BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA — It has been one year since Scuba 6 Eco Diving joined the Blue Certified eco-label program. Scuba 6 joined Blue Certified in July 2015 because it wanted a proven step-by-step system to achieve more efficient business practices, increase cost savings, and attract more clients who care about the ocean. And since that time it has been awarded the Blue Certified eco-label.
Developed by Ocean First Institute (OFI), in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, Blue Certified provides scuba dive operations with the tools to perform better for themselves, the environment, their local community, and their customers.
Walking the 3 P’s Talk
The Blue Certified program team walked Scuba 6 through the 3 P’s of business sustainability that include economic (profit), environmental (planet) and socio-cultural (people) best practices. The Blue Certification Award gives Scuba 6 Eco Diving bona fide recognition for its work as a sustainability leader in the dive industry.
Green business attracts quality customers.
“Customers choose us specifically for our Eco Diving and for what we represent” says Ginette Bariteau, Owner of Scuba 6 Eco Diving. As part of the eco-certification, Scuba 6 Eco Diving completed the baseline level of the initial criteria and submitted evidence which was officially verified by OFI.
Bariteau adds, “By focusing on sustainable business practices, we are growing and attracting even more quality clients that are very happy, come back, and give referrals. We did better over the last 6 months than we have done for 5 years.”
Tourism as a force for good.
With tourism and coastal development on the rise, potential negative impacts on communities and coral reefs are realities. But tourism can be a force for good by creating positive impacts as well. Blue Certified guides dive centers towards operating at an optimal level in all day-today operations and in relation to their biggest stakeholder, the ocean.
“Dive operators are true stewards and guardians of the ocean,” shared Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza, Executive Director of OFI. “They are deeply connected to it — and want to protect it. Through their livelihoods, their customers and their day-to-day practices, these tourism businesses have an opportunity to protect what they love, while strengthening their market reach.”
What’s good for the ocean is good for us.
Added OFI sustainability consultant, Deby Stabler, “Imagine a vacation that improves the destination you are visiting. Tourist dollars can boost community economic development by hiring local staff and purchasing items within the area’s supply chain.”
About Blue Certified
Blue Certified enables dive shops to plan for sustainability by using globally recognized criteria specifically designed for dive operators. With partnerships throughout the dive industry, the Blue Certified program is preserving the livelihood of the dive industry and the health of marine environments.
About Scuba 6 Eco Diving
Scuba 6 Eco Diving continually strives to surpass customer expectations and to forge a path to a more sustainable dive industry that others can follow. Scuba 6 Eco Diving is the only dive shop in Bocas del Toro to have been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row. Scuba 6 Eco Diving’s goal is to offer extended bottom time and share a love and knowledge of the marine environment so that visitors get the most from the time spent underwater.