We continuously monitor our performance and sustainable activities against the target and goals set by Green Globe Benchmarks, which are adjusted, amended and acted upon wherever appropriate. We continue to submit performance data on an annual basis to Green Globe, through our Carbon Calculator.
To support our environmental and social sustainability activities we have developed policies and procedures in line with the Green Globe 21 standards. These policies and procedures are renewed at least annually to ensure that we are always current in our approaches.
Producing energy usually creates pollution and is the biggest cause of global warming. At Six Senses Laamu we have taken several steps to reduce our energy usage and to use renewable energy.
Until more renewable energy options become practical, the electricity used at Six Senses Laamu will continue to be produced with diesel generators. Reducing the power demand, however, is something we are continuously working on. Examples of this effort are displayed in our production of hot water and freshwater, two energy-intense processes.
Thousands of litres of water need to be heated each day for different uses at the resort. Now that a heat recovery (cogeneration) system is installed in the generators, heat is prevented from escaping and being wasted during power generation. Instead it heats the cooling agent of the generator, gets passed on to a heat exchanger attached to the generator’s radiator and is transferred to the cold freshwater from the desalination plant via stainless steel plates. In this way, 86 F (30 C) water is heated to 122 F (50 C), and a lot of electrical power is saved through this heat recovery.
Our freshwater production works through reverse-osmosis desalination, whereby pressurised seawater is filtered via a semi-permeable membrane – an energy-intense operation. To reduce this energy consumption, an innovative energy recovery system (ERI) is installed in our desalination plant; it uses the brine’s energy to pressurise seawater to the same pressure as the brine. This installation makes the desalination process much more efficient.
Passive Villa Cooling:
From early stages in the design, consideration of energy conservation was taken. All villas have been designed to take advantage of passive cooling and overhanging roofs creates shade for the windows, thus reducing the need for air-conditioning. We have also tried to create as many areas utilizing natural ventilation as choice of cooling, thus reducing energy consumption. Where air-conditioning is required we only use low energy consuming units.
Sea Grass Conservation
Six Senses Laamu recognizes the ecological importance of sea grass habitats and pledges to play a more active role in the conservation of sea grass beds around the resort island and in the Laamu Atoll.
Laamu Atoll has one of the highest densities of sea grass in the Maldives which supports a huge diversity and abundance of marine animals. Just 2.4 acres (9,715 square meters) of sea grass can support 80,000 fish and 100 million invertebrates. It is also an important source of food for Green turtles and an important peripheral habitat for Hawksbill turtles, classified as “Endangered” and “Critically Endangered” respectively, on the IUCN Red List. To date the resort has recorded 107 Green turtles and 93 Hawksbill turtles in the surrounding waters. Therefore, maintaining a healthy sea grass habitat is critical for the turtle populations in Laamu.
Like all other plants, sea grass provides a continuous supply of oxygen and acts as a sink for carbon dioxide. Just 2.4 acres of sea grass can produce 26,000 gallons of oxygen per day. The ocean absorbs 25 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions, of which 12 percent is stored as carbon in the sediment below sea grass meadows. Sea grass beds also act as nutrient sinks, filtering chemical inputs into the marine environment and keeping waters clear. Recent studies have also shown that maintaining sea grass beds adjacent to a reef, increases the resilience of the corals to natural and human threats.
The resort has been monitoring the shifts in the seasonal distribution of sea grass areas on the western side of the island since 2012. The resort believes that protecting this habitat is critical to stabilizing sediments which will in turn reduce the amount of island erosion. There is a plan to increase study efforts on these critical habitats while also communicating the need for sea grass conservation to guests and locals through the extensive Six Senses Laamu marine team’s education program.
Waste, garbage, trash, rubbish, whatever you like to call it, is a huge source and cause of environmental degradation – either through litter illegally dumped, which washes up on beaches all over the world and which we see lying around, or that which is legally disposed of in landfill sites, often in pristine areas, destroying them forever. Waste disposal, litter and debris on beaches and adequate recycling facilities are major concerns in the Maldives. The country currently lacks the facilities to separate, collect and recycle or reuse materials generated by households and businesses. Most resources and items that could be recycled or composted are at present treated as waste and transported from resorts and local islands to landfill. As the country develops it seems inevitable that more consumer goods will become available, consumption will increase and so will the amount of material that will need to be recycled, reused or disposed.
Six Senses Laamu is actively looking for ways to reduce the waste generated and dispose of it properly:
- We talk with our suppliers to reduce packaging when delivering supplies.
- Our printing paper is eco-labelled or recycled and we re-use the reverse side of printed paper for notes, reducing numbers of trees needed to be cut down.
