Two Hilton resorts in Seychelles awarded Green Globe Certification |27 January 2020
Green Globe recently awarded its prestigious certification to Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa and Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa.
The two resorts are the first Hilton hotels to be certified in the Africa and Indian Ocean region.
The award has been described as “a well-deserved achievement” for both properties, who work tirelessly to redefine the notion of ‘conscious travelling’ at a national and international scale. They are true leaders in terms of corporate
social responsibility through countless innovative sustainability initiatives over the years to reduce their environmental footprint.
The Green Globe certification is a structured assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners. The Green Globe Standard includes 44 core criteria supported by over 380 compliance indicators including impactful eco-friendly projects and local community support.
The energy saving initiatives undertaken by both properties are truly unique and have had a great impact, saving thousands of kilowatts per hour and cubic metres of water each year.
In terms of energy saving initiatives, all villas and public areas are equipped with LED bulbs rather than halogen lights. Moreover, all villas are controlled automatically, meaning that lights and air conditioning will switch off when the doors remain open for more than 30 minutes. Additionally, the resorts have installed occupancy sensors and LED tubes at the gym, back of house and office areas.
From the kitchen side, chiller and freezer temperatures are constantly controlled, a kitchen hood optimisation system has been put in place and food waste grinder installations save 60% of past diesel consumption.
The installation of low flow rate showers and taps in the villas and a low flow aerator in the team member accommodation areas save significant amounts of water each year while the pool pump timers have been adjusted to reduce running hours.
Hilton Northolme is one of the only resorts in Seychelles to use solar panels to generate hot water in the villas and the spa.
Additionally, two types of power generation sources were installed on Silhouette Island: Hydro Power and a Wind Turbin, having respectively a power generation capacity of over 13,490 kWh and 18,396 kWh per year.
Hilton Northolme launched a ground breaking initiative, the monthly ‘sustainable day’, in which guests can opt-in to switch off their villa’s power and water for one hour, go meat free for a day, skip the gym and do the Moutya dance, beach cleanings and other very ingenious ideas to save the planet while learning more about the impacts of daily actions on the environment. The aim is to both generate awareness and save energy in the process.
The impact of these initiatives is measured through Lightstay, an award-winning Hilton platform which manages and reports hotels’ environmental and social impacts across Hilton’s global portfolio of over nearly 5,000 hotels. Since LightStay’s launch, Hilton is proud to have saved over $1 billion worldwide by operating sustainably and managing energy, carbon, water and waste.
Hilton Labriz has installed its own water bottling plant on Mont Dauban, the highest peak on Silhouette Island. The water is filtered and placed in reusable glass bottles that are used on Silhouette and sent to the two sister properties, Hilton Northolme and DoubleTree Allamanda. The final goal is to go 100% plastic free by using those glass bottles and pasta straws in rooms and restaurants. The combined efforts of the Hilton hotels in Seychelles have saved 20,000 plastic bottles/411 kgs of plastic each month since January 2018. Hilton Northolme is currently planning to also have its own water bottling plant on-site in the coming year.
On the marine life side, Hilton Northolme and DoubleTree Allamanda have implemented The Coral Reef Restoration program, that aims at collecting finger sized corals to be transferred in underwater coral nurseries and coral tanks until they are ready to be transplanted to the degraded and bleached reef sites. Hilton Northolme is the first hotel on Mahé to have an artificial reef. So far, more than 230 corals have been adopted on-site and online by guests since May 2018.
Sustainable and local sourcing is a priority and both properties are heavily supporting local suppliers and products.
In addition, the Hilton Seychelles Group launched its own ‘Soap for Hope’ recycling initiative with supplier Diversey. The hotels are currently in partnership with The President’s Village, an organisation that supports youth from challenging backgrounds. Young people are trained to recycle the soap by salvaging the hotel’s soap waste and produce new soap bars, which is then supplied to the local community.
The group has also undertaken several campaigns in order to promote local youth education in tourism by organising countless fairs at local tourism universities and academies involving team members from the three properties to spread their knowledge and inspire youth.
Numerous partnerships have been introduced in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Tourism to give practical knowledge to students by placing them in the different departments of the resorts, resulting in employment opportunities in the future.
This certification comes as one more significant step towards meaningful sustainability commitments and will certainly not be the last.