Metropolitan Touring "Commitment to the Environment and to the Community"
toward the community & the environment
Let me convey our appreciation and admiration to each one of you, for having accomplished
during 2009 --a complex and challenging year—the outlining of many ideas, the re-designing
of projects and to continue with an optimistic view of the future. Our industry demands this.
We feel that it is our responsibility, more so in difficult times, for the private sector to maintain a
positive attitude and seek out solutions that benefit all actors in sustainability.
Precisely, one of the pro-positive actions is to achieve long-lasting relationships in the chain
of value of our destinations and tour products. This generates a synergy that motivates us to
continue on with our work, to join philosophies and propose new manners of administration, in
order to contribute to minimize the negative actions of climate change and global warming. In our
case, the application of our Environmental Policy has created a major reaction in our staff, and
their dedication to improve on the places where we work and where we live.
Throughout 2008 and 2009 we have consolidated the great dream of all of us at Metropolitan
Touring: to be in more countries in South America. Thus, Peru, Argentina and Chile already have
our presence in these emblematic destinations. This is a great opportunity for us to generate
environmental standards for the region, which will guarantee the proper handling of the natural
resources, the importance of the local communities and the assurance of tour operations based
in quality products. New challenges lie ahead, and this motivates us to continue with our
The great Project of Coastal Clearing in the Galápagos Islands shows a continuous growth and
generates results that provide environmental and social gains. We are convinced that this project
is a real pillar in sustainability, and the most evident way to measure our actions is to experience
the satisfying reactions of the community. Regular coastal cleaning trips on fishermen’s boats
have allowed us to remove great quantities of solid waste that has arrived with ocean currents.
Otherwise, such debris constitutes a potential risk for the islands’ ecosystems. Keeping coastlines
clean has a very ethical sense, and here humans have the greatest opportunity of returning the
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islands to their natural integrity and condition. Together with our strategic partners, the
Municipalities of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela, the Galapagos National Park, the
Coca Cola Foundation of Ecuador and the dear residents of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and
Isabela, we took the lead on the International Day of Coastal Cleaning on September 18.
On this day only, we were able to collect around 4,600 kilos (10,120 lbs), in our efforts to
minimize and reduce the human environmental footprint. A big thank you to our partners
who support our actions on a daily basis.
The community of Santa Cruz Islands continues to support the actions for the recycling
project. The results of almost eleven years of leadership in recycling already surpass
1.6 million kilos of recycled solid waste, and the joint efforts of the local authorities such
as Municipality of Santa Cruz, the WWF, the community and the Foundation Galápagos-
Ecuador, stand out as one of the best examples of a successful cooperation
between the public and private sectors. Our future endeavors are geared to share and
extend this project to San Cristobal and Isabela Islands.
In May 2009 we received with great emotion and compromise the nomination by the World
Travel & Tourism Council –WTTC- of being finalists for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
in the category of Global Tourism Business. This international recognition has given us
great satisfaction for what has already been achieved, while at the same time motivates
us to assume more challenges with unique responsibilities. As you are part of what
Metropolitan Touring and Foundation Galapagos-Ecuador are doing, the success is also
yours. Our Commitment 2009 Magazine wishes to share with your our projects, results
and contributions towards sustainability at every level.
Chairman of the Board
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Tourism, the largest industry and activity on Earth, contributes to
the improvement of the economy of different sectors. When we
act convinced that the community and the environment should
be the sole beneficiaries of tourism, we not only think of financial
benefits; we think beyond the financial benefits; we also think of
environment experiences that allow the understanding of how the industry
works. We learn from it, leave a positive footprint, and motivate
community the next generations to leave even a better place. This is why
Metropolitan Touring sets its philosophies in sustainable tourism
business from three angles: environment, community and business. When
these players find a common ground, sustainable development
occurs. To make our actions tangible for everyone, we have
designed three work platforms which allow us to gradually
achieve environmentally-friendly operations, motivated
communities, and corporate stewardship.
