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For LUX Resorts - a collection of premium resorts on islands across the Indian Ocean - sustainability is top of their agenda. A comprehensive environmental policy governs their green commitment. In addition to setting attainable targets for water and energy conservation, emissions reduction and resource efficiency, they also include provisions for monitoring and controlling their impact on surrounding ecosystems.
To successfully execute on this strategy, LUX understands they have to balance their sustainability goals with the expectations of their guests - actively engaging them in all their efforts.
“We care about our guests and always strive to create an exceptional guest experience”, says Vishnee Sowamber Payen, leader of sustainability initiatives at LUX, “but we also care about the environment and sustainability of the islands and communities in which we operate; sourcing local organic produce and cutting unnecessary excesses wherever possible.”
The Tread Lightly project
The chain launched its Tread Lightly campaign in July 2013 with the goal of rallying all stakeholders - staff, guests and suppliers - around a number of green initiatives focused on achieving their sustainability goals.
Although the programme also includes initiatives that cover sea water desalination, recycling and waste reduction, to name a few, the key pillar of this effort is focused on reducing and mitigating the resorts’ carbon footprint associated with energy consumption.
Taking the extra step
Payen, who is also the Tread Lightly project leader explains, “Our aim is to lead the way to a brighter future, leaving only the slightest trace of our presence on the environment. Beyond making every effort to conserve energy and use renewable energy where possible, our Tread Lightly initiative goes a step further by offsetting all carbon emissions related to the energy consumed as a result of a guest’s stay.”
The company encourages all their guests to participate in the Tread Lightly initiative and be a part of their environmental solution. Payen continues, “We partnered with impactChoice to not only plan and implement key interventions to reduce our carbon footprint, but implement their unique solution targeted at including our stakeholders in the carbon mitigation process. It’s a solution where everyone has a role to play and can feel good about the results.”
HCMI in action
LUX Resorts are committed to GRI (the Global Reporting Initiative) in the long term and are in the midst of conducting an audit. Among their key challenges was developing an easy-to-implement, standard framework to calculate the carbon footprint associated with guest stays. “This is where the HCMI was of huge value”, says Payen. “The initiative offers a very simple methodology to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way, allowing impactChoice to get us up and running in a very short amount of time.”
How it works
The goals of the Tread Lightly project are communicated to guests when they check-in at their hotel. At the end of the guests’ stay, their carbon footprint is calculated based on their energy consumption. Through a small fee on their bill, guests can purchase carbon credits to offset the associated carbon emissions. Guests have the option to opt-out of the charge at any time, otherwise the final amount is added to their bill upon check-out. Each offset purchase is registered with impactChoice where guests may retrieve, view and use their guaranteed offset certificates.
The small, one-off payment made by guests goes towards funding the Sofala Carbon Community Project in Mozambique, which rehabilitates forests on community land and introduces sustainable farming practices. This project is based on the Plan Vivo & CCBA Gold standards for verification of authenticity of the carbon credits generated.
According to Leonard Harley, Group MD of impactChoice, “By implementing our solution and offering a measurable emission reduction option to their guests, LUX Resorts became the first leisure hotel group based out of Mauritius to implement a verifiable carbon offset solution across all its operations in Mauritius, Reunion Island and the Maldives. The company has a history of taking a leading role in environmental initiatives, and its engagement with impactChoice is a testament to this.”
The group is also reducing carbon emissions year-on-year through the efforts of a Green Committee at each resort tasked with oversight of all environmental projects and energy-saving related activities. These include deployment of Energy Management Systems (EMS), which have already yielded an average of 30% energy savings across the two facilities where implemented. Further reductions come through office automation strategies including reducing paper consumption, minimising waste and segregation of solid waste materials, and balancing the use of local water and imported water, to name a few.
Commitment to the community
During the past year, the company has contributed Rs 2.8m (€ 70k) to the GML Joseph Lagesse Foundation, which funds numerous projects to aid the alleviation of poverty, provide healthcare to the those in need, protect the environment and promote education and training in local communities.
“At LUX Resorts, we believe that education is key and have made it our biggest priority. As such, we offer educational programmes not only to our staff, but to children in local schools, ensuring that future generations are raised as informed, responsible adults.Through the shared efforts and contributions of the company, employees and local communities, we believe that the world really will have a lighter, brighter future”, says Payen