Soneva Fushi named most eco-friendly hotel in Asia Pacific

Soneva Fushi in Maldives has been named the most eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable hotel in Asia Pacific by Green Hotelier.

Winners of this year’s Green Hotelier Awards were made public on Friday, and Soneva Fushi was conferred the coveted 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region.

Naming Soneva Fushi the greenest hotel in Asia Pacific, the publication run by the International Tourism Partnership, which works with the world’s leading hotel groups to drive the responsible business agenda, hailed the five-star luxury resort’s carbon neutral footprint since 2012, self-sufficiency in water management, and its ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme which converts 90 percent of the waste into an income, including turning Styrofoam and glass waste into lightweight bricks for construction. Soneva Fushi’s Youth Career Initiative programme which offers employability training to local young people as well as teaching hundreds of children to swim was also noted.

Winners in other regions include:

  • Europe: Landgut Stober, Germany
  • Africa and Middle East: Chole Mjini, Tanzania
  • The Americas: El Albergue Ollantaytambo, Peru

The annual awards invite applications from hotels of any size anywhere in the world; judging them on their efforts to reduce energy and water consumption, their waste output, their roles as responsible businesses to their employees and in the local community, as well as looking at how they communicate their sustainable and responsible ethos to guests. This year brought the largest number of applications yet from a diverse range of properties from eco-lodges to five-star luxury resorts, from city boutiques to spa retreats and even a distillery inn. Locations spread across the globe reaching from Peru to Ukraine, Australia and China to Tanzania.

Siobhan O’Neill, Editor of Green Hotelier and Awards judge, said: “We were delighted to receive so many fantastic applications this year and reading them all has been wonderful. Every single hotel which entered is performing well above average and it’s truly heartening to see so much effort and commitment to being a responsible business taking place all around the world.”

Nicolas Perin, Awards judge and Programme Manager of the International Tourism Partnership, said: “It was a great surprise to receive so many applications this year — almost 60 percent more than last year’s edition of the awards — and we were even more delighted to see that quality came with quantity. Hotels around the globe are innovating for the environment; taking action on such sensitive issues as modern slavery, and creating solid trends on how to provide fair and meaningful employment for their staff. Some of the applications we received were really off the chart. Congratulations to all our applicants for their initiatives and setting the bar on what a sustainable hotel looks like.”

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 57 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives. Earlier this month, it also received a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives.

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