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Eco-Efficiency icon Eco-Efficiency: PortAventura

Managing a Smart Resort

Key Environmental Performance Areas:

  • Water Use (Operations)
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Operations)

Monitors water and energy use at different business units and consumption points, such as the theme park, hotels, and water rides.

Aims to be a Smart Resort, based on the Smart City concept.

Seeks to increase the use of reclaimed water in new construction areas.

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
2013 2014 2015
PortAventura Park / Costa Caribe Aquatic Park 0.0743 0.0735 0.0823
Hotel PortAventura 0.1272 0.1754 0.1257
Hotel El Paso 0.1795 0.1744 0.2075
Hotel Caribe 0.1773 0.2072 0.1976
Hotel Gold River 0.1648 0.1721 0.1917
Hotel Mansión de Lucy --- --- 0.1083
Convention Centre 0.0173 0.0132 0.0114

Response — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Operations)

PortAventura’s facilities are equipped with energy-saving technology designed to reduce their carbon footprint. In order to manage its energy use in 2015, PortAventura:

  • Added electric vehicle recharging points in the parking area for park visitors.
  • Installed a new boiler room for the production of hot water in order to achieve greater efficiency in gas consumption in Hotel PortAventura.
  • Improved energy efficiency of the HVAC system in the Chikitienda shop.
  • Reprogrammed the remote controls in hotels to make it easier for PortAventura World’s Control Centre to connect/disconnect and program, thereby reducing power consumption.
  • Restricted filtration of ornamental water in PortAventura Park during nighttime hours, achieving lower consumption at peak periods and thus decreasing the filtration time.

Results — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Operations)iii

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 reduced its overall electricity consumption in 2015 by approximately 4 percent. Excluding events and unscheduled openings and work, electricity consumption declined by approximately 8 percent. The company publicly reports the results of its activities in its annual Environmental Statement. The following data represent a portion of the available information from its 2015 report.

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Electricity in MWh Per Visitor/Overnight Stay and Year
2013 2014 2015
PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park 0.0063 0.0059 0.0057
Hotel PortAventura 0.0117 0.0112 0.0118
Hotel El Paso 0.0121 0.0120 0.0123
Hotel Caribe 0.0140 0.0137 0.0144
Hotel Gold River 0.0134 0.0122 0.0141
Hotel Mansión de Lucy --- --- 0.0155
Centro de Convenciones 0.0384 0.0270 0.0210

PortAventura began participating in KKR’s green program in 2015 and is communicating results for the second time. In September 2015, the company implemented a new supplier approval platform for environmental assessments and evaluated 84 percent of suppliers in 2015 with a goal of reaching 100 percent 2016. For more information on the company’s efforts, visit its website.


i Tourism in the Green Economy – Background Report, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 2012. http://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284414529. “Tourism” is defined broadly and includes activities such as travel.

ii Self-reported portfolio company data is not calculated, reviewed or independently verified by KKR or KKR Capstone. For more information regarding the results methodology for companies evaluating their own data, please see the methodology section. There is no guarantee that any GSP-related avoided costs or added efficiencies will positively impact the portfolio company's valuation or performance.

iii Self-reported portfolio company data is not calculated, reviewed or independently verified by KKR or KKR Capstone. For more information regarding the results methodology for companies evaluating their own data, please see the methodology section. There is no guarantee that any GSP-related avoided costs or added efficiencies will positively impact the portfolio company's valuation or performance.

Unless otherwise noted, portfolio company data represents 2015 results, published in August 2016. These case studies may contain forward looking statements including descriptions of planned projects and projected results and savings. These statements are subject to the risk that the projects will not develop as planned or at all or that projected results and savings are not realized.