To honour World Environment Day 2021, we’ve chosen 07 resorts in the Maldives making a positive contribution to the environment. Many, if not all of the resorts in the Maldives take special care of the underwater ecosystem.
Innovative solutions by the following 07 eco-friendly Maldives resorts align perfectly with this year’s World Environment Day theme, Ecosystem Restoration.
1. Soneva Fushi
A world-leading luxury resort operator, Soneva is arguably the most eco-friendly hospitality brand in the world.
Endeavours taken by Soneva in 2019 alone impacted over a million people and saved over half a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. To put this into perspective, this is the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road for a whole year.
At the iconic Soneva Fushi, the resort desalinates the water on-site. Hence, the resort prevents the manufacture of single-use plastic bottles. Soneva Fushi also prevents the use of plastic straws and chosen paper straws as an alternative.
Through the ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme, the eco-friendly resort converts over 90% of waste into an income. This includes turning Styrofoam and glass waste into bricks for construction. In addition to Soneva Fushi, other properties of the eco-friendly resort operator also feature a Waste-to-Wealth facility.
Soneva Fushi also boasts the Maldives’ only hot glass studio where glass bottles from Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and neighbouring resorts in Baa Atoll are crushed and melted down each year to be upcycled. In addition to this, through the Soneva Maker Programme, the eco-friendly resort recycles plastic into new products.
Later this year, Soneva Fushi will also open the Maldives’ first SCIE:NCE Centre. The name of the centre is short for Sustainability and Conservation of Island Ecosystems: Nurturing Collaborative Endeavours. A first of its kind in the Maldives, the centre will support the resort’s ongoing conservation efforts. According to Soneva, SCIE:NCE will also become a regional hub for environmental research, education and innovation.
2. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
Despite opening just this month, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives already made headlines by partnering with the iconic Jean-Michel Cousteau. The iconic luxury resort is the first in the region to offer the Ambassadors of the Environment program. Furthermore, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives joins five other Ritz-Carlton properties globally to bring this preservation program to guests.
In collaboration with the Ocean’s Future Society, the luxury resort enriches the experience for guests of all ages to the natural Maldivian wonders both above and below water. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands carries the values of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society through immersive and educational programming that explores and protects the delicate ecosystem of the Maldives.
3. Six Senses Laamu
At Six Senses Laamu, sustainability is at the heart of every decision and action. One very notable achievement of the eco-friendly resort is protecting over 933,000+ square meters of seagrass meadows through the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign.
The marine team of Six Senses Laamu also identified and protected over 500 resident sea turtles and 135 resident manta rays. In partnership with the Laamu Atoll Council, the resort also managed to declare 5 voluntary marine protected areas across the atoll.
In addition to that, alongside the marine biologists of Six Senses Laamu, the Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and the Olive Ridley Project, the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) by Six Senses Laamu brings together the greatest minds in marine conservation to find innovative solutions for Laamu Atoll’s most pressing issues.
4. Ayada Maldives
Ayada Maldives produces the energy required for heating water in guest and staff accommodation through the Quantum Eco Hot Water system. Hence, the resort conserves more energy while heating water, unlike traditional heating methods.
This 5-star resort features a reverse osmosis plant on-site to purify the water for drinking and other purposes. Likewise, Ayada Maldives bottles its own water in glass bottles.
In partnership with Seamarc, Ayada Maldives has also implemented a reef scaping and coral regeneration project throughout the coral reef around the resort. Guests who visit the eco-friendly resort can get involved by adopting their coral for transplantation into the reef.
5. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
The Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives, both Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru are the first Maldivian Resorts to have marine biologists (since 2000). The two resorts introduced the Maldives’ first Marine Discovery Centres for conservation and research, which is now standard at most Maldivian resorts making a positive contribution to the environment.
Thomas Le Berre, founder of Reefscapers challenged the dismissal of coral propagating by marine conservationists in early 2000. When he approached Four Seasons Kuda Huraa about coral protection (while the resort was already experimenting with reef balls), a pioneering partnership came to be.
Today, the Four Seasons Reefscapers project is the most successful of its kind in the world, featuring the largest mass of artificial reefs in the Indian Ocean.
The Marine Savers at Kuda Huraa also work on the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Additionally, the resort launched the Sea Turtle Morpho Evolution Project in 2017 and uses facial recognition software to chart a turtle’s evolution via its unique facial scales and scutes.
6. LUX* South Ari Atoll
LUX* South Ari Atoll is equipped with an onsite Marine Biology Centre to study and protect the native whale shark population. The luxury resort educates guests on eco-tours and supports ongoing scientific research.
The marine centre staff at the resort are integral to removing ghost nets from the sea, which are deadly to aquatic creatures. The resort also launched an Energy Saving Solar project (the world´s largest solar system floating at sea) through a partnership with Swimsol GmbH to convert sun energy into electricity.
7. Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Lily Beach Resort & Spa has already reduced the amount of single-use plastic waste discarded every day at the resort. The 5-star all-inclusive resort set up a water-bottling plant in 2016 to provide glass bottled water to guests in all restaurants and villas.
Just like many other Maldives resorts making a positive contribution to the environment, Lily Beach Resort also uses paper straws instead of plastic straws. Moreover, by utilising energy-efficient appliances throughout the property, the resort can tap into excess heat that gets produced from the generators to heat the water required for guest rooms and the kitchen.
What’re you doing to reduce your carbon footprint this year? You can support by adopting a coral the next time you visit the Maldives and choosing to holiday in an eco-friendly resort.