Many guests seek to minimize their footprint when traveling in foreign destinations, but often find they have a limited ability to reduce their waste—be it in the hotel bathroom or in the main dining rooms. In order to be responsible stewards and to support travelers’ desires to reduce their impact, Terranea Resort, Los Angeles’ premier oceanfront resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, has made it a priority to include sustainability as one of its core brand pillars. Guided by the philosophy of ecological sustainability, the resort has remained committed to minimizing its environmental footprint since before opening over 10 years ago.
Spearheading this effort is a fulltime Sustainability Leader and more than 40 volunteer associates that comprise the resort’s Green Team. By integrating transparent eco-friendly practices throughout the resort, including those that protect open space, improve wildlife habitats, and enhance local water quality, the Terranea team is dedicated to preserving the natural habitat of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. An important part of the sustainability program stems from its “TerraneaProud” workplace culture that empowers and encourages associates to help seek out and explore new ways to further enhance the efforts to protect and steward the unique environment. From a cork recycling program to its Skip the Tray associate dining room initiative, Terranea credits a large part of the program’s growth to the individuals that share a passion for preserving one of Southern California’s most scenic and coveted coastlines.
The resort continues to evaluate and invest in the expansion of its commitment to sustainability and green practices; some examples include: a food waste recycling program to support its current pledge “20/20/20” to reduce energy and water usage by 20% and send only 20% of its total waste to the landfill, by the end of this year. As the resort works to identify single-use plastic alternatives, the partially consumed, wholly usable toiletries left in guestrooms are currently donated to the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles. In one month alone, this can amount to nearly 300 pounds of toiletries diverted from the landfill.
The resort also collaborates with Chefs to End Hunger, a non-profit organization that redistributes prepared food that would normally go to waste in hotels, restaurants, and other foodservice operations to local food agencies serving meals to those in need. The resort’s Farm-to-Terranea philosophy features local and sustainable ingredients and organic freshly picked produce and herbs, including: Meyer lemons from on-site trees; herb and vegetable gardens; beehives; serving meats and vegetables from local farms and raising chickens to harvesting eggs on-site. In addition, Terranea employs a state-of-the-art water treatment system called Bioswales. These wetlands enhance water quality and also serve as a habitat for native avian species. First flush rainfall collection systems called Storm Filters reduce and treat runoff of pollutants before they enter the receiving waters.
Terranea’s commitment to conservation and sustainability has also shaped programming at the resort, offering guests a number of events and activities highlighting sustainability practices. The resort’s innovative Experience Concierge lets guests discover and explore with fun, enriching programs and activities such as falconry, kayaking, and paddle boarding. The on-site naturalists help further the awareness of the land’s unique ecology, educating guests on the resort’s coastal flora and fauna, like coastal sage, an important species that grows in the native habitat. In addition to educational guest programming, the resort engages in numerous community outreach initiatives to organize and form partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Marine Mammal Care Center, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, International Bird Rescue, and more.
As a result of these efforts, the resort was named the Platinum Adrian Award winner for Leader in Sustainable Tourism by National Geographic and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. Additionally, the South Bay Business Environmental Coalition honored Terranea with its SoCal Environmental Excellence Development (SEED) Award for Pollution Prevention and Environmental Leadership. The resort also earned the California Hotel & Lodging Association’s Star of the Industry Award for Good Earthkeeping. Terranea is dedicated to protecting the valuable coastal resources that define its pristine, natural surroundings on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.