Soneva Fushi wins the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 category Best for Beach Tourism.
The judges recognise Soneva Fushi for significant success in reducing its carbon footprint and for demonstrating what can be achieved, at scale, in improving environmental performance and benefitting local people.
Carbon neutral with huge social value
Soneva Fushi became carbon neutral in 2012 for its direct resort operation and in 2014 for both its direct and indirect resort operations including guest flights, by investing in renewable energy and carbon mitigation projects. Soneva Fushi is unique in the hospitality industry by also considering its indirect CO2 emissions, such as from guest flight, which counts for 80% of its carbon footprint.
The resort company has achieved this through pioneering with a 2% environmental levy on the room rate introduced in 2008 and investing the funds in carbon mitigating projects.
But it is not all about reducing carbon emissions. The Myanmar Stoves Campaign, the first Gold Standard carbon credit project in Myanmar, improves the lives of families trapped in energy poverty through monetary savings for households, protection of biodiversity, training and employment opportunities and health benefits from significantly reduced indoor air pollution.
To date 30,811 people have benefited from the efficient cook stoves in 264 villages and 208 vendors have been trained. The social value generated is US$5.1 million over a two year period.
Responsible Tourism Awards
Now in their 12th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded by Responsible Travel in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.
The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel and ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism).
This year, the Awards feature 13 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism.