Aruba Wins National Geographic World Legacy Award for Leading Sustainability Efforts


Praised for its unparalleled sustainability efforts, Aruba was named the National Geographic World Legacy Award Winner for “Destination Leadership” this week at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism convention.

The World Legacy Awards launched in 2014 to recognize the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations who are transforming sustainable tourism. More than 150 award entries were received, representing 56 countries and six continents. Finalists in five categories were selected by an international team of 18 sustainable travel experts, who conducted thorough on-site inspections before choosing the winners in each category.

As the “Destination Leadership” winner, Aruba immediately stood out to judges for its world-leading green energy initiative. In 2012, Aruba partnered with Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, founded to fight climate change, and other key entities such as Harvard. Due to the island’s natural solar/wind resources and aggressive plan supported by partners, Aruba is on track to be the world’s first country to fully transition off fossil fuels by 2020.

Aruba’s government is actively promoting the use of renewable energy through wind farms, airport solar park, waste-to-energy plant, smart communities and a $1 billion island investment largely focused on eco-tourism. A new, award-winning trolley through downtown Oranjestad is the world’s first municipal streetcar system using hydrogen fuel cell technology that runs off a battery charged through wind/solar energy. Aruba has saved $50 million per year through sustainability efforts and in 2014, six Caribbean islands committed to follow the “Aruba Model” by signing with Carbon War Room as part of a 10 Island Renewable Challenge to transition 100 percent off fossil fuels.

[. . .] Aruba’s sustainability efforts have been covered by Bloomberg TV, Wall Street Journal Live, CNBC Power Lunch, CBS and other national outlets. Representatives from Aruba’s government and the Aruba Tourism Authority are available for interview on the topic of sustainability. [. . .]

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