Lanjia Lodge – Winner, Community

WINNER – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Best in Community Engagement & Development

High on a hill in the Chiang Rai Province of northern Thailand, offers visitors intimate cultural experiences, whether a locally guided village tour, trek, or boating excursion down the mighty Mekong river. To ensure the lodge supports the needs of the surrounding Hmong and Lahu villages, Lanjia makes sure the communities are an active partner in all of their guest programs and development initiatives.

Before they even began building the founding team created a partnership with the Population and Community Association (PDA), an NGO already working within the local communities, which was instrumental in building a trusted partnership and allowed their projects to hit the ground running. Through PDA Lanjia Lodge learned quickly what the local communities needed, helping them visualize and create means of supporting existing projects like economic and environmental initiatives.

One of the biggest projects Lanjia Lodge supports is the Village Development Bank. For every guest, Lanjia donates 30 baht, which is deposited into the bank every three months creating a quarterly village income regardless of whether the lodge makes a profit. The staff have taken ownership of this project, realizing that more guests mean a healthier bank account, and make strides to ensure each guest has the best possible experience. They’ve even started voluntarily donating 30 baht out of their own monthly salary to the bank. In addition to the guest-dependent donations, the lodge gives 120,000 baht to the PDA every year.

The lodge takes a very hands-off approach to money management. After their donations are submitted the village committee takes over, using the money how they see fit. In the last year this included loans to villagers for household expenses, small business operations, and agricultural investments. Funds were also allocated for local cultural activities, such as a sports day and a New Year ceremony.

In addition to their involvement with the Village Development Bank, Lanjia Lodge also provides scholarships for four high school students, allowing them to attend a vocational school in Bangkok (which also includes English lessons) with the understanding they will return and use their new skills to help continue develop their village.

Lanjia Lodge is also dedicated to involving the local communities in environmental initiatives. They work closely with the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU), a team of ecologists and research students in the Science Faculty of Chiang Mai University. FORRU-CMU has helped with technical training and applying their model to carry out Lanjia Lodge’s own reforestation project, which is taking place on a site donated to the King and has since become a ‘royal project’. Since the project started in 2008, hundreds of young plants have grown into strong trees.

In the future Lanjia Lodge hopes to expand their organic farm, currently used in preparing meals for lodge guests, into a community initiative. Their first step, educating the local communities about the health dangers associated with long term use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Their long term goal: create new dining experiences in which guests can become more involved with the local culture by dining in the private residences of community partners.

For more information about Lanjia Lodge, visit their website: http://www.asian-oasis.com/product/lanjia-lodge-hilltribe-discovery/

Watch their video here

Gaya Island – Winner, Nature & Wildlife

WINNER - 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Best in Protection of Natural Areas & Wildlife Conservation 

Tucked along the coast of Malohom Bay, Gaya Island Resort offers guests a seamless integration of luxury and the natural world. Offering a set of “PURE Activities” guests can interact with the surrounding rare species of flora and fauna, facilitated by the resort’s resident naturalist. In addition to their environmental programs for guests, Gaya Island Resort has started initiatives to educate local communities on protecting their beautiful home.

Gaya Island Resort believes tourism is a positive platform for wildlife education, as long as it’s conducted in a careful manner as to maintain a positive impact Many of Gaya Islands programs, such as guided nature hikes and snorkelling excursions are only offered to a limited number of participants to keep from overwhelming or damaging the surrounding environment. But that doesn’t mean guests can also get up close and personal with nature. Visitors can experience the resort’s mangrove conservation efforts through the Mangrove Kayak Tour. Along with a guide, guests explore the diverse mangrove ecosystem while learning about the resident flora and fauna.

Activities such as handicraft classes, a traditional dance show, and dining experiences draw inspiration from the diverse tribes found in Borneo and give guests a greater insight into the local culture. At turn-down, guests are given a beaded keychain from the Rungus community, one of the many ethnic groups in the area, along with an informational leaflet.

Not only are educational experiences offered to guests. Through the Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre (GIRMC), Gaya Island facilitates education programs in the area schools to teach students about the local sea turtle populations, coral, and the importance of keeping the ocean clean. In addition to their education initiative, GIRMC works closely with a leading turtle conservationist and is the first turtle rescue centre in Malaysia to  successfully rescue, rehabilitate, and release endangered sea turtles.

