ALTHOUGH 2020 WAS challenging for the tourism sector as a whole, collectively Six Senses achieved its sustainability targets once again, thanks to the commitment of its hosts, their families, local community partners, and guests, too.
For Six Senses, sustainability is only the first step in establishing a reciprocal relationship with local ecosystems, communities and cultures. Going beyond protection, acting as a regenerative business adds value to all local stakeholders (whether human, animal or plant) with the ultimate aim of Six Senses giving back more than it takes.
Recognizing that it is no use talking about positive impacts without tracking them, here are the latest figures reported for 2020:
2020 Impacts Outside the Property (Community):
- More than 17,000 local community members, hosts and their families supported positive impact events, with an extra 4,317 guests helping out.
- In fact, hosts dedicated around 2,000 hours to volunteering in their local communities.
- Passing the legacy on to younger generations, 4,195 local people gained access to education and skills training.
- Installing water filters meant 111,385 people received clean drinking water and sanitation.
- A further 536,240 people benefited from improved access to healthcare programs and provision of medical equipment.
2020 Impacts Outside the Property (Environment):
- Going beyond protection into habitat restoration, 26 hectares (260,555 square meters) of habitat is now secure, which is enough to cover 36 soccer pitches.
- This includes planting coral (820 fragments), protecting turtle eggs (2,792 hatchlings) and measuring the increase in target wildlife species (675).
Perhaps the most heartening of all is the ramp-up in efforts to protect 10 species that are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Six Senses now works to save marine life (green and hawksbill turtles, ornate eagle rays, gray reef sharks, whale sharks, giant guitarfish and Napoleon wrasses), land animals (Fijian crested iguanas and black-shanked douc langurs) and birdlife (Bali starlings).
2020 Impacts Inside the Property
From candles to cleaning solutions, sustainability is the byword for every department in every resort. Farm-to-table initiatives encompass the organic kitchen gardens, farms and mushroom huts and water is produced on-site. Six Senses works with local suppliers to eliminate the use of plastic packaging and food miles and its circular economy approach encompasses: rethink, responsible, respect, refuse, reuse and recycle.
- Renewable electricity generated exceeded 370,788 kWh, enough to power 15 World Cup soccer matches.
- 617,102 glass bottles of home-produced water were given to guests.
- 88,724 organic eggs were served in restaurants along with 195,602 pounds (88,724 kilograms) of organic vegetables (roughly the weight of 51 camels).
- 134,082 pounds (60,819 kilograms) of compost was produced to enrich the soil.
In the past year, even when closed to guests, properties were very supportive of local efforts to relieve the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example by donating food 4,731 pounds (2,146 kilograms), and supplies (benefiting 3,515 people), and volunteering their time (1,500 hours and counting).
This year proved once again how being environmentally and socially responsible can be successfully wedded to uncompromising guest hospitality, says Jeff Smith, Six Senses vice-president of sustainability, was even more remarkable in a year such as 2020 was that, even for the periods when resorts sadly had to close, our hosts and community partners remained galvanized, volunteering their time to help those in need and giving back for community and wildlife.
Positive Impacts Start with Meaningful Actions …
Each Six Senses resort and hotel features an Earth Lab, dedicated to engagement and innovation, which promotes sustainable living in inspirational 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.
To highlight some of the daily activities, Six Senses has been running an Earth Lab Live campaign from April 1 until Earth Day on April 22 via its corporate Instagram channel.
For example, Mr. Sustainability checked in (and is not checking out) at Six Senses Douro Valley on day three to highlight only with balance can we thrive. On day eight, Six Senses Krabey Island reported how they actively supported Ream Primary School during the pandemic, particularly with clean water and handwashing stations.
Resorts have also produced know-how videos, with Six Senses Kocata Mansions showing how to make candles at home on day 12 and Jennifer Klar, Corporate Sustainability Manager at the home office, demonstrating DIY beeswax wraps on day 19.
Some great moments were caught on camera too, with Six Senses Ninh Van Bay showing how its population of critically endangered black-shanked douc langurs is thriving on the property on day 9 and Six Senses Con Dao sharing how specially trained hosts care for the eggs of the endangered Green Turtle before releasing the hatchlings on day 15. All days are available to watch via the Six Senses IGTV.
… and Lead to Prestigious Awards
The brand’s dedication to sustainability, conservation and ethical environmental practices has been recently recognized in Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Awards. The honour highlights 30 individuals, companies and organizations that proactively protect communities and environments and inspire industry colleagues and travelers to do their part.
Six Senses Laamu’s Education and Community Outreach Manager Adam Tholhath has also been recognized on the global stage at last 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.