Achieving carbon neutrality at a beach club in France

  • Europe
  • Thursday, 04 Aug 2022

A private beach in Beaulieu-sur-Mer claims to be France’s first carbon neutral beach club. — AFP

In recent weeks, the Baia Bella private beach, located in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, has been a subject of great interest. So what makes this vacation venue so special, you may wonder? Well, it just so happens that Baia Bella claims to be France’s first carbon-neutral beach club.

But what exactly does that mean?

Carbon neutrality is becoming the great ecological objective, championed by many entities around the world, from cities and countries to companies. The term is used to designate a human activity – for example, a company’s business – that captures as much carbon as it emits. And it’s a difficult balance to achieve, often relying on the principle of carbon compensation – that is, investing in projects with a high environmental impact elsewhere in the world.

This is notably what’s being undertaken by the Baia Bella beach club, created in 2021 by the Vannini family. Wishing to counter the carbon footprint of its activities and especially of its restaurant, the owners called on the climate change and sustainability services company Allcot to quantify the carbon footprint generated during the first year of the beach club’s existence.

The result: some 13 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, mainly linked to the restaurant’s operations, the production of waste on the site and staff travel.

In order to achieve carbon neutrality, the Vannini family has opted for the solution of carbon compensation. As such, it is supporting two projects. The first, “Durango-EcoMethane”, supports the production of renewable energy from household waste in Mexico. The second, the “Maisa REDD+ Project”, aims to fight deforestation in the Amazon, protect indigenous populations, and promote sustainable agriculture in the Parà region of northern Brazil.

According to findings from Allcot, these commitments would make it possible to compensate for 26 tonnes of emissions generated by the operation of this beach club, and therefore to achieve a negative balance of 12.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

But the owners of this private beach aren’t stopping at simply publicising these projects in their mission to adopt a more ecological approach. Concrete actions are also being deployed on-site, with solar panels to heat water, the use of wooden furniture made in Europe, organic and local products, returnable glass, and more. Water from the showers and from rainfall is also being reused to water the beach club’s plants.

Meanwhile, vacationers – like staff – are being encouraged to opt for soft mobility transport options like bikes, kick scooters or walking when visiting the beach club, or at least to carpool.

All of which could make Baia Bella a model for an eco-responsible beach club that other resorts could learn from! – AFP Relaxnews

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