Jetwing Yala – Winner, Resource Efficiency

WINNER – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Best in Resource Efficiency 

Boasting Sri Lanka’s largest privately owned solar installation (other institutions have visited looking to develop similar systems), guests at Jetwing Yala can fully relax thanks to the resort’s commitment to renewable resources. Jetwing Yala uses a “triple P” concept to focus their sustainability efforts: Profit, People, and Planet, choosing initiatives based on their environmental impact, community benefit, and projected return.

From the designing stages, the hotel built minimize energy consumption, incorporating natural light and ventilation and utilizing natural materials into the construction and has since incorporated a number impressive renewable energy initiatives, many of which are “firsts” for the Sri Lankan hospitality industry.

In addition to their solar installation Jetwing Yala uses a Vapor Absorption Chiller (VAC), which runs sustainably via steam from biomass boilers and supplies the hotel with enough renewable energy to meet the entire hotel’s air conditioning requirements. Both of these projects have been visited and studied by the government and private corporations and now more than 20 VAC units are being used in other industries.

Guests and staff are also encouraged to also do their part to keep their eco-footprint small through non-intrusive, informational signs in guest rooms and educational programs developed for staff members. Embarking on a “green” tour of Jetwing Yala lets guests experience Jetwing Yala’s initiatives while learning more about ways to be environmentally-friendly during their stay.

Thanks to the success of their current renewable energy programs Jetwing Yala is making great strides to achieve carbon neutrality. Their plan for future growth includes the following initiatives:

  • Expanding their solar installation to offset the hotel’s entire day-time electricity requirement
  • Install a biogas digester to treat organic waste from the kitchen
  • Use waste water, which is treated on site and currently allocated for gardening and cooling towers, in cistern flushing as well
  • Develop a rainwater harvesting system to be utilize during dry seasons
  • Create a “zero plastic” future by installing a water bottling plant using only reusable glass bottles

For more information about Jetwing Yala, visit their website: http://www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingyala/

Watch their video here

Soneva Resorts, Thailand & Maldives – Most Inspiring Accommodation

winner[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his post congratulates Soneva Resorts for being recognized as a 2013 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winner. This award recognizes the accommodation provider that excels in all of the above categories by taking into consideration all the key principles of responsible tourism (maximum positive impacts to the local community and minimum negative impacts to the environment) and awards innovation for this most inspiring accommodation of the year.

Soneva Resorts is the original barefoot luxury brand, and still one of the travel industry’s greatest innovators. The acronym SLOW LIFE (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences) explains the Soneva philosophy. Intelligent Luxury, is all about creating unforgettable, enlightening experiences that rejuvenate each guest’s love of SLOW LIFE. It’s about illuminating lives whilst treading lightly on the earth.

Our favourite things about them!

  • Excellent sustainable business model incorporating social, economic and environmental aspects.
  • Internal and external impact assessment.
  • Mandatory sustainability training.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • A great personal touch to guest communications with “Mr./Ms Fridays.”
  • Concrete emission calculation and reduction goals.
  • Soneva just go so far beyond business as usual… innovation after innovation, active and creative on serious issues.
  • UNESCO Biosphere, shark protection, coral restoration project (30 tonnes of rock), waste to wealth centre, 85% waste recycled, serious engagement with the carbon calculator which avoids dis-ingenuity, Carbon sense fund 450,000 trees planted, whole world water initiative…
  • An established operator with good track record on responsible approaches to sustainable tourism practices.

Inspiring Management

  • Internal and external social and environmental impact assessments made.
  • Engage guests through information in rooms, personal interaction, personal tours, website.
  • Size, layout and location of all buildings planned to integrate the native vegetation into man-made structures and to maintain the natural charm. Large, vegetated parts of the island are unspoilt to provide cooling, shading, fresh air and natural experiences. Villa numbers are kept low.
  • All timber used from sustainable managed, certified sources.
  • Wheelchair accessibility to some villas.
  • Fushi property delivered international event on their SLOW LIFE concept, with international leaders to inspire wider audience on sustainability.
  • Founded WHOLE WORLD Water campaign through their SLOW LIFE Trust.
  • 2/3 properties Long Run Alliance Members; use own Soneva Carbon Calculator annually.
  • Won numerous awards for sustainability.

