Soneva Fushi wins HICAP Sustainable Hotel Award

Soneva Fushi has won the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP).

Soneva Fushi won the award in the Sustainable Investment category, which focuses on how sustainability has been incorporated into hotel investment decisions and investment models to make sustainability financially viable and generate positive impact.

“We hope this encourages other businesses to invest more in their sustainability initiatives,” Soneva said, in an announcement.

Awarding the recognition, HICAP stressed that Soneva Fushi, which is located on a remote island without access to an electric grid or potable water, has demonstrated remarkable financial ingenuity and ROI regarding its sustainability initiatives. For instance, a purchase power agreement was engineered to source electricity from a 700kW on-site solar installation, reducing annual energy spend by 20 percent with no up-front costs, it said.

HICAP also hailed the establishment of an on-site glass studio at Soneva Fushi to create innovative art from the operation’s glass waste for in-house display and guest purchase. Along with onsite vegetable production with food waste composting, such initiatives generated USD 265,000 in value in 2016, it noted.

Another initiative highlighted was the introduction in 2008 of a two percent environmental levy on all room rates. HICAP stressed that the funds (USD 6 million to date) are used for a variety of social carbon projects certified with Gold Standard carbon credits, which collectively have benefitted 185,000 people, while mitigating the hotel’s entire carbon footprint.

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, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives.

Soneva Fushi joins Cempedak Private Island in Indonesia (Sustainable Design), and Hong Kong-based hotel chain Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (Positive Community Impact) as winners of this year’s HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards.

Winners will be recognised on October 20, at the closing HICAP Awards Lunch at the InterContinental Hong Kong.

The annual HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards were launched in 2007, and are designed to recognise hotels in the Asia Pacific region creating innovative new methods, strategies and technologies to face today’s sustainable development challenge, while providing tangible examples of sustainable best practices that can be replicated and adapted across the region.

Organised and hosted by Burba Hotel Network (BHN), Horwath HTL and Stiles Capital Events, HICAP is Asia’s largest and longest running hotel investment event, making it the most important gathering of hotel developers, investors, lenders, operators and other industry executives for information exchange, trend spotting and deal making.

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