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EDUARDO PROAÑO PAZ Y MIÑO
Metropolitan Touring launched its programs at a time where modern concepts like
sustainability, its theory and applications were unknown to us. Nevertheless, the vision
and conviction of our Founder, Eduardo Proaño Paz y Miño, helped Ecuador put in place
fundamental elements such as respect and protection of the environment while visiting
fascinating places like the Amazon Rainforest, the Coast, the Galápagos Islands, and the
Andes of Ecuador. These principles set guidelines for guaranteeing that tourist activities will
not deteriorate the environment, and that local traditions are kept within the communities.
Eduardo led this process with the intention that Metropolitan Touring should take the first
big steps in the development of ecotourism. The initial efforts in the Galápagos Islands and
the Amazon Rainforest included designing a system for visiting where protection of natural
resources should be a priority above all. As time passed, Metropolitan Touring deepened
these principles, and now are a fundamental part of its corporate philosophy and the
development of all its activities.
Time goes on, and Eduardo’s values hold stronger than ever. It is quite difficult to say goodbye
to a dear friend like Eduardo, but we keep with us his always good nature, teachings, and
passionate way of promoting Ecuador.
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among our employees a culture of learning and
commitment to environmental issues that will also
transcend to their daily lives.
We continue training all of our crew and staff in subjects related to best
environmental practices and on how to minimize our environmental
We have achieved the first year of sending our weekly summary called
“Environmental Improvements”. With the support from the Human
Resources Department, we have reached all levels of the company.
Metropolitan Touring’s offices in Quito (Las Palmeras Headquarters)
have a permanent display of all projects and results by Fundación
Galápagos-Ecuador. The movable display rotates amongst the different
departments providing continuous information and motivating all team
All bulletin boards of our offices at Metropolitan Touring’s Las
Palmeras devote a section for promoting the document “Environmental
Environmental training for our crew continues. Particular attention has
been given to garbage classification because such efficiency speeds up
the recycling process at the environmental park.
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The staff of Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador continues training our local
Galápagos offices on environmental subjects. Crew members of our ships
also visit the recycling center and have witnessed all the activities that take
Our Galápagos Naturalists had a seminar for continuous improvement, and
we organized an “Environmental Breakfast” where we addressed all of our
projects and results. We can organize these seminars only when our ships
are in dry dock.
In our Inbound Tourism Department we formed a team of internal
Sustainability Leaders. The team is also in charge of promoting our
sustainability message and monitors our environmental policy.
Training our crew in environmental It is great to see our staff understanding Sharing our experiences with local students
issues is a priority. all the processes at the Recycling Center. is highly rewarding.
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the use of non-renewable resources in all our operations,
as well as solid waste and pollution.
The Inbound Tourism Department has achieved a reduction of 12% in our overall use of
paper. From our offices, to our hotel, and to our ships, the staff uses less, prints less, and
reuses more. Our team of Sustainability Leaders keeps track of new developments.
At Finch Bay Hotel in the Galápagos Islands, we have reduced the consumption of bottled
water by 36%. In actual numbers this means that 6,360 plastic bottles didn’t need to be
shipped to the islands.
Our ships reduced consumption of 0.5 lt bottled water by an additional 11%. This reduction
naturally decreases purchases, which turns into fewer materials needed to be used for
plastic-bottle production, and also less shipping needs. This new figure is in addition to
last year’s achievement of 60% reduction.
On board Yacht Isabela II we have totally eliminated the use of 2 lt. plastic bottles. Public
water dispensers have been located in specific areas that satisfy the need of refilling.
Our guests are a tremendous source of help for the reusing of ID pins. Guests are welcome
to take home the ID pins they get once they leave for the Galápagos, but if they feel
motivated to become an active part of our environmental practices they may return their
pins while on board. Thanks to the delivery of this message by our Hotel and Expedition
Managers we have been able to reuse 1,329 pins (as of October 2009). Environmental
benefits of this simple action prevent the unnecessary use of laminated plastics, paper,
metal, assembly, printing and shipping.
