Susana joined PPGY in October 2021 as Head of Sustainability for the Resort Community & Destination team. After leading the formation of resort-wide sustainability committees with a vision of increasing engagement, productivity, and efficiency, Susana stepped into her new role as Director of ESG in December. Susana regularly holds Q&A sessions for the members and guests of the community, and you can join us at her next 'Coffee with Su' event at 3:00pm on February 2nd at the Clubhouse at Prieta Beach.
By Danielle Finnegan | January 12, 2023 | Guanacaste

You arrived at PPGY a little over a year ago from your native Spain; what has surprised you about life here? And what do you enjoy the most about living in Costa Rica?
The pura vida lifestyle has surprised me. People are extroverted and willing to stop and talk. It differs from Madrid, but the pace and mindset change is refreshing. What I most enjoy about this life is being immersed in nature. Here, I can put my feet in the sand or observe birds flying overhead, giving me peace and calm.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I enjoy the simple life – spending time with friends, having a morning coffee with my cats, and being surrounded by animals. I also feel privileged to be working on projects I am passionate about and that are aligned with my values and purpose in life.

Which person do you most admire?
My grandmother, who passed away last year, was the person I admired the most. She was born just after the Spanish Civil war and had a difficult life, but she was always kind and generous. Every year, she organized food baskets for the underprivileged and asked her grandchildren to deliver them to those in need. She is an example of how I want to live my life.

What do you consider your most outstanding achievement in everything you accomplished in 2022?
In 2022, we created the Strategic Sustainability Committee and the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) structure for the entire Peninsula Papagayo Resort Community, which has helped us define and implement our ESG strategy more efficiently. Six operating committees, comprised of more than 40 individuals from Andaz, Four Seasons, and Ecodesarrollo, now work together and are aligned on specific focus areas: water, waste, emissions, biodiversity, and social. I am most proud of this because people now feel like they are a team and have a common goal and vision to care for our realm and the people of our community.

One of your more significant projects has been calculating PPGY’s carbon footprint. What can individuals in our community do to participate in the reduction of carbon production?

  • Consider energy efficiency when building and renovating new homes
  • Chose the Mirai for your airport transfer and travel around PPGY by way of the electric bikes, golf carts or simply walk
  • Reduce food waste and choose local food sources whenever possible
  • Manage your waste properly by separating it correctly, reusing it when possible, and donating what things can still be used
  • Avoid single-use plastics
  • Be a conscious consumer of resources in your home and reduce water and energy consumption: just turning off lights when leaving home or paying attention to A/C temperature makes a difference

Describe some of the 2023 projects that you are most excited about.There are so many ground-breaking projects, but one game changer is our new in-house biologist, who will be onsite to answer your questions and provide a deeper understanding of our wildlife. It will help us make better-informed decisions with a holistic approach to managing our biodiversity and resources at PPGY. Another important project will unify PPGY’s ESG data collection to one standard that will provide insight into tracking performance and progress and keep us accountable. We will also continue to develop new programming that engages residents and guests with activities that matter to them, like expanding the coral restoration and our new lecture series, “Biodiversity Talks.”

What is your motto?
“Be kind to all kind” has been my motto since I became a vegetarian. I have a deep passion for biodiversity and feel that every life is meaningful, and it is no coincidence that this has become central to my life’s work.