Six Senses Takes Away Two Environmental Awards

Maldives Promotion House – Six Senses Resorts & Spas, the globally recognised leader in the field of sustainable tourism, has won two awards for its pioneering work in environmental conservation.  The company has won a special HICAP Sustainable Hotel Award in recognition of its corporate leadership in integrating sustainability as an embedded business philosophy.

It has also picked up a Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award in the Doing it all, Small Hotel Chain category.

Judges for the special HICAP award said that the special award was warranted for Six Senses because of the company’s “consistent incorporation of sustainable best practices and innovations for all its properties – from conceptualization to operations, community engagement and destination management.”

“As an active community member, each property engages with the local community in responsible and fair trade, but also the organization of a wide range of environmental education and healthcare programs, charity activities and disaster relief projects,” the judging panel said.

“Via this award, best practice in Corporate Leadership is given an example in Six Senses; how sustainable practices can be adopted and implemented as an integral component of a company’s brand and operational strategy; and how larger and more positive environmental and community impacts can be generated when the scale is increased from individual property achievements to hotel portfolios and networks.”

The judges from Condé Nast Traveler Awards were equally fulsome in their praise of Six Senses. In making the award to the company, they said that Six Senses represented “the ultimate in high-end ecotourism, with audacious goals”.

“Six Senses puts to rest once and for all the idea that environmentally correct resorts appeal only to the crunchy granola set. Its 15 properties are both sustainable and luxurious,” they added.

The judging panel praised the company’s Social & Environmental Responsibility Fund that provides USD 500,000 annually to social and environmental causes.

It also highlighted Six Senses’ Carbon Sense Fund, which raises about USD 1.3m annually and it’s Clean Water Projects Fund, which raises over USD 250,000 annually and has helped over 500,000 people in the developing world gain access to clean water in the last two years.

Through its sustainable development funds, Six Senses supports a number of groundbreaking environmental projects around the world including the Six Senses Reforestation project in Thailand, a UNESCO backed marine conservation area in the Baa Atoll in the Maldives and the introduction of energy efficient cooking stoves in Darfur.

The pair of awards comes just days after the conclusion of the third annual SLOW LIFE Symposium at Six Senses’ flagship Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives, which brought together some of the greatest minds in the fields of business and sustainable development.

Delegates, including Sir Richard Branson and environmental activists and Hollywood actors Daryl Hannah and Edward Norton, spent three days examining ways to accelerate the adoption of sustainable business practices within the travel and tourism industries. They were joined by President Nasheed of the Maldives, who has pledged that his country will be carbon neutral by 2020.

Soneva Fushi is on track to become decarbonising by 2013 with the rest of the portfolio following suit by 2020.

“Not only do sustainability and luxury go hand in hand, we are rapidly reaching a point where they must go together if we are to preserve our planet’s fragile ecosystems,” Chief Executive and Founder of Six Senses, Sonu Shivdasani said.

“I am proud of the fact that Six Senses is leading the way in changing industry perceptions and proving that we can build a sustainable future without compromising on the quality of the holiday experience.”

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