Soneva Fushi Highly Commended in Green Hotelier Awards for Asia Pacific 2015

Soneva Fushi was Highly Commended in International Tourism Partnership’s Green Hotelier Awards for Asia Pacific 2015.

Snorkelling with Soneva Fushi marine biologist at Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. Photo: Antonina Gern

Snorkelling with Soneva Fushi marine biologist at Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. Photo: Antonina Gern

Beside exceptional environmental operations, Soneva Fushi was commended for leading marine conservation efforts in the Baa Atoll. Soneva Fushi has always protected its own 50 ha island and 119 ha of house reef. It lobbied to get a total ban on shark fishing and trade in the Maldives, which is now in place. It has also worked with five other resorts since 2007 to establish Baa Atoll as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The status was achieved in 2011. A Biosphere Reserve Office has been established to run the Biosphere Reserve and Soneva Fushi’s marine biologist serves on the Baa Atoll Biosphere Advisory board.

Still there is more to be done. Soneva Fush is the only Baa Atoll resort to ban night fishing due to its destructive practices.

Environmental levy

Ma Khin Myaing, the owner of the first Myanmar Stoves Campaign stove in Baw Di Kone village. Photo: Adam Oswell

Ma Khin Myaing, the owner of the first Myanmar Stoves Campaign stove in Baw Di Kone village.
Photo: Adam Oswell

Soneva Fushi was also commended for charging guests a mandatory environmental levy. By adding a two per cent environmental levy to our guests’ bills, Soneva has raised around USD 5.7 million towards environmental projects. Projects will mitigate 1 million tonnes CO2 over seven years; far exceeding Soneva’s carbon footprint including guest flights. So far, projects have reached 150,000+ people.

Similarly, the company banned imported water in 2008 and produces all of its drinking water on site. This has reduced carbon emissions and also avoided 700,000 plastic bottles that would need to be disposed of. The savings achieved from this has been used through the SLOW LIFE Foundation to give over 600,000 people access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Profitable waste management

Photo: Cat Vinton/Soneva

Photo: Cat Vinton/Soneva

80% of Soneva Fushi’s waste is recycled through its Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth programme, up from 27% compared to 2008/09 baseline. 100% of food waste is composted and the fertile soil produced is reused in the garden. Other recycling practices include:

  • Cardboard is composted onsite. Garden waste is recycled either through composting or production of bio-charcoal/biochar.
  • Glass is recycled onsite through crushing and then mixed with cement for construction.
  • Tins and aluminium are compacted for recycling.
  • Styrofoam is cut up by a hotwire cutter and reused for insulation in buildings.

All these efforts resulted in a 63 tonnes CO2 reversal achieved from recycling in 2013-14. But it is not only good for the environment. USD 90,000 in value was generated from waste recycling and vegetable production in 2014.

Green Hotelier and ITP
Green Hotelier is a programme of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), encouraging and sharing best practice in sustainability throughout the global hotel industry.

ITP provides a non-competitive platform for hotel industry leaders to share ideas, build relationships and work collaboratively to make this one of the world’s most responsible industries. With a powerful membership and tight focus on the long-term sustainability of the hotel industry – and a collective reach of over 23,500 properties, over 3.4m rooms and over 1.5m employees in over 100 countries worldwide – ITP is the leading organisation focussing on sustainability within the hospitality sector.

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