Soneva Sustainability Report 2015-16

Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has released its Sustainability Report 2015-16, which celebrates 20 years of sustainable operations since the company was founded in 1995.

Soneva is carbon neutral including guest air travel and import of products


Soneva Fushi Fresh in the Garden restaurant in the organic garden.

Last year Soneva pioneered the global hospitality industry by publishing the first ever Total Impact Assessment (TIA) tool, which was developed in-house. The TIA measures the impact of a company’s operations in five categories – Natural Capital, Human Capital, Social Capital, Economic Capital and Tax – and allows the company to quantify and monetise these impacts in a language that translates to standard business performance metrics. The result in 2015-16 showed that Soneva contributed a net positive impact of USD 34.2 million.

Soneva’s sustainability initiatives valued at USD 34.2 million

Soneva’s Sustainable Initiatives

Waste: Soneva demonstrates that waste does not have be a problem, but can be an asset. Through its innovative Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth concept, Soneva recycles 73% of solid waste and 100% of food waste across all resorts and generated USD 265,249 in value in 2015-16. Furthermore, the Glass Studio at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives turned 12,000 waste bottles from both the resort and neighbouring resorts into useful glassware as well as objects of art, as well as providing a uniquely fun guest experience.

73% of solid waste is recycled, generating USD 265,249 in cost savings

12,000 glass bottles recycled into art and tableware at Soneva’s Glass Studio


The Glass Studio takes our Eco Centro concept to the logical next step – creating not just wealth from waste but also beauty.

Environmental Levy: Early on, Soneva recognised that due to its resorts being in remote areas, guest air travel would have a significant environmental impact. In 2008 Soneva introduced an Environmental Levy for all guests, which is an additional 2% charge that is invested in projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact and importantly, offset carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. To-date, this Environmental Levy has raised USD 6.2 million. Through the Soneva Foundation, the funds have been invested in carbon mitigating projects like reforestation projects in Asia and the Myanmar Stoves Campaign, which have mitigated 388,599 tonnes CO2 to-date. In addition to making Soneva carbon neutral (including guest air travel), projects like the Myanmar Stoves Campaign have generated USD 9.4 million in social value over the last three years, and 186,018 people have benefited from fuel efficient stoves in Myanmar and Darfur alone.

USD 6.2 million raised through Soneva’s Environmental Levy to-date

WHOLE WORLD WATER: Furthermore, Soneva has prevented approximately 1.2 million plastic bottles from going to landfill since 2008 when the company banned all imported water and produced its own filtered and mineralized drinking water on-site in reusable glass bottles. The savings achieved from this were invested in the Soneva Foundation and WHOLE WORLD WATER to give 752,345 people access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

1.2 million plastic bottles prevented from going to landfill since 2008

The sustainability report also details initiatives and partnerships aimed at creating wider social and environmental change. Collaboration with organisations such as World Travel and Tourism Council, International Tourism Partnership, The Long Run and NGO partners are on-going, and Soneva fosters global connections among experts through its annual SLOW LIFE Symposium.

Soneva’s other sustainability initiatives include:

  • The annual Learn to Swim Programme in the Maldives
  • Children’s cooking competitions
  • Junior Host Programmes
  • Female recruitment and empowerment initiatives
  • Local community engagement programmes
  • Mobile dog clinics
  • Other Soneva Foundation Projects

These initiatives, among others, supported Soneva’s efforts in winning the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award for the second time in 2015, cementing the company’s place as the leading sustainability champion in the hospitality industry.

Download the Soneva Sustainability Report 2015-16 to read it in full.

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