain in SésamoAventura.
Results — Water Use (Operations)ii
PortAventura evaluates its environmental performance and progress by tracking metrics in its focus areas: waste, water, energy, air emissions and noise, biodiversity, and material consumption. The company publicly reports the results of its activities in its annual Environmental Statement. The consumption of drinking water in 2015 was 3.5 percent higher than actual consumption in 2014, although the consumption of drinking water in relation to number of visits has fallen approximately 2.5 percent. The following data represent a portion of the available information from the company’s 2015 report.
|Water for Human Use, in m3 Per Visitor/Overnight Stay|
|PortAventura Park / Costa Caribe Aquatic Park||0.0743||0.0735||0.0823|
|Hotel El Paso||0.1795||0.1744||0.2075|
|Hotel Gold River||0.1648||0.1721||0.1917|
|Hotel Mansión de Lucy||---||---||0.1083|