For more information about Gaya Island Resort, visit their website: http://www.gayaislandresort.com/

Watch their video here

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

Nikoi Island – Winner, Responsible Operator

WINNER – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator

Situated off the Indonesian coast, Nikoi Island offers guests a private getaway and peace of mind thanks to their environmental initiatives, such as their unique passive-cooling building design constructed from primarily recycled driftwood and alang alang grass in the traditional Indonesian style. With the majority of the island left untouched, Nikoi gives guests an intimate introduction the the natural environment with activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and trekking.

Nikoi Island employs inspiring strategies to minimise energy waste and environmental impact. Despite their tropical location Nikoi Island doesn’t use air-conditioning, instead buildings are kept cool thanks to double layer roof design, which promotes vertical and horizontal ventilation. All of the toiletries provided in guests’ rooms are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and packaged in refillable bottles. You’ll be hard-pressed to find beverages bottled in plastic, Nikoi keeps their plastic consumption low by only using refillable glass bottles for water and straws made from bamboo.

Some of their short and long-term plans for further sustainability include: recycling greywater for gardening use; local reef restoration, establishment of “no fishing” zones on the reef; turtle conservation; increasing incorporation of locally-sourced, organic foods; utilization of more renewable energy sources; and the establishment of an artist in residence program for Indonesian sculptors.

To maximise their ability to support the local communities and environment, Nikoi Island established The Island Foundation (TIF), a registered charity in both Singapore and Indonesia, run by an independent board. TIF works with the local government and area communities on their various initiatives, like the collection of plastic waste along the beaches, sponsoring local events, monitoring nearby shipping to prevent illegal dumping, and improving education standards in the area. Another big project: working with the Orang Suku Laut in Berakit village to protect their delicate mangrove ecosystem. The mangroves are considered sacred and are a main source of food for the community.

In an effort to prevent the negative effects of tourism, Nikoi Island does not offer tours to local villages. Instead, cultural interaction is encouraged with staff members and information on culturally appropriate behaviour and language guides are provided in guests’ rooms. Also, events and activities promoting cultural heritage, like Batik and jewelry workshops, nature talks, and cultural performances, are organised through TIF.

For more information about Nikoi Island, visit their website: http://www.nikoi.com/

Watch their video here

Kinyei – Winner, Responsible Tourism Initiative

WINNER – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Initiative

Kinyei combines two initiatives, Kinyei Café and Soksabike to enrich their local community in Battambang. Through Soksabike, tourists experience an off-the-beaten-track side of Cambodia. Guests begin and end their cycling journey with a refreshing visit to Kinyei Café, which offers training programs for local youth.

Kinyei is run mostly by university students and recent graduates who work and study part-time. The staff often come from under-privileged backgrounds and gain valuable work experience in areas such as customer service, finance, IT, English, administration, and management. Through their jobs at Kinyei, staff are able to finance their university educations while on and off-site job trainings and workshops allow them to grow both professionally and personally. Soon staff will be able to take even more ownership of their work at Kinyei. Now that the two businesses are self-sustaining, Kinyei plans to move forward onto their next phase of local ownership by offering employee profit share and manager share holdings.

Soksabike, which is patroned primarily by foreign tourists takes guests on bicycle journies to visit local cottage industries. These small, family-run businesses make products such as rice paper, bamboo sticky rice, and dried bananas. During their visits guests have the opportunity to sample the products while learning about the production process, Cambodian history, and how and why the families began their businesses. In the future, Soksabike hopes to expand their tour offerings to include a homestay program, multiple-day tours, and tuk tuk tours utilising eco-friendly, solar-powered tuk tuks.

Kinyei Café handles all of the tour bookings and bicycle rentals for Soksabike and is both the starting and ending point for the tours, ensuring customers get a refreshing beverage pre and post ride. The Café is also the hub for all of Kinyei’s responsible tourism marketing information outlining the associations various sustainable initiatives.

Kinyei Café prides itself on serving exceptional coffee, using beans sustainably harvested from Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Two of the Café’s baristas competed and won the Cambodian National Barista Championships in 2012 and 2013 and have competed internationally as well. In addition to their excellent coffee selections, Kinyei Café provides an inviting atmosphere for locals and tourists alike while offering space for meetings and workshops to local nonprofits free of charge.