Community Engagement and Development

  • Hold annual Soneva Nature Trip (through NGO Eco Care, sponsored by Soneva) most influenial environmental awareness event in Maldives. Locals (including 100 students) do various activities, conduct audits and learn about environmental issues.
  • Financially supported Thalassemia Prevetion and Relief programme of screening blood donations (Maldives has highest genetic blood disease prevelance in world).
  • 92% local staff, 50% of management are local people.
  • Staff training target of 9 hours per month, each staff member has own My Development Plan. Mandatory sustainability training for all staff.
  • 50% food from local area (80% organic), lots grown at properties.
  • Each villa assigned with own butler, from local area, who engages guests with local customs etc.
  • 90% staff live onsite, provide good living conditions with access to recreational activities and three meals a day.
  • All staff paid above national minimum wage.
  • Monthly meetings with island leaders to maintain relationships and receive feedback.

Cultural Preservation

  • Do and Don’t guide provided (dress etc).
  • Invite local women to showcase cooking and invite guests to their home to learn.
  • Use locally produced materials for design e.g. coconut ropes.
  • Sale of local crafts through Soneva Gallery.

Resource Efficiency

  • 3% renewable energy – installed 70kW solar PV in 2009 (then biggest on Maldives), expanding to 350kW which will result in 50% reduction in diesel consumption.
  • Each villa has its own Little Green book with information on responsible tourism.
  • 100% self sufficient in water (45% rain water harvested, 45% desalination, 10% deep wells).
  • Water saving: aerators, low flow shower heads, water saving toilets.
  • Monthly monitoring of resource efficiency with targets and bonuses if achieved.
  • Soneva Carbon Calculator includes travel, freight etc – 2011-12 footprint was 42, 500 tons (15% from energy, 76% guest travel).
  • Established Carbon Sense Fund, 2% levy on room bill for carbon mitigation projects (reforestation in Thailand, SLOW LIFE in Myanmar, stoves project in Sudan).
  • Output treated sewage and grey water is mixed with brine to reduce salinity then released into sea.
  • Less than 15% is non-recyclable waste and sent away.
  • Established Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre with Manager, handles and monitors all Fushi waste.
  • 85% food waste recycled, used on own herb garden.
  • Garden waste composted or bio-charcoal.
  • Working to improve chemicals by working with Eco Lab, hope to install rechargeable batteries.

Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife Conservation

  • Baa Atoll, where Soneva Fushi is situated, recently achieved UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status. In-house marine biologist involved in establishment of management team for Biosphere Reserve, resort will contribute financially.
  • Soneva Fushi worked with local NGOs to lobby for shark protection and in 2010 a national Shark-fish ban was implemented.
  • Soneva Fushi has own Marine Biologist who trains staff on conservation.
  • Follow IUCN ‘no no’ red list for F&B, work with local fishermen for sustainable fish, prioritize organic food.
  • 66% area left undeveloped (e.g Soneva Fushi island has largest forest cover in Maldives).
  • Use of native salt and drought tolerant plants reduced need for irrigation.
  • Soneva Kiri established coral restoration project – 1,850 corals or 27 species were transplanted, 30 tons live rock incorporated.
  • Offer 3 nights free stay to guests in low season who contribute to community/conservation work.
  • 3 hours per week set aside for marine biologist to monitor reefs, working with IUCN, to development management plan.
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T+L 2012‘Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Accommodation Provider’ Award is sponsored by Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka – Resource Efficiency

winner[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his post congratulates Heritance Kandalama for being recognized as a 2013 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winner. This award recognizes excellence in waste, water and energy management and sustainable architectural design in order to minimize your business’s environmental impact.

Heritance Kandalama is an architectural masterpiece by Geoffrey Bawa, built overlooking the eighth wonder of the world – the rock fortress of Sigiriya. The hotel sits at the heart of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, close to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Our favourite things about them!