Finch Bay Hotel takes on environmental practices used by early pioneers and residents
of Galápagos, and now looks at ways of collecting rain water. Such practice has reduced
fresh water use by 6%.
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During our introductory briefings we explain how important is for tourist operations to minimize
their environmental footprint by simply managing better their production of solid waste. Guests
react positively to this idea and take back home items such as empty bottles of sun block, gels,
A 16% reduction in electrical power was also recorded at Finch Bay Hotel by following operational
guidelines stated by its Smart Voyager Certification.
Everyone is contributing to reduce electricity consumption. Internal campaigns are on going efforts,
and the results start showing now after a year of applying such practices. Our office building in
Quito alone reduced consumption by 7% on its first year of internal campaigns.
Perhaps one of the most attractive and meaningful practices, is the initiative of putting to work
a local Vegetable Garden at Finch Bay Hotel. This local production has reduced the need of
importing certain items from the mainland, and then transporting them to the hotel. So far, 413 Kg
(834 pounds) of vegetables and fruits are part of this scenario since September 2008. The effort
also represents a reduction of man/time, fuel usage, CO2 emissions, agrochemical sprays, and
The magazine you are reading now has 25% less cellulose content compared to last year’s
magazine. Also, this year we printed 20% less magazines in order to avoid paper waste. The
type of paper used is 100% eco-friendly and holds three certifications that not only benefit the
environment, but turn it into a sustainable item.
The Vegetable Garden at Finch Bay Hotel is an The Galápagos Hotel Managers are our Our guests are our best associates in
excellent contribution in sustainability. Environmental Leaders. sustainability.
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E COMMITMENT 3
programs and projects that provide support to social
development and environmental protection in the areas
where we operate.
All projects at Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador remain active throughout 2008-2009:
Coastal Cleaning, Solid-Waste Recycling, and Community Support.
Other sustainability initiatives applied by Metropolitan Touring include: FUN Galápagos
Animal and support to the Manos Mágicas Cooperative, local purchasing of bread
products to the Perla del Pacífico Cooperative, local purchasing of fish products to
members of UCOOPEGAL, the Union of Galápagos Fishing Cooperatives, and the
local purchasing of vegetables and fruits to highland farmers from El Cascajo area.
The Recycling Project continues to gain local and outside attention, and the total
amount of solid waste recycled tops already the 1.6 million Kg mark. Something worth
looking at in this project is the great effort put by the Integral Waste Management
System, a division of the Municipal Government of Santa Cruz Island. Over the
years, great experiences have been gathered as knowledge, and this given the
community an inspiring way of looking at the future. WWF – World Wide Fund for
Nature has also been a great contributor for today’s success. Fundación Galápagos-
Ecuador is proud to continue leading and supporting this effort. Recycling results up
to October 2009 show:
Material (Kg) Upadte Oct 2009 TOTAL
Plastics 120,085 264,187
Glass 381,186 838,609
Cardboard 1,050,302 2,310664
Paper 85,992 189,182
Batteries 1,204 2,649
Other Materials 13,585 29,887
Total Kg - Pounds 1,652,356 3,635,183
The International Coastal Cleanup Day was a wonderful activity that involved not
only the community, but many local key players. It took place on September 18th,
2009 and generated great response by all those involved. This international event
is governed by Ocean Conservancy and Project Aware-PADI. In the Galápagos
Islands, Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador is in charge of organizing and coordinating
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all the actions involved on that day. Our strategic partner in this sustainable initiative is Fundación Coca
Cola de Ecuador whose solid support is highly appreciated. Additionally, invaluable support from the
local Municipalities, Galápagos National Park, Educational Institutions, and volunteers was received
during the event. With great enthusiasm, the day ended with great news: Santa Cruz 2,495 Kg (5,488
pounds) - San Cristóbal 818 Kg (1,800 pounds) - Isabela 1,282 Kg (2,821 pounds). Total: 4,595 Kg
Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador signed an agreement for supporting the RELUSAN Project in San
Cristóbal Island. We support this initiative because of the importance of not leaving in Galápagos
burned oils and residues. Once these fossil fuel byproducts become part of the biological processes in
island ecosystems they can have fatal consequences. Such removal contributes at holding the integrity
of the community which depends on environmental quality of where they live.