Contributing to the local communities and maintaining those relationships is of utmost importance to Kinyei. Profits are shared with the families visited during Soksabike’s tours while Kinyei Café provides space for local artisans to showcase their work. Kinyei also organises workshops on environmental protection and heritage preservation for local schools and businesses to educate and positively influence the local communities in sustainability.

For more information about Kinyei, visit their website: http://www.kinyei.org/

Watch their video here

Asia’s Best Responsible Tourism Businesses Revealed

2013 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winners

The seventh Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards revealed its six prestigious winners at Asia’s biggest business-to-business travel trade show, ITB Asia, today (Friday 25th October) in Singapore. From all corners of the region, this year’s winners represent leaders in sustainability, each showcasing how the tourism industry can be a force for good. These businesses are inspirational examples of socially and environmentally responsible companies, making a big positive difference in the destinations they operate within.

Best in Community Engagement and Development

This award recognizes exceptional commitment to supporting the local community and economy in which the business operates.

Workplace staff_small business opportunityWinner: Lisu Lodge, Thailand

Named after the Lisu hill tribe village that is found near the lodge, Lisu Lodge is part of a communitybased project that aims to conserve the natural heritage of the hill tribes of northern Thailand. Lisu Lodge has demonstrated an inspirational commitment to creating a sustainable local economy through
capacity building and employment, empowering women’s groups through the conservation of heritage crafts and contributes to a local development fund for community initiatives led by indigenous communities.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Bali CoBTA, Indonesia

Best in Cultural Preservation

This award recognizes engagement and efforts by tourism businesses in preserving, enhancing and promoting local cultures and heritage.

1.Apani Dhani - central hutWinner: Apani Dhani, India

Apani Dhani is based in the heart of Rajasthan. They offer eco-friendly accommodation, excursions and activities with locals such as cooking lessons, initiation to traditional arts and crafts. Staying will enable travellers to discover daily life and traditions of rural India. Apani Dhani’s multifaceted cultural mission is based on engaging the community on many levels, supporting local artisans and cottage industries, and campaigning for the protection of historical buildings.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Sampran Riverside, Thailand

Best in Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife Conservation

This award recognizes tourism businesses’ consideration of their local environment and biodiversity by actively supporting and protecting their natural assets.

Scuba Junkie presentationWinner: Scuba Junkie, Malaysia

Scuba Junkie dive resort located on Mabul island, provides daily dive trips to more than 25 islands (Including Sipadan Island (frequently voted in the top 10 dives sites in the world)) in the Celebes Sea in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. They have established a range of partnerships to protect the marine environment and wildlife, ranging from government to marginalized local communities. They are also managers of the Mabul Turtle Hatchery, chair of an annual marine week and advisers to the Semporna Shark Sanctuary.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Ranweli Holiday Village, Sri Lanka

Best in Resource Efficiency

This award recognizes excellence in waste, water and energy management and sustainable architectural design in order to minimize the business’s environmental impact.

Heritance webWinner: Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka

Heritance Kandalama is based in the heart of the cultural triangle in Sri Lanka, built overlooking the the rock fortress of Sigiriya. Endorsed by both ISO14001 and ISO50001 management systems for energy and water efficiency, they continuously achieve quantitative goals to reduce consumption. Their Eco Park has been visited by over 1.8million guests, partnering with more than 30 local schools and various conservation bodies – Kandalama has excellent commitment to promoting environmental education.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Malaysia

Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Accommodation Provider

(This category is sponsored by Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia)

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 webWinner: Soneva Resorts, Thailand and the Maldives

Soneva Resorts is the original barefoot luxury brand, and still one of the travel industry’s greatest innovators. The acronym SLOW LIFE (which stands for Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning-Inspiring-Fun- Experiences) explains the Soneva philosophy. Soneva supports clean water projects, an orphanage initiative and a hunger alleviation charity. They have helped implement a local ban on shark fishing, established a coral restoration project, and their innovative carbon calculator ensures they continuously strive for inspirational resource efficiency.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysia

Most Inspiring Responsible Tour Operator

This award recognizes the tour operator that excels in all of 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 responsible tourism business of the year.

tourWinner: ViaVia Jogja, Indonesia

ViaVia tours, based in Jogjakarta, all offer something unique – including adventure, gastronomy and culture. ViaVia is also an arts hub providing space to young local artists, whilst supporting marginalised groups. Parts of the ViaVia profits go to support educational, social and cultural projects in and around Jogjakarta. They have provided humanitarian assistance to local natural disasters, helped establish a rural community library and delivered free training to local groups and guides.