- We try to reduce use of plastic bags as much as possible to reduce waste, instead using bins that can be washed or linen bags.
- Both guests and hosts are provided with re-usable glass water bottles rather than disposable plastic bottles.
- We have stopped importing well-known brands of bottled water, thereby reducing the amount of waste glass (and carbon emissions).
- Guests are encouraged to take disposable and hazardous waste items back to their own countries, where recycling facilities are more sophisticated.
- Rechargeable batteries, energy-saving light bulbs with a long lifespan, bamboo tubes for documents, purchases in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, the re-use of office paper, kitchen oil, waste wood and other materials are some of the many measures, through which the amount of waste on the island is reduced.
We have created our own recycling corner where waste is separated into paper, plastic, metal, glass, organic waste and toxic waste. Our compactor reduces the space required to store the waste before it is sent for recycling and proper handling. It is also easier for the recyclers to collect the waste and they do not have to come as many times. Furthermore, our own shredding machine is used for shredding garden waste, which is re-used in the garden, pathways and for composting.
A composting site has been built in which our food waste from the kitchen and restaurants is composted together with garden waste. The composting soil generated from this activity is reused in our landscape and gardening.
To make our composting as effective and odourless as possible we have implemented waste separation in the kitchen where all the food, except meat and seafood, is collected for composting. The reason meat and seafood is excluded is that these items decompose slower as well as to avoid attracting rodents. The garden waste is shredded using our chipping machine, in which some garden waste is used for composting and some for footpaths and around plants reducing unwanted weeds. The composting is taking place in a specially built area at the Eco Centro away from guest areas.
As a final note, you are encouraged not to wrap you luggage with plastic wrapping as plastic is non-biodegradable item. When thrown away it takes over 100 years for it to degrade.
Nature, Island & Reef Protection
At Six Senses we believe in living in harmony with nature and not manipulating it. Because the island flora and fauna and the biologically diverse reef communities have survived for millions of years without human assistance and they are poorly understood, we suspect that non-interference is the best approach. Accordingly, we have adopted several good practices for the health of the island and reef.
- During Six Senses Laamu’s construction, buildings were designed to minimise the damage to the island and lagoon.
- Branches were cut in a controlled way, old plant matter is left to decompose, and only fallen flowers are used for decoration.
- We have taken aboard a horticulturalist to enhance the green footprint of the resort by addressing our waste management system, the garden productivity and other issues.
- A resident Marine Biologist is employed to inform guests and hosts about the coral reef ecosystem and about responsible behaviour in the reef environment. Other scientists are contracted to quantitatively monitor the reef and advise management when needed.
We endeavour to keep our reefs healthy by:
- Informing all visitors about responsible snorkelling and diving behaviour;
- Installing mooring buoys for boats to avoid anchor damage;
- Not carrying out any destructive night-fishing activities for guest amusement;
- Not engaging in coral transplantation or propagation projects of dubious value;
- Discouraging both guests and hosts from feeding wildlife and fish;
- Encouraging guests to leave all debris, shells, coral pieces and sand on the beach or in the reef;
- Not selling any shells, coral or other animal products in our gift shop
Code of Conduct for Dolphins Watching
Six Senses Laamu has become the first resort in the Maldives to establish and implement a Code of Conduct for dolphin watching in order to protect the local spinner and bottlenose dolphins, and to ensure the future sustainability of their populations. Pioneering its successful application this code has been implemented by resident biologist, Rachel Lambert.
Dolphin watching is a positive activity as it allows guests to see these highly intelligent and charismatic animals in their natural environment. The code of conduct for dolphin watching rounds out the Six Senses Sustainability Policy for Six Senses Laamu: “To improve the ecological footprint of biodiversity conservation, preservation and restoration within the resort as well as nearby surrounding areas.”
Some specifics of the Six Senses Laamu Code of Conduct include:
• Keep at least 50 metres away – two boat lengths
• Do not approach from directly behind or head on
• Allow the dolphins to choose to approach the boat
• No rapid changes in speed or direction – be predictable
• 6 knots when within 150 metres
• Do not cut them off or chase them
• Do not separate mothers and calves
About spinner and bottlenose dolphins
Spinner dolphins are well known for their acrobatics and aerial behaviours. These dolphins come out of the water, front first, and twist their bodies as they ascend in the air up to 5.5 spins in one leap. The spinner dolphin lives in many tropical and subtropical waters, especially in the Maldives. Bottlenose dolphins are known worldwide as Genus Tursiops, as they communicate through burst pulsed sounds, whistles, and body language. Their considerable intelligence has driven interaction with humans. The species sometimes shows curiosity towards humans in or near water.