Published 4 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: Ticket Machu Picchu
Having recently highlighted the importance and impacts of healthy ecosystems on tourism, as well as the role travel companies and their customers must play in preserving our global destinations, we love this story about two companies doing just that in Peru.
Inkaterra, Peru's leading sustainable tourism and
hotel development group, as part of an ongoing partnership with beverage
giant AJE Group, has announced that the venture has made Machu Picchu
Pueblo (aka Aguas Calientes) the first city in Latin America to manage 100
percent of its solid waste.
In a blog post last week,
Inkaterra detailed the partnership’s latest project — launched earlier this
month: The first organic waste treatment plant in Machu Picchu Pueblo will make
the area the first to manage 100 percent of its solid waste through pyrolysis,
which decomposes the waste at high temperatures without oxygen; the plant has
the capacity to process seven tons of waste per day to generate bio-coal, a
natural fertilizer that will help with the reforestation of the Andean cloud
forest and contribute to agricultural productivity in Machu Picchu.
"We are very happy to be part of this change in the city of Machu Picchu; and to
be able to announce that, with this new plant, the circle of sustainability for
which we have been working for three years is closing. Machu Picchu officially
becomes a 100 percent sustainable model city in Latin America," Jorge
Lopez-Doriga, AJE Group's Executive Communications and Sustainability
Director, told Travel Daily
Since its founding in 1975, Inkaterra — with properties in the heart of the
Machu Picchu cloud forest, deep in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of
Cusco and in the Sacred Valley of the Incas — has aimed to create to
authentic travel experiences, while preserving biodiversity and local cultures
in Peru. Based on a replicable business model of low initial cost and high
positive impact on local communities, Inkaterra’s multi-pronged sustainability
efforts have gained the group membership with alliances such as Relais &
Châteaux, Virtuoso and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
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The first Peruvian enterprise to be
declared carbon neutral (1989), Inkaterra mitigates the effects of deforestation
in the Amazon rainforest via carbon sequestration through the preservation of
Peru’s first ecological concession, with more than 10,000 hectares of virgin
Along with initiatives such as Earth to
— in which guests at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba are invited to pick their
own produce to reduce the amount of chemicals, as well as plastic packaging,
surrounding their food — Inkaterra is committed to removing single-use plastic
at all of its properties by the end of 2019, starting now with eliminating
straws and serving most beverages in glass bottles rather than plastic. In
cooperation with the nonprofit Inkaterra Asociación and AJE, since 2017 the
hotel group has helped to manage and recycle the abundance of plastic waste left
by tourists visiting Machu Picchu via a compacting machine, housed in Machu
Picchu Pueblo, which the company says has become a key asset in addressing the
waste-management crisis that led to the site being evaluated for UNESCO’s list
of World Heritage in Danger in 2016. The
plant processes 14 tons of plastic daily, according to Travel Daily News.
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel | Image credit: Inkaterra
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is also home to a biodiesel production
plant, which processes burnt cooking oils — donated by local communities, hotels
and restaurants — into biodiesel, which is helping to avoid oil spills in the
Vilcanota River, which faces the hotel. The plant produces 20 gallons of
biodiesel daily from nearly 6,000 liters of used oil a month. The glycerin
obtained in the biodiesel-production process is also used by the city to clean
stone floors, thus replacing chemical products.
"The strategic alliance between Inkaterra, the AJE Group and the Municipality of
Machu Picchu aims to change perception of our wonderful city into a sustainable
destination and become an example of management for ecotourism worldwide,”
Inkaterra founder and CEO Jose Joechlin told Travel Daily News. “We have
managed to awaken the ecological conscience of the local community, which now
segregates waste from homes and establishments. [With the organic waste
treatment plant], we present an innovative technology that will contribute to
traditional agriculture and help restore the Andean cloud forest in Machu
According to Travel Daily News, these cumulative efforts to turn Machu Picchu
into a model for sustainability won the Peruvian Lideres + 1 prize; and, in
Germany, the prestigious Die Goldene Palme award for Responsible
Published Apr 19, 2019 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST