03 Jun 5 actions for a more sustainable hospitality industry
Like every year on the 5th of June, we celebrate World Environment Day, and this year’s theme is “Ecosystem Restoration.”
As hoteliers, we are aware of the growing environmental concern within the tourism and hospitality industry. Our teams are committed to protecting our natural environment and setting a new standard in responsible and sustainable tourism. For the past years, we have been rethinking long-term initiatives in our hotels’ day-to-day activities and operations; and how to involve the best environmentally friendly actions in our guests’ experience. The evolution of our work has brought us to some innovative projects that are close to our heart—offering our guests more than just a stay through our sustainability policies. This World Environment Day, and during this particular pandemic time, each step we make in protecting, conserving, and restoring our environment is a step to improve someone’s experience and holidays. We want to fulfil our sustainability and environmental goals across our hotels in Mauritius and Rodrigues through pioneering initiatives such as One Booking = One Tree Planted.
Here are 5 actions that have already adopted and that we wanted to share with you:
1. One Booking = One Tree Planted
Our first step to restoration begins with our initiative 1 Booking= 1 Tree planted. For each booking made in one of our hotels in Rodrigues island, one endemic plant is grown at the Francois Leguat Nature Reserve. Through this partnership with the professionals of Francois Leguat Nature Reserve, we engage both our team members and our guests in the preservation and conservation of threatened species on Rodrigues Island. Being an isolated island, all our visitors travel by aeroplane. The objective here is to partly compensate for our travellers’ carbon footprint produced by this overseas trip. The operation is financed by Trimetys Hotels and also allows our guests to benefit from a 25% discount on the entrance fee to visit this fantastic reserve ranked as one of the top things to visit in Rodrigues.
2. Reducing single-use plastic in our operations
Since 2014, the local authorities in Rodrigues implemented the ban on plastic bags on the island. Rodrigues is maintaining its efforts on sustainable development and for better waste management. Another great opportunity for our team to follow the trend set by the local authorities & preserve Rodrigues’ environment.
At Tekoma Boutik Hotel, among other actions, we use sugarcane straws that are compostable, plastic-free, and made with 100% plant-based ingredients at the restaurant and bar.
If you stay at Tekoma, we hope that you’ll notice that we have entirely reduced single-use plastic in your room & minibar. Still and sparkling water is also bottled on-site in reusable glass bottles. In the bathroom, you can relax and enjoy our eco-friendly amenities by Green Touch. And in the bins? Biodegradable corn starch bin bags.
At Tekoma Boutik Hotel, we specifically chose the vacoa leaves as a primary material for our room and hotel decorations. All produced and crafted by local artisans from l’Atelier Léopold. The leaves of the vacoa tree from Rodrigues, to which some species are endemic, are widely used for artisanal products such as baskets and hats. This activity, also known as vacoa braiding, or “tressage du vacoa” in french, consists of collecting dry vacoa leaves and use ancient weaving and braiding techniques to create decorative objects. By selecting this ancestral and artisanal activity as part of our interior design, we contribute to preserving this traditional and local occupation.
3. Beach BOP
Around the globe, at least 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans annually (According to IUCN). Our guests and team members help us reduce the global plastic debris that washes up onto the shores by borrowing artisanal bags: our Beach BOP. Short term for, Bags for Ocean Plastic. We are battling against the amount of plastic debris coming from other oceans and ending on our beautiful seashore. Surrounded by a vast and largest lagoon in the Indian Ocean, Rodrigues Island is even more vulnerable to the ecological impacts of climate change. We are proud to contribute to a cleaner ocean and coast. Together we are stronger so our guests are encouraged to participate and are offered a homemade lemonade when bringing back a Beach BOP from their walks.
4. Locally Sourced Products
Together with our Chefs, we have incorporated local ingredients into our cuisine. We work together with the local farmers, fishermen and suppliers to provide our guests’ fresh local and seasonal produce. We have banned threatened species like the cono-cono in our restaurant menus. Furthermore, we have integrated 100 % natural and organic ingredients into our spa treatments. The local lemon or honey of Rodrigues, the Bergamot, the coconut pulp and sugarcane, offers guests a special connection to the destination.
5. Conservation of Endemic Species
We have worked around the existing environment in our hotels to ensure the minimum impact on the natural surroundings. At Tekoma Boutik Hotel in Rodrigues, endemic plants grow all around the hotel. You can find plants such as the Yellow Latan Palm (Latanier Jaune or Latania verschaffeltii), an endangered species on the island. More endemic and local plants such “Bois Gournable,” “Bois Sirop,” and Veloutier are planted around the hotel premises. Some will say that these native species are very slow-growing but hey, we act for the future, right?
At Sakoa Boutik Hotel, we take great pride in our lush garden constituted of many endemic species. Among these, you’ll find the Palmiste Gargoulette and Latanier Bleu that are both natives of Round island also located in the northern region of Mauritius.
A Generation of Changemakers
Our vegetables and herbs gardens in the hotels are a new beginning project started for this World Environment Day 2021. Our team members at Sakoa Boutik Hotel, Be Cosy Apart’ Hotel , Tekoma Boutik Hotel, and Trimetys Hotels head office have launched our gardening project this month.
The vegetables and herbs gardens comprise lettuce, basilic, different varieties of chilli, rosemary and artisanal herbs such as the ayapana. Our team members cultivate vegetables and herbs in the backyard garden of each hotel and even at our head office. In the picture below, herbs are planted by our team members at Sakoa Boutik Hotel, here with Mr Noël from our Food and Beverage team.
These can be consumed by both our guests during their restaurant experience and team members during their working hours.
These commitments are on a long-term adoption for a sustainable hospitality industry. With the implementation of further initiatives, we hope to contribute to the protection, recreation and restoration of our planet.
We are a generation of nature restorers, ecopreneurs and green leaders.