The Inbound Department of Metropolitan Touring developed two brand new programs within the
Ecuadorian Highlands: Due South and A Walk in the Clouds. The vision at developing these products
contributes to keep local traditions, rescues genuine features of our culture, and leaves a minimal
environmental footprint. This program includes various protected areas, great contact with Ecuadorian
biodiversity, central and southern Andes’ cultures, and high appreciation of landscapes, mountains
grandeur, and changes in altitude, flavors, aromas, and forces of nature. As part of our Environmental
Policy, sustainability criterion has been used for designing these programs. The content of these
rewarding outings include:
• DUE SOUTH: Andean Ethnic Market – Cotopaxi National Park – Salasaca Community – Baños
– Waterfalls Avenue – Chimborazo - Guamote – Alausí – Tambo Coyoctor – Ingapirca Inca
Ruins & Cuenca
• A WALK IN THE CLOUDS: Andean Ethnic Market – Cotopaxi National Park – Salasaca
Community – Baños – Waterfalls Avenue – Chimborazo - Salinas de Bolívar – Guaranda –
Babahoyo & Guayaquil
During the International Coastal Cleanup Day The RELUSAN Project in San Cristóbal Island A trip in Ecuador offers contact with
local volunteers collected a total of 4,595 Kg. has the goal of sending back to the mainland all products from local communities and their
burned oils. traditions.
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suppliers to develop sustainable environmental practices
aligned to our environmental policy.
Given the importance of sustainability issues in Galápagos,
there are many suppliers who have improved their products
in different ways. An example is the initiative of bottling
water locally. Although, this still means using plastics as
containers, the good news is there’s no need to ship these
plastic needs from the mainland. Finch Bay Hotel will start
purchasing all of its water needs from the local “Miconia”
The town of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island has a fair
good number of artists. Finch Bay Hotel motivates these
artists to use in their work materials that are either reused
or recycled. Some examples include the printed menus
which are made with locally-recycled paper, any work in
wood that uses introduced woods, or hand-painted art.
The Women’s Cooperative Manos Mágicas and the local
artist Magno Bennet are giving art a fresh and sustainable
In May 2009, Metropolitan Touring was nominated by WTTC
– World Travel & Tourism Council as Finalist in the Tourism
for Tomorrow Awards, in the category of Global Tourism
Business. The awards ceremony was held in Florianópolis,
Brazil during its annual World Summit. This international
recognition reassures us the steps and direction we took
were right, and we hope that by assisting and explaining
to a world audience our work, some become motivated to
develop new actions that favor responsible tourism.
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In September 2009, WTTC selects Metropolitan Touring next to
other world examples as a case study of responsible tourism in
our industry. This group of case studies attempts to motivate other
key players in the industry to develop new initiatives that generate
In July 2009, Yacht La Pinta received a stock of eco-fleece vests.
This garment is made from recycled plastic bottles, and includes
87% recycled fiber (rpet). Approximately, 25 plastic bottles need to
be recycled in order to produce enough fabric for one eco-fleece
vest. The initiative motivates buyers to purchase an item that went
from garbage to a new use. This is a realistic of way of how to
close the loop, and its concept comes from putting together ideas by
Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador, Fundación Coca Cola de Ecuador,
and the manufacturing company Andes 6000.
