Soneva Fushi by Six Senses Eco Centro Waste to Wealth

Soneva Fushi by Six Senses Eco Centro Waste to Wealth

Kunfunadhoo, Maldives
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Eco Centro Waste to Wealth project was initiated to challenge peoples’ perception of waste and tackle waste issues for and island setting like the Maldives.

Rather than being something that has no further use and that is taken somewhere to be dealt with, waste at Soneva Fushi by Six Senses is seen as a resource that has value and can re-enter the productive process.

Soneva Fushi’s Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre was designed using permaculture principles and developed into a complex waste recycling and food production centre. The resort follows the three R principles: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. It is here where resources such as energy, water, soil and organisms provide a ...

About You
Contact Information
Title

Mr.

First name

Arnfinn

Last name

Oines

Your job title

Responsible Conscience

Name of your organization

Six Senses Resorts & Spas

Organization type

Business

Annual budget/currency

USD 19 million

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

Kunfunadhoo Island

City

Kunfunadhoo

State/Province

Baa Atoll

Postal/Zip Code
Country
Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of tourist experience and educational benefit to tourists , Quality of benefit to residents for the destination , Quality of tourism management by destination leadership , Quality of stewardship of the destination.

Organization size

Medium (101 to 1000 employees)

Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Year innovation began

2008

Indicate sector in which you principally work

General tourism.

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Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

To challenge peoples’ perception of waste and tackle waste issues for and island setting like the Maldives

Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.

The Eco Centro Waste to Wealth project was initiated to challenge peoples’ perception of waste and tackle waste issues for and island setting like the Maldives.

Rather than being something that has no further use and that is taken somewhere to be dealt with, waste at Soneva Fushi by Six Senses is seen as a resource that has value and can re-enter the productive process.

Soneva Fushi’s Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre was designed using permaculture principles and developed into a complex waste recycling and food production centre. The resort follows the three R principles: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. It is here where resources such as energy, water, soil and organisms provide a localised ecosystem for sustainable use, where unwanted materials are re-used and recycled to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill and where people’s perceptions of waste are challenged.

Furthermore, the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre has not only become a model for waste recycling int the Maldives but is also used for educational purposes for guests, hosts (staff) and local community.

Explain in detail why your approach is innovative

Soneva Fushi by Six Senses Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre is based on the principle that by localizing our energy, water and land needs one can vastly improve wastage, food miles and carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. It employs a zero-waste, closed-loop, sustainable energy and water system. By using permaculture principles rubbish is created into valuable resources.

It creates long term benefits in that there always is waste to handle. End products such as soil fertiliser, biochar and biogas can be sold to sustain it economically. It demonstrates how food can be grown in small spaces, allowing rural farm lands to be freed to grow biomass plants and food tree crops. It is designed to maximise the output of food from the waste coming into the centre. All organic waste is converted into fuel or fertiliser. Bamboo is used as a biomass mop crop taking up nutrient-rich water. It is the best plant for absorbing atmospheric carbon and can be used for building, furniture and food. Vertical space such as walls and roofs are used to grow food vines.

There are some initial investments required to get a centre up and running, however, return of investment is good.

Impact
Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?

The more waste products stay in the resort and the less waste goes to landfill, the higher is the achievement of the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth centre.
• Food waste is shredded and is composted or in a biogas plant made into soil fertiliser and for cooking or power generation.
• Wood waste from the jungle or carpentry in turned into biochar via pyrolysis and can then be re-used for barbecues and as soil conditioner and carbon sequestration (trapping carbon in the soil).
• Untreated wood shavings and sawdust, along with coconut and banana mulch, cardboard and paper, provide valuable nutrients in the gardens.
• Glass is crushed and used as a construction or decoration material.
• Metal is collected and given to hosts who sell it to recycling companies.
The value of the handled waste gives nutrition and thrives the herb and vegetable garden. The produce from this garden gives the resort fresh products for the kitchens as well as improving carbon footprint from less import of food, soil and fertilizers.
Thirdly, the return on investment is good. With less import of food, charcoal, soil and fertilizers operational costs are improved.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your work, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

The Eco Centro Waste to Wealth has been built by local hosts (staff). As an educational tool, Eco Centro has played and will even more so in the future play an integral part in raising environmental awareness amongst its visitors. Maldivians will see for themselves that proper waste disposal leads to greater cleanliness and that, once rubbish is separated and collected, the different waste types can be turned into valuable products for financial returns. Some of the methods are very simple and can easily be replicated in people’s homes, e.g. composting of food waste and crushing of glass bottles. Local businessmen may pick up some ideas and start their own recycling business, eventually contributing to suitable waste recycling facilities in the country.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Local Soneva Fushi hosts (staff) shows the guests how they turn waste into a valuable resource instead of environmental degradation. Simple permaculture methods are used, which can easily be replicated in people’s homes, e.g. composting of food waste and crushing of glass bottles. By leading with example the hope is that others will follow suit both guests and local community.

Describe how your work helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area's cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues.

Community well-being and a clean and safe environment are closely linked in the Maldives. The community and environment benefit from the project that waste is diverted from landfill. Without responsible waste handling the marine life and beauty of the Maldives will be destroyed. It thereby facilitates the continued survival of the land and sea and its associated flora and fauna that the country so much depends on for its two main economic sectors, the fishing and tourism industries. It also prevents safety and health hazards, including drinking water contamination, pest dispersal and soil pollution.

Sustainability
How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Soneva Fushi Eco Centro Waste to Wealth was financed by the resort. Future plans are to spread the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth concept to local islands, both creating jobs and taking care of waste in a responsible and sustainable manner. There are some inital investments required, but return on investment is good, hence it is environmental, social and economically sustainable.

Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?

Soneva Fushi by Six Senses has been operating since 1995 with great success. The Eco Centro Waste to Wealth is an imporatant part of its operation and is expected to have good return on investment. Future plans are to spread the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth concept to local islands, both creating jobs and taking care of waste in a responsible and sustainable manner.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

The perception of waste is the main barrier. It is hard for people to understand that waste is a resource. Initial investment is also a barrier. However, to overcome the barrier it is important to educate and show that the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth concept works. That is Soneva Fushi by Six Senses intention and the goal is make it a standard throughout the Maldives.

What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

Six Senses Resorts & Spas are in the process to adopt the Eco Waste to Wealth concept at all its properties. Furthermore, it would like to spread its concept throughout the Maldives. If successful there are no limitations in adopting it in other countries where waste management is an issue.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell the Changemakers and media communities what prompted you to start this initiative.

The idea of the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth came from the in-house permaculturist. As it was very much in line with the eco-conscious owners Mrs. Eva and Mr. Sonu Shivdasani's philosophy and the resort's Zero Carbon Emission goal it was well received and supported. It also aligns with Six Senses Resort & Spas core purpose to create innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenates our guest's love of SLOW LIFE* (SUSTAINABLE-LOCAL-ORGANIC-WHOLESOME LEARNING-INSPIRING-FUN-EXPERIENCES). The idea was to change the perception of waste as problem, but rather to view it as a resource. Instead of throwing away waste and ad to the waste challenge the Maldives face, one should make use of it and create it into valuable resources. Not only is this good for the environment, but also improve operational costs. Furthermore, as the resort and the Maldives rely on tourist looking for pristine beaches, crystal clear water and beautiful coral reefs handling waste responsibly is about long term survival.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Six Senses is a resort and spa management and development company, established in 1995, which manages resorts under the brand names Soneva, Six Senses Hideaway, Six Senses Latitude, and Evason, as well as spas under the brand names Six Senses Spas and Six Senses Destination Spas. Six Senses was founded by Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO, with his wife, Eva, who is the Creative Director. Soneva Fushi by Six Senses in the Maldives, which was conceived with the unique philosophy of simple sophistication and a strong eco-conscious ethos, flourished and encouraged the couple to expand their concept to more resorts, and hence the continual expansion of the Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

Describe some unique tourist experiences that your approach provides. Be specific; give illustrative examples.

Soneva Fushi Eco Centro Waste to Wealth gives guests, hosts (staff) and local communities and opportunity to see behind the scenes of the resort and how waste can be turn into valuable resources. The resort actively encourages visitors to see it through an Eco Walk, where the various processes are explained. The guests can see how food waste is turned to fertile soil used to grow new fresh herbs and vegetables, which they can eat in e.g. the Organic Restaurant.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

Soneva Fushi Some of the methods are very simple and can easily be replicated in people’s homes, e.g. composting of food waste and crushing of glass bottles. Local businessmen may pick up some ideas and start their own recycling business, eventually contributing to suitable waste recycling facilities in the country. But also non-Maldivians have a chance to see what happens behind the scenes of a luxury resort and how their rubbish is dealt with.

Future plans are to spread the Eco Centro Waste to Wealth concept to local islands, both creating jobs and taking care of waste in a responsible and sustainable manner. The president has already expressed interest.