* Why did they win? Download their factsheet! *

Runner up: Papua Expeditions, Indonesia

Amy McLoughlin, Awards Coordinator, says “Congratulations to all our worthy winners and finalists. All of them are role models for the industry. Their investment in community engagement, workers’ welfare, cultural conservation and environmental stewardship – make the travel industry a more exciting place to work. Most importantly, they’re supporting long lasting development in their destinations across Asia, ensuring a more sustainable future for the places we love to visit”.

Looking for inspiration for your tourism business? Visit the Wild Asia website for fact sheets on this year’s twelve finalists to discover their best practices and social impact. Furthermore, businesses can also uncover this year’s winning entries from the Inspiring Stories from Destinations competition, also hosted annually at ITB Asia.

Special thanks to our 2013 Media Partners – especially T+L Southeast Asia and SOST for their amazing support! Also thank you to ITB Asia for letting us use this fabulous platform to showcase our Finalists and Winners.

Call for Inspiring Stories 2013

Do you want your responsible tourism story heard at Asia’s biggest business-to-business travel trade show?

Well, we want to hear from you! LOGO_Inspiring Stories from Destinations_2012-page-001

Every year, we invite inspirational tourism businesses and projects from across Asia to submit their inspiring story. Have you empowered local people? Saved a rare wildlife species? Protected an area’s cultural heritage? All through the power of using tourism as a force for good? Get in touch.

Inspiring Stories from Destinations is an annual competition providing an international platform for tourism players to get their story heard at ITB Asia. We seek exciting stories from organisations and individuals who have found in themselves a passion to make a difference in the travel industry and leave a legacy for the next generation.

Check out our 2011 and 2012 Inspiring Stories.

What we’re looking for?

The selection of successful stories is based on the authenticity of the story, creative and innovative elements and the power to inspire others towards making responsible tourism a reality. (Terms below)

What’s in it for you?

  • Top 3 Winners will receive complimentary tickets to ITB Asia and 5 minutes each to share their story on the Responsible Tourism stage to an audience of likeminded tourism professionals and potential customers
  • Top 10 Winners will have their story published on the Wild Asia website
  • Top 10 Winners will benefit from international PR via our array of travel media partners

How to enter

Submit your stories in any of the following form:

  • In words; no more than 1,500 words
  • Video; no more than 5 minutes
  • Slideshow; no more than 20 slides
  • Podcast; no more than 5 minutes

Email your entries to rt@wildasia.org by 30th August, 2013 (Friday). Please title your email “RT Stories for RT Event at ITB Asia 2013″ and include your Name, Email, Organization and Destination in your email. Successful applicants will be notified via email by 13th September, 2013.

Mulberry Learning CentreKecapiPlayersBeyond Unique Escapes (3)factory man

 

 

 

 

Inspiring Stories is part of the annual Responsible Tourism networking events that started in 2009. Organised and supported by ITB Asia, Wild AsiaThe Blue Yonder Associates and The Green Circuit, this annual event hopes to bring together sustainable tourism practitioners to share, engage, learn and be inspired to make a difference.

Terms & Conditions

  • Previous winners of Inspiring Stories (Top 3 or Top 10) cannot apply
  • 2013 Finalists of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards cannot apply
  • Past Winners of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards cannot apply
  • Businesses or projects that are part of The Blue Yonder Associates or The Green Circuit cannot apply
  • Business or project must be based in Asia
  • Free entry to ITB Asia for Top 3 Winners on the day of the Inspiring Stories event (TBC) only (travel to and from Singapore or accommodation to attend the event is not included)
  • Stories are judged by a panel of responsible tourism experts and their decision is final
  • Applicants acknowledge that the Top 10 Winners of Inspiring Stories 2013 will have their story, images, (presentation of Top 3) published on the Wild Asia website

LooLa Adventure: Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator

2012 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award Winner: Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator of 2012

LooLa Adventure, located on Bintan Island in Indonesia near the Singapore coast, is a eco-haven for fun-loving adventure seekers. Since opening in 2000, LooLa has championed the benefits of a resort built from local materials and with local staff. In fact, LooLa’s inspirational commitment to employing local staff means that 100% of the team are from the immediate area, transforming lives through employment generation, training and related community action.

