Name: Karly Pulido Title: Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist Company: Legacy Vacation Club Months in Current Position: Four Primary Responsibilities: “A lot of what I am doing is knowing where we are and figuring out where we need to go.” Organization’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: “Introducing a living wage for our hourly employees who have been with us two years or more. The employees loved that. We had some people go from $9 an hour to $12.99. Also, implementing a companywide recycling program.” Organization’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: “Outreach is a huge challenge. Teaching the importance of sustainability to employees and guests.”
ORLANDO, FLA.—As part of an effort to more responsibly manage the eight resorts that they operate, upper management at Orlando, Fla.-based Legacy Vacation Club brought Karly Pulido on board. Pulido, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist, hit the ground running four months ago and already has the company carefully tracking energy and water consumption. Waste is next. “We just implemented a waste recycling program,” she says.
Pulido, who has her Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment from the University of Florida, utilizes Energy Star Portfolio Manager to track energy use intensity and water use intensity for indoor Vacation Club areas. “That is what we are currently focused on reducing,” she says.
Legacy Vacation Club manages four resorts in Florida (Orlando-Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, Indian Shores, Palm Coast), two in Steamboat Springs, Colo., one in Brigantine Beach, N.J., and one in Reno, Nev. According to Pulido, about 50 percent of units are occupied by renters; the other 50 percent are occupied by owners.
“This year it has been a huge priority for Legacy to start a CSR program,” she says. “As we have done that, we have included all stakeholders in the process. In the next year we will have a lot of achievements.”
Green Initiatives Tested Close to Home Base
Legacy Vacation Club’s approach, given its Orlando location, has been to try out green initiatives at the Kissimmee and Orlando properties first. They are then rolled out to the other properties.
“We are working on an operations and maintenance guide,” Pulido says. “Standard things that may be overlooked by maintenance.” At the managed property in Indian Shores, Fla., Legacy Vacation Club has been evaluating appliances and water heaters for efficiency, for example. “We recently decided not to serve straws in our restaurant. We are not doing laundry every day.”
Legacy Vacation Club has coordinated a youth drive for an at-risk school and toiletries were donated to a women’s shelter. Other partially used amenities are sent to Clean the World. Employees at some of the properties organized trash pickups on Earth Day. A monthly newsletter keeps employees up to date on CSR initiatives.
Working as a Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist comes easy to Pulido. “I have always been into conservation,” she says. From May 2017 until January 2018, she served as an Agribusiness Development Specialist with the Peace Corps. Almost three years ago she worked as a Waste Management Volunteer at a Greenbuild conference.