Constance Ephelia Seychelles was recently awarded gold status by Green Globe after the resort was certified as an environmentally friendly tourist establishment for five consecutive years.
The establishment's health, safety and environment project manager, Markus Ultsch-Unrath, said that the gold status is a testament to the time, efforts and financial sources invested over the past years towards sustainable tourism.
"We feel privileged after years of hard work to receive this recognition being the first and still the only hotel, together with our sister hotel Constance Lemuria, in Seychelles with this prestigious certification," said Ultsch-Unrath.
Green Globe is a global certification that assesses the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners. Gold status is awarded to members that are certified for five consecutive years. This prestigious designation is only possible when a member meets all required criteria within the Green Globe Standard for Travel and Tourism.
Constance Ephelia is located at Port Launay in the western district of Port Glaud, on Mahe, the main island of the archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The resort has several programmes in place that have helped it achieve the gold status. This includes a comprehensive sustainability management plan inclusive of innovative green ideas. Water and energy waste management are two initiatives Ephelia is proud of.
The establishment has its own sewage and water treatment plant as well as a bottling plant for drinking water. Over 800 glass bottles are reused and refilled per day using the facility, reducing the need to use plastic bottles. The resort keeps finding ways to reduce its fossil fuel use and has installed solar panels at the bottling plant.
Great effort is made to minimise food waste and food refuse is collected by a framer which are later fed to pigs and remains of vegetables are given to giant tortoises at the resort or composted.
Recycling programmes in place include the recycling of glass and plastic bottles, scrap metal and batteries, cans, electronic waste and food waste. As an example, beer bottles are handed back to local suppliers and glass waste is sent to a construction company that crushes the grass and use it as a construction filling material.
Dryers are powered by LPG gas and only energy efficient equipment is purchased.
Ultsch-Unrath said that though there are all these initiatives in place, it can be a challenge to keep employees and guests in the green mindset.
"It is a challenge to get everybody on board to understand the necessity and importance to become a sustainable hotel. Like we say, going green will keep the environment healthy, make the local communities happy and will fill your pocket money plenty," said Ultsch-Unrath.
He added that "if you are not sustainable you will walk backwards and more problems will arise."
The next level of Green Globe certification is the platinum status. To achieve this highest status offered by Green Globe, an establishment has to be certified for ten consecutive years as well as meeting the certain criterion.
Ultsch-Unrath said that the resort is on the right track for platinum and "our energetic team will always come up with new ideas to improve our sustainability standards further."
"Our strong focus in on waste management as it is becoming more and more a problem in Seychelles, also better energy efficiency, more environmental research, better customer service, more help for people in need and better promotion of local culture and heritage," he added.
He concluded that "with all this in mind, our visitors will come as a guest and leave as a friend as we turn our guest's dreams into an emotional experience."