  • A well known contributor to sustainable tourism practices across Asia Pacific.
  • First-mover advantage in sustainable tourism certification in the region.
  • Excellent Resource efficiency policy, clear targets and action plans.

 Inspiring Management

  • Winner of National Productivity Awards Sri Lanka for Service sector.
  • Gold Medal for Cleaner Production, National Cleaner Production Awards.
  • 2012 Finalist Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards ‘Most Inspiring Operator’.
  • ISO140001, ISO50001 management systems.

Resource Efficiency

  • ISO140001, ISO50001 management systems for energy and water conservation.
  • Practice 7R’s: Reject, Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Repair, Replace and Recycle for sourcing and disposing (waste is monitored)
  • 13% renewable energy
  • Engage guests with environmentally friendly activities
  • GRI Reporting, National Green Reporting System of Sri Lanka (NGRs) for water withdrawl and consumption
  • Purchasing policy in place to promote local products
  • Deliver presentations to special interest groups on the environment
  • Three sewage treatment plants which process 100% of water, sludge is used as compost on their 50 acre land or sold to guests.
  • Organic waste is sent to local piggery farm for food.

Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife Conservation

  • Use environmentally friendly products and all chemicals used are certified as biodegradable by the Central Environment Authority of Sri Lanka.
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Frangipani Langkawi Resport, Malaysia – Resource Efficiency

finalist[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his post congratulates Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa for being recognized as a 2013 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Finalist. This award recognizes excellence in waste, water and energy management and sustainable architectural design in order to minimize your business’s environmental impact.

This secluded and eco-friendly resort is situated on a 400-metre stretch of soft golden sand along Pantai Tengah, southwest of Langkawi. All 117 rooms, villas and suites are spacious, tastefully decorated to provide a calm feeling and relaxed atmosphere. Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa is the first resort in Langkawi to implement Green practices to preserve the environment.

Our favourite things about them!

  • Good practices to reduce and recycle waste. Onsite recycling centre.
  • 60% renewable energy and good practices to monitor energy usage, actively working to reduce consumption of electricity.
  • Good water saving measures.
  • In-house environmental education department.
  • Eco-walks to engage guests in environmental issues; exceptional and very commendable effort.
  • The awards they have received are recent and specifically for green hotels / environment.
  • Long track record in sustainable tourism practices in Malaysia.
  • ‘Walks the talk’ when it comes to responsible and sustainable tourism approaches.

Inspiring Management

  • PATA Grand Awards 2012 Environmental Education
  • ASEAN Green Hotel Awards 2011
  • 2010 Winner ASEANTA Best Conservation Effort
  • Virgin RT Awards Large Accommodation Highly Recommended
  • Claims to be the only hotel in Malaysia that has Environment & Education Department that monitors the progress of resource efficiency and trains staff and the public.

Resource Efficiency

  • Recyclable items sold to the recycle contractor (paper, aluminium cans, tins plastic bottles).
  • Organic waste is processed into compost and is measured. Fish and chicken intestines are buried as fertilizers near fruit trees. Fruit peels are processed as enzyme which is cleaning agent.
  • Items that can be recycled in house are used for e.g wine bottles are used as feature wall, lamp and vases. Engage guests with recycling agenda by showing staff do glass painting.
  • 60% renewable energy.
  • Monitor and report all energy use.
  • Inform guests about reducing energy through info in rooms and lobby, and eco-walks.
  • 99 politanks (4,000 litres) for rainwater harvesting; 77 water container for air-conditioner water harvesting to water plants and clean public area.
  • Every month comparisons are made on water consumption, made known to staff to get their support on water conservation.
  • Target: 10 % decrease in water consumption for year 2103 is relayed to all staff for their contribution to achieve.

Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife Conservation

  • Each department has own Green practices including the Purchasing in Accounts and Maintenance with the Environment Department monitoring all departments adhere to the rules and regulations pertaining to Green Practices.
  • Pesticide, insecticide and fungicide are processed in house using neem leaves.
  • Salt water pool use rock salt which uses less chlorine.
  • Grow morning glory to prevent beach erosion.