The National Trust for the Cayman Islands acknowledged Dart for its corporate sustainability efforts last month by presenting it with a special Certificate of Recognition at its 2021 Governor’s Conservation Awards ceremony on 26 October at Government House.
Dart was recognised specifically for its conservation of Cayman’s endemic plants through the efforts of its nursery and for its achievements of LEED certification.
Justin Howe, Dart president real estate asset management, said sustainability underpins the organisation's investments in smart design, native landscaping, walkability and technical innovation.
"We are grateful for the National Trust's recognition of our efforts to conserve native flora through cultivation and our commitment to LEED standards, which improve the environmental efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of our built projects."
All of Dart’s new buildings since 2012 are built to LEED sustainability standards, allowing for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, cost-effective and customer-focused buildings. In 2019, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa became the first hotel in Cayman to achieve LEED certification and one of fewer than 200 resort-residential properties worldwide to earn this rating.
The lush, mature landscaping that characterises Camana Bay and the Seafire development was nurtured at the Dart Nursery, which put down roots years before any construction broke ground.
"Our landscape design and horticulture teams are experts at cultivating native plants — including critically endangered specimens like pepper cinnamon and Cayman sage — and weaving them into cohesive planting plans that ground our physical developments in Cayman's natural environment," he said.
The National Trust's Governor’s Conservation Awards ceremony occurred just days before world leaders, dignitaries and activists gathered at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties — better known as COP26 — in Glasgow, Scotland.
This year's United Nations Climate Change Conference is being described as the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Leaders from around the world will report back on progress made since the Paris Agreement, and new decisions are expected to accelerate commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming.
Howe said, although the Cayman Islands is not a major contributor to global emissions, low-lying island nations are disproportionately at risk from the consequences of a warming world.
“Climate resiliency is a key factor behind some of Dart’s design and investment decisions,” Howe said. “With 13 solar arrays and counting, we are one of the largest private producers of solar power in the country. We estimate our arrays account for 3% of the country’s total energy.”
Dart is also the private sector partner in ReGen, Cayman’s Energy & Recycling Centre, a public-private partnership to transform solid waste management in Cayman. Once complete, ReGen will feature an energy recovery facility that will turn household waste into approximately 9 megawatts of electricity.
“ReGen will support Cayman’s national renewable energy target, which aims for 70% by 2037,” Howe said.
The project will also support local climate action in another way: Remediating the existing landfill will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 23,000 tonnes a year, equivalent to removing more than 5,000 cars from Cayman’s roads annually.
“Compared to other countries, these numbers may be small,” Howe said, “but science agrees that every degree of warming makes a difference to the severity of the impacts of climate change. Through our continued investment in renewable energy and green building design, we believe we have a significant, positive role to play in Cayman’s continued sustainable development.”
This article appears in the November 2021 print edition of the Camana Bay Times.
In other news