Green Travel. Eco-friendly travel. Sustainable tourism. It all means the same thing.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism can be defined simply as ‘tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future.’ The UN declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism For Development and while it’s a no-brainer that sustainability is good for the planet, more and more companies are (finally) expanding sustainability efforts as the amount of socially conscious travelers increases.
The boutique hotel and spa brand Six Senses, however, has been setting the bar high since it was founded over twenty years ago. From humble beginnings with a single resort in 1995, the company quickly became recognized as a leader in the hospitality industry, demonstrating that a commitment to local communities can be blended with luxury hospitality in a seamless way.
Sustainability is not what Six Senses does, it is who they are. It is at the core of their culture, vision, values and brand, visible in thoughtful details from architecture to gastronomy. Since the company’s inception, they have understood that their business is dependent on preserving and conserving the environments, cultures and communities in which they operate, as it is a core component of the crafted experiences provided to guests.
“Long before it was considered fashionable, Six Senses has been recognized as the hospitality industry’s pioneer of sustainable practices, demonstrating that responsibility can be successfully wedded to uncompromised high-end facilities,” said Bernhard Bohnenberger, President, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.
That commitment to sustainability is evident at every level of the company, starting at the very top with a Vice President of Sustainability and a Global Sustainability Team which meets virtually to share ideas, lessons learned and initiatives.
Here are six of those key takeaways that have established Six Senses as a leader in sustainable tourism.
The locally-inspired interior of a one bedroom villa at Six Senses FijiSIX SENSES
Build To Blend In
When building their properties, Six Senses utilizes architectural strategies that incorporate local culture that influence the design. Building materials are always local and sustainable, and may include certified wood, recycled and rapidly renewable materials as well as natural fibers, fabrics and flooring. Only water-efficient equipment and fixtures are incorporated throughout the properties. Dark interiors in villas keep rooms cool for guests which minimizes the need for air-conditioning and reduces energy needs overall. Air conditioning is programmed to automatically turn off when doors are opened, instantly lowering energy consumption.
Each resort treats, purifies, mineralizes and bottles its own still and sparkling drinking water in re-usable glass bottles with 50 percent of all sales contributing to the Sustainability Fund.SIX SENSES