Soneva Sustainability Report 2014-15

The Soneva Sustainability Report 2014-15 introduces  the hospitality industry’s first Total Impact Assessment, which translates the company’s impacts into a business measure.


Fresh in the Garden restaurant at Soneva Fushi. Photo: Soneva

In an effort to measure the total impact their business has on the natural world and on the communities in which they operate in, Soneva, owner of luxury resorts Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri, has conducted the first Total Impact Assessment (TIA) of the company as a whole. It is the first time an evaluation of this magnitude has ever been commissioned in the hospitality industry.

Soneva is also the first company to offset not only its direct resort emissions, but also indirect emissions such as import of products and guest flights and become carbon neutral.

Total Impact Assessment
Recognising that a company’s performance should be assessed as its total contribution to society, Soneva commissioned the TIA to provide a holistic view of the environmental, human, social, economic and fiscal dimensions of the business. It measures the impact in five categories – Natural Capital, Human Capital, Social Capital, Economic Capital and Tax – and allows the company to quantify and monetise it in a language that translates to standard business performance metrics.

Traditionally business performance is measured in financial performance. Soneva wanted to help its investors experience the company’s impacts in a language they understand, and the Soneva Total Impact Assessment translates their sustainability impacts to a dollar value.

For instance, Soneva’s investments into the Myanmar Stoves Campaign is primarily designed to offset the company’s carbon emissions both from direct resort operations and indirect such as guest flights. However, it also have huge social benefits, e.g.  such improved disposable income and improved health, for the 20,649 people that impacted. It has also created several jobs. In 2014-15 the social benefits were valued to be USD 3.4 million.


Happy large family in rural Myanmar. Photo: Cat Vinton

Environmental Profit & Loss
Soneva’s TIA differs from the usual sustainability reporting in that it assesses the impact not just of the company’s direct activities but also that of its supply chain. Metrics categorised by land use, water consumption, energy consumption and CO2 emissions are used to measure the true cost of the ecosystem services provided to the food and beverage products utilised at the resorts.

Detailed studies of the company’s top 44 products that account for 75% of their total food purchase dollar value are carried out. For the remaining products (in categories such as meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, groceries, dairy, alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages), averages are used.

The company developed a methodology for an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L), or supply chain impacts, which together with the resort and guest travel emissions makes up the natural capital segment of the evaluation. Natural capital is effectively offset against the company’s positive impacts through human and social capital and economic and tax contributions to provide the total impact.

Using the data collected through the TIA, the company will adapt its operational procedures to further reduce the gap between positive and negative impacts.

Whilst completely committed to reducing their own impact, the company understands that to effect any change in the wider context they need to work with other industry partners, global influencers and the local communities.

Collaboration with organisations such as World Travel and Tourism Council, International Tourism Partnership, The Long Run and NGO partners are ongoing, and the company fosters global connections among experts through its SLOW LIFE Symposium, which has seen the development of close relationships between Symposium participants and the B Team, founded by Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz to encourage leadership within business.

Download the Soneva Sustainability Report 2014-15 to read it in full.

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