A majority of LooLa’s business derives from educational school packages, and children benefit from engaging in a host of community development projects that are really making a difference. As well as thrill-seeking activities like rock climbing or kayaking, students have contributed to such projects as cementing village trails, (fruit) tree planting, building sports pitches for orphanages and local villages, and building beds for elderly residents. These are projects that have been requested by local people, and joint monitoring by LooLa and the village community ensures that everyone in the local vicinity benefits.

In addition to exceptional efforts made to ensure tourism is a force for good for local people and livelihoods, LooLa is also very committed to reducing their environmental impact. They have boldly refused to install air-conditioning to reduce energy guzzling consumption; use a natural sea water pool and use locally available materials for construction to reduce on transportation and to invest in the local economy.

Why Wild Asia loved this Winner

Our favourite concept!

Community Engagement – Every family in the neighbouring area has been listed in LooLa’s community action plan. For every project delivered by LooLa’s staff or guests, this is recorded. This ensures that everyone benefits and equally. Their efforts to work with the community aren’t just for show, but projects that really make a difference and activities that are in demand by the local people themselves. Truly committed to supporting local people, LooLa is covering the cost of supplying mosquito nets to the neighboring village community, and has set up a public-private partnership so that villagers have easy and affordable access to hospital treatments.

  • HRM Management - A 100% local staff force benefit from a transparent bonus scheme, peer mentoring, capacity building training and a salary that is on average twice the local wage. Also, uniquely, the LooLa staff runs their own shop and drinks business on site for the direct benefit of the staff fund.
  • FundraisingIn 2011 alone, 90% of visitors took part in donating funds for important local projects and raised $70,000 to community development projects in which they subsequently participated themselves
  • EnvironmentBold moves to educate guests about the need to conserve resources, the resort has no hot showers nor air conditioning to save energy. They also use chemical free mosquito control and use a ‘no plastic water bottle’ policy
  • Cultural Commitments – In order to ensure that life isn’t all work and no play, LooLa recognises the significance of cultural dates in the calendar and closes entirely for the benefit of local staff during events like Hari Raya
  • Future Plans – LooLa is expanding while ensuring it is done in the most sensitive of ways. New bungalows will all have their own solar energy and generate more locally sourced jobs. They will also levy ‘eco surcharges’ for those wanting to use more water or energy!
What did the Judges have to say?

 “An all-round highly believable product” 

 “All-rounder that has excelled in all the subcategories under the most inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator

 “Loola’s story is convincing & homegrown” 

 

Scuba Junkie: Protection of Natural Areas & Wildlife Conservation

2012 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winner: Best in Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife Conservation

Scuba Junkie has made the clear connection between business and nature and is doing lots to protect the environment of which their diving resort depends on. Their resort is based on Mabul, a beautiful island off Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, just a short boat ride away from any diver’s ‘big one’, Sipadan.

Scuba Junkie is often described as the ‘lifeline’ for its home island and is at the forefront of many local schemes to clean up Mabul, protect endangered marine species and educate others. Aside from the whole heap of great initiatives Scuba Junkie are engaged with, they’re an exemplar business when it comes to working with the local community too.

Why Wild Asia loved this Winner

Our favourite concept!

Waste Management – In 2011, Scuba Junkie donated $70,000 towards rubbish removal from Mabul. The resort coordinates an island rubbish collection service: free biodegradable bags are provided for local community, once full, these can be dropped off at the resort and a boat collects four times per week and takes to a recycling plant on the mainland managed by a Governmental Body. This is preventing locals to dump waste into the sea, as previously done. They have also sponsored and introduced the only street bins in Mabul (150) and provided the local council with skips (10). They also coordinate weekly beach and reef cleans.

  • Shark Conservation – Spearheading the Semporna Shark Sanctuary as Advisor to the Proposal, they have contributed 70,000RM this year towards the campaign. The goal is to gazette a protected area in Semporna seas for endangered sharks and lobby against shark finning. Within Semporna, they employ a member of staff to monitor the sales of shark products at the local wet market. They have also recently funded an expert to deliver a study on the Economic Value of Sharks in Sabah
  • Education – Scuba Junkie supports the island’s School of Hope, a centre providing educational opportunities for sea gypsy children who cannot attend state school. They are engaging them with English classes and environmental education. These children are also actively engaged in events such as Mabul Marine Week which bring the community together. Furthermore, the resort’s Shark and Environmental Officer delivers weekly presentations to guests on turtle and shark conservation in the local area
  • Environment – Buildings have been designed to prevent light and noise pollution and the resort has a Green Grade A sewage treatment plant which is soon to be upgraded to include irrigation into the ground
  • Sustainable Seafood – No seafood is served onsite as local methods are not sustainable. A bold statement for an island tourism business where fish is often demanded, but very responsible and admirable
  • Turtle Conservation – The resort runs and manages the islands only turtle hatchery which is managed by trained biologists and supervised by Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah Parks. To reduce unethical turtle egg collecting, they have introduced an excellent incentive by paying locals 10RM per egg (10x market value). These eggs are collected and added to the Turtle Hatchery project to be safeguarded. In the past year, they have contributed 25,000RM to the hatchery project

What did the Judges have to say?

“Most impressive is that they limit themselves voluntarily in areas where they could make profit, such as limiting the number of boat trips, don’t sell seafood, restrict buildings etc”

“An impressive list of green credentials”

 

ITC Sonar: Resource Efficiency

2012 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winner: Best in Resource Efficiency

ITC Sonar in Kolkata, India, has taken its commitment of ‘sustainable luxury’ to a whole other level and has enough green credentials under its belt to impress even the most difficult of customers.

The tireless efforts to make ITC Sonar energy, waste and water efficient is exceptional. It was the first hotel in the world to earn carbon credits under the carbon trading scheme. This beautiful 5* hotel is a leading light in renewable energy and resource efficiency.

Why Wild Asia loved this Winner

Our favourite concept!

Management SystemsITC Sonar has an effective environmental management system in place (EMS) following the ISO14001 standard. They also adhere to LEED and USGBC standards. If this is all jargon to you – these are internationally recognised management systems that ensure a business has exceptional environmental best practices in place. Most importantly, they are working. In five years, the hotel saved almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through environmental measures. They also engage all staff when setting environmental related targets to ensure they are realistic and achievable.

  • Sustainable Purchasing – When submitting tender documents to new suppliers, they have now included an environmental section to ensure their supply chain is doing its bit for the environment too. They have delivered training workshops on green supply chain to their vendors/partners, too.  60% of total purchasing is done sustainably; this means it is from renewable materials, sourced within 500km distance or FSC paper/woods and reused items. They also use Green Seal certified detergents and soaps (environmentally labeled with ISO14020 and ISO14024) and soap nuts to green their cleaning
  • Saving WaterTechnologies such as using LEED accredited aerators are installed throughout to reduce water consumption. They recycle 100% of their water for e.g. toilet flushing. They’ve recently revamped and modified their reverse osmosis plant, which has resulted in more yield and less reject water
  • Waste Management – No waste goes to landfill, organic waste is composted and they have implemented a strict monitoring of food consumption vs demand to reduce waste
  • Reducing Energy Consumption – Measures to save energy have included: all lighting in public areas and guest rooms has now been replaced with LED lighting; low tonnage energy chillers used and variable frequency drivers installed to optimize energy consumption.
  • Educating Guests – Guests are educated about how they can contribute to resource efficiency during their stay by using information in the lobby, posters distributed (e.g. saving water) and ‘green hearts’ with messages of hotels measures are displayed in relevant guest areas. When checking in, guests are given information on energy saving measures, accompanied by electrical key card and in room digital thermostat
  • Sewage – They have been certified by government as a zero water discharge property. Their state of the art 400kl capacity SAFF (Submerged Aerated Fixed Film) plant is monitored monthly by a contractor. Water output is used for flushing, cooling tower, irrigation etc and semi-solid residue forms cakes used for manure in horticulture!
  • Sphere of Influence – Schools can arrange visits to hotel to learn about resource efficiency and the hotel also offers an outreach program (in past 3 years they have worked with 8 local schools, equating to around 250 children, from underprivileged areas). To date they have distributed 3,800 saplings to their associates which have been planted in the area

What did the Judges have to say?

“This hotel is a fantastic model for other, regular city/provincial hotels to relate to and follow”

“Engagement with standards, involving their staff, guests and deep into their supply chain is a real inspiration”

“Their commendable effort can translate to many more establishment becoming resource efficient”