For Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, sustainable travel is the first step in establishing a collaborative relationship with nature and understanding how operations can fit into the design of the whole system. Regenerative travel takes the idea of sustainability a step further to consider a more reciprocal relationship with future ecosystems and generations. While the future of travel remains uncertain, the appeal of traveling more consciously and carefully is growing among guests.
Initiated in 2012 and led by the group’s Vice President of Sustainability Jeff Smith, all properties monitor and measure their actions closely. “Our ultimate aim is to do much more than protect local communities, cultures and environments,” says Jeff. “We want to go beyond protection and act as a regenerative business, adding value to local stakeholders and giving back more than we take. To this end, we track our positive impacts for communities and ecosystems we are a part of.”
Six Senses integrates this mantra into the entire guest journey in the hope that, through experiences and programming, it leaves a lasting impression on the traveler even on their return home.
Six Senses Con Dao’s partners included within the United Nations Framework for sea turtle recovery
Con Dao National Park has joined the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asia (IOSEA) marine turtle conservation network, an intergovernmental agreement that aims to protect, conserve, and recover sea turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. The agreement falls under the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.
In collaboration with Con Dao National Park, Six Senses houses its own “Let’s Get Cracking” incubation center, with 2020 seeing a highly successful hatching rate. A total of 43 nests were delivered to the resort for custodianship with more than 2,095 turtles successfully hatching and making their way to the ocean. Over the past three years, there have been 173 nests and 7,860 critically endangered newly hatched green sea turtles have been recorded. Directly in front of the resort is a prime habitat and feeding grounds, the only place where protection is enforced for the small marine population that resides around Con Dao Islands.
The resort develops and invites guests to share the responsibility to offset carbon footprint, while still experiencing the total indulgence of “sustainable luxury”. The resort works with ecologically minded suppliers to go virtually plastic free, maintains a clean ocean and beach for the nests and educates local children through weekly environmental and English classes. There are programs in place to conserve energy, keep packaging to an absolute minimum, and reuse and recycle. The resort manages its own reverse osmosis plant and crystal water refinery, producing high quality drinking water without the use of plastic bottles. An organic vegetable garden also supports self-sustained food and beverages in the resort, drastically reducing the environmental footprint.
Work on a long-term regeneration plan continues, which will ultimately restore the surrounding nature to its pristine condition. This will further enhance the guest experience through reconnecting with nature, starting with the precious sea turtles. Indeed, Six Senses Con Dao’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized as one of the world’s top eco lodges by many leading publications.
Adam Tholhath, Six Senses Laamu, shines at Stelliers Awards for inspiring future generations
Six Senses Education and Community Outreach Manager Adam Tholhath has been recognized on the global stage at this year’s Stelliers awards for inspiring the next generation of ocean stewards. Adam received his Stelliers Award for the Sustainable Hotelier of the year during the Virtual Award Ceremony in December 2020.
Stelliers is a Leading Hotelier Awards Platform with a mission to not only recognize the most talented hoteliers, but also to inspire the younger generations to pursue a career in hospitality. The Sustainable Hotelier award is a new addition to awards categories, reserved for a host who is leading the industry through environmentally friendly and socially responsible initiatives.
In his role as Education and Community Outreach Manager, Adam drives Six Senses Laamu’s local community relations and leads the ‘Eku Eky’ (meaning ‘together’ in Dhivehi) initiative. A series of meetings held throughout the year brings together stakeholders to the same table to discuss sustainable development plans and find solutions to the most pressing issues facing the Atoll. Adam also leads a school outreach program, inspiring the next generation to advocate for their own island’s natural resources. This program provides snorkeling sessions and marine books for all schools through guest donations.
Adam is also the driving force behind Plastic Free Laamu Atoll, which aims to eliminate single use plastics within the community. In 2019, reverse osmosis water filtration systems were donated to various government institutions in the atoll, bringing the total number donated by Six Senses Laamu to 63. They provide clean, plastic free drinking water to approximately 4,384 people, thereby avoiding an estimated 1.6 million single use plastic water bottles annually.
“This award is extremely well-deserved” says a very proud Marteyne van Well, General Manager of Six Senses Laamu. “Adam’s commitment and efforts have, and continue to, pave the way for more sustainable relationships with stakeholders in Laamu at all levels, as well as inspire and empower the resort team in realm of sustainability.”
This is the second Stelliers award to be presented to a Six Senses Laamu host, after Megan O’Beirne, former Sustainability Manager, was named South Asia’s CSR Hotelier of the Year in 2018.
Meaningful actions leading to positive results
Each Six Senses resort and hotel features an Earth Lab, which promotes sustainable living in inspirational and innovative ways. The space is used to host workshops that empower guests and community members to learn about and connect more closely with the natural world. Six Senses also publishes its combined sustainability figures, gathered from all properties.