Metropolitan Touring was invited to share its work at several
forums and seminars. Our intention is to share our experience in
sustainability as an operation working in a fragile environment, and
providing options for the community living there. We hope these
talks motivate others to develop their own initiatives too. We spoke
• IV International Forum City and Environment – Quito, June
• I International Conference of Solid Waste Management in
Latin America – Quito, June 2009
• Sustainability in Tourism, Universidad Internacional del
Ecuador – Quito, August 2009
• Initiatives in Sustainable Tourism, International Symposium
on Tourism and Environment – Quito, September 2008
• Various Radio Interviews together with Fundación Coca
Cola de Ecuador focusing on the International Coastal
• Our work is also available over the internet. The web
platform set by Idealists.org has a page devoted to
explaining our work, projects, results, philosophies, and
more. This platform seeks that the delivery of our message
reaches a captive audience that can spark and motivate
others willing to develop their own efforts in sustainability.
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In specialized technology assuring the lowest levels of
For our ships, a dry-dock period is the only opportunity for extensive and
detailed maintenance of our machinery and equipment. In most cases,
these works in machinery imply calibration of combustion, fuel consumption
efficiency, electrical usage, equipment proper functioning, and overall repairs.
By investing in keeping all our infrastructure and equipment in full operational
readiness, we automatically guarantee a much better environmental
In October 2009, the M/V Santa Cruz completed its three weeks of dry dock
time in Guayaquil. Some specific works included the installation in our galley
of a new contraption for blending all organic garbage (food leftovers and items
of organic origin). This equipment guarantees all organic material originating
Yacht La Pinta Finch Bay Eco Hotel
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in the kitchen diffuses in the ocean as a liquefied emulsion without causing any
negative environmental effect.
New air conditioning ducts were installed on board the M/V Santa Cruz in the last
dry-dock period. This allows generators to work more efficiently in preparation
for a future improvement that will include individual cabin controls. The overall
benefit will reduce fuel consumption.
At the Finch Bay Hotel we have expanded the laundry area in order to achieve a
90% of sun and wind dried linen and towels. A natural method of drying clothes
keeps fabrics in good shape, reduces environmental costs, and lowers electrical
demands from the island’s main generator.
The latest remodeling efforts at Finch Bay Hotel implies that we invest more in
local manpower, as well as local materials that leave a lesser environmental
footprint, while leaving more tangible benefits in the local population. An example
of a local investment is the use of introduced woods like Cuban cedar and teak,
but using local volcanic material like lava blocks and gravel adds certain thermal
and acoustic features that synthetic materials coming from the mainland don’t
have. Naturally, not shipping materials from the continent has environmental
M/V Santa Cruz Yacht Isabela II
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The use of the present to guarantee a better future.
At the very beginning of each Galápagos expedition, our Hotel Managers
and Expedition Managers include a solid message of how our Environmental
Policy shapes our actions. Our guests immediately adopt our suggestions
optimizing all our efforts without sacrificing quality standards.
Water is one of the most valuable resources on Planet Earth. Islands
that are as dry as the Galápagos, and surrounded by a vast ocean, have
an additional challenge at supplying themselves with fresh water. In our
Galápagos operations our sustainability message states clearly how
important water is, and the more we optimize water usage, the better the
performance of desalinization plants as well as environmental footprint.
Populated islands in the Galápagos have a great number of artisans and
artists, who have taken advantage of local materials for developing their
products. By encouraging our guests at purchasing local souvenirs and
merchandise we are naturally optimizing what the community has contributed
for the tourism industry. It is through sustainable practices that operators
can optimize present conditions.
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By using our own staff members, Finch Bay Hotel is gradually helping
to restore the mangrove coastal habitat near the hotel’s premises. All
coastlines adjacent to our property will undergo reforestation of the native
button mangrove. As of October 2009, we have put back 60 button
mangrove plants, and the ultimate goal for 2010 is to put back a total of
From previous buildings and construction events at the Finch Bay
Hotel, various materials have been stored for future use. In the ongoing
renovation we have used a fair good number of these particularly wood.
