Islands are notoriously non-eco-friendly locations, with local eco systems, both terrestrial and marine, for too long threatened by the proliferation of holiday-makers, and the impact their presence has on fragile island environments. LUX* Resorts & Hotels is working hard to change this. Launched in December 2011, it is entirely carbon neutral through cooperation with award-winning carbon management specialists, Carbon Footprint Ltd. LUX* - named after the Latin for Light – is dedicated to achieving a lighter, brighter and altogether fresher version of the luxury island holiday. Dedicated to the principles of responsible tourism, it is extending its participation in sustainable development and environmental management by implementing its ‘Tread Lightly’ initiative, aimed at a carbon-clean future. This aims both to offset 100% of carbon emissions from all its properties, and also to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by the end of 2012.
The Managing Director of Carbon Footprint Ltd’s, John Buckley, explains: “It’s vital for businesses and organisations not ‘just to look at carbon offsetting’ as a ‘quick’ solution to environmental problems. The most responsible businesses carry out carbon management first and make a solid commitment before they consider any carbon offsetting.”He added: “LUX* Resorts & Hotels have made a huge and responsible commitment to reduce and offset to net zero emissions to make their resorts carbon
LUX* allocates an amount from the price of