A Call to Action: Our Collective Responsibility For Sustainable Real Estate Growth
September 28, 2021
Sustainability has been a central aspect of Candela from the start. It has influenced the planning, design and implementation of our communities in Tulum and Valladolid. Through this process, we’ve witnessed abundant greenwashing by developments that try to capitalize on sustainability through marketing superficial “eco features” as a tactic to appeal to buyers. We can no longer afford to develop communities this way.
True sustainability must be a central theme in any new development from this day forward. As consumers, investors, developers, brokers, architects and community members, we have a responsibility to demand that our communities are developed sustainably, especially in locations such as Tulum where the natural world is so prevalent.
When considering a villa for purchase, we urge you to inquire about the following sustainable initiatives. These efforts collectively produce meaningful, measurable impact in our communities, both in the short and long term.
Developments have to respect government density regulations in order to i) minimize flora and fauna displacement and ii) ensure the city’s infrastructure can withstand the growing population. For example, our neighborhood in Tulum allows a maximum of 12 units per hectare, which is what is offered at Candela Tulum. Requirements for other locations can be discovered by inquiring with your local real estate community.
Maintaining the natural landscape ensures native animals and plants can continue to thrive in a balanced ecosystem. In order to achieve this, developers must refrain from unnecessary land clearing, which wipes out existing flora and fauna and oftentimes replaces the landscape with non-native palm trees, foreign grasses and water-intensive plants. Candela Tulum has preserved more than 1,000 trees and replanted an additional 500. Additionally, more than 70% of the land at Candela Tulum remains untouched. Homeowners also have the opportunity to plant native vegetables as a way to produce food that harmonizes with the natural flora and fauna. See the list of produce here.
In our region, most pumped water is returned into the ground. It’s imperative this water is passed back to the underground aquifers as clean—or cleaner—than its original condition. In order to achieve this benchmark, water treatment plants and biodigestors, among other tactics, should be a mandate at each development. Candela has partnered with Watch Water Mexico to design a filtration system that brings clean water to our community. After water is used, Candela has implemented leading technology by Think TIM Mexico, a company utilizing European techniques, to ensure we maintain clean waterways.
At the most basic level, trash separation of organic and inorganic waste should be a fundamental requirement of any development. A strict, well-defined waste management protocol should be adapted, which includes sanctions for developments that are in violation. Candela has implemented a circular waste system that composts organic waste through a local farm that utilizes the fertilizer to grow new produce—a portion of which is then delivered to Candela on a regular basis via a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
Often the most challenging aspect of creating sustainable communities, leveraging clean energy through solar panels should be installed to the extent practical and possible in order to minimize fossil fuel consumption. While Candela was not able to utilize solar panels in Tulum due to challenges faced with available land and the inability to offset energy consumption, it remains our goal to include solar energy in future projects. However, Candela was purposefully designed to adhere to other bio-climate principles, such as cross ventilation, thick walls to support heat isolation, three-layered windows for energy efficiency and strategic placement of surrounding tree coverage for natural shade, all of which reduces the need for air conditioning.
As Tulum continues to grow, it’s imperative we collectively do our part to ensure effective sustainability initiatives are implemented by everyone. We encourage you to demand that these elements are adopted in destinations you visit.
For more on sustainability at Candela, please email email@example.com.