Keeping quality standards while building is a priority, and if such standards
can carry a sustainable approach, we will deliver.
Remodeling at the Finch Bay Hotel The coastal zone adjacent to Finch Bay Hotel Optimizing also means generating work
respects the islands’ ecosystems and is being reforested with button mangrove and opportunities for residents of the local
assures minimum impact. 500 plants will be planted by 2010. community.
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& SOME MORE NEWS
In sustainability it is vital to find strategic partners who also share your philosophies.
When such moment occurs, solid actions and improvements generate rewarding
results for all involved. We believe that is the case of the relationship between
Fundación Coca Cola de Ecuador and Fundación Galápagos Ecuador. Synergies
like those seen at the Coastal Cleanup Project are determining factors to set a good
example and to show everyone there are ways of finding the right partnerships.
In the 2009 World Travel & Tourism Summit, organized by WTTC, Metropolitan
Touring achieved Finalist status in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, under the
category Global Tourism Business. The award ceremony took place in Florianópolis,
Brazil and it included World authorities in sustainability who also acknowledged the
importance of how contributions like those of the nominated companies are making
a difference, and how they motivate others to follow a good example.
World Travel Mart (WTM) 2009 in London, recognizes companies holding high
standards in sustainable tourism under the Cape Town Declaration. Metropolitan
Touring is also considered in 2009 as a responsible operator generating benefits in
responsible tourism. World Responsible Tourism Day is celebrated on Wednesday,
November 11th, 2009.
After analyzing all finalists at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, WTTC also chose
case studies to be used as world examples in sustainability. Metropolitan Touring’s
projects and efforts were selected by WTTC as case study in 2009.
At Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador, we highly appreciate and value all donations,
contributions, and support from all sources. All levels of support are important to
us, and this year three generous donations will allow us to firmly advance in our
projects. We are very grateful to Location Solvers, Big Five, and LatinAmerican
Escapes for their committed support.
WTTC 2009 World Summit – Awards Ceremony Tourism for Tomorrow
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BECOME A MEMBER OF
It is very important that we continue our work, so we can
guarantee the continuity of projects, and sustainable options
in the Galápagos Islands. Please do not hesitate contacting
any team member at Metropolitan Touring for additional
information. This is a great opportunity to join forces and
efforts, and to leave a positive footprint in one of Earth’s most
Please visit our web page at: www.fundaciongalapagos.org
This magazine is printed in Fedrigoni Kilim Bianco paper that
counts on the following environmental certifications:
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Commitment is a Metropolitan Touring publication
Texts and Editing: Paulina Burbano de Lara, Francisco Dousdebés
Production: Environmental Affairs - Metropolitan Touring
Project Coordinator Fundación Galápagos - Ecuador
Marketing Team Metropolitan Touring
Photography: Giovanny Verdezoto,
MT Image Bank, Environmental Leaders MT,
Verónica Santamaría, Francisco Dousdebés
Metropolitan Touring and Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador would
like to express our gratitude for their support and solidarity to:
• Environmental Management Unit, Municipality of Santa Cruz Island
• Galápagos Islands National Park Service
• Cooperativa Manos Mágicas, Santa Cruz Island
• Cooperativa Perla del Pacífico, Santa Cruz Island
• Cooperativas de Pesca, Isla Santa Cruz,
Isla San Cristóbal, Isla Isabela
• Fundación Coca Cola de Ecuador
• Bolívar Zapata, Proyecto RELUSAN, Isla San Cristóbal
• Staff Members, Fabricio Valverde Environmental Park
• Our strategic partners and contributing guests who,
through their kind contributions,
ensure sustainability and commitment
of Fundación Galápagos-Ecuador projects
• Our land-based and on board employees
• And, all our volunteers for their invaluable
support during long and
enduring journeys of coastal
cleaning of our shorelines
IMPRESO EN PAPEL
ECO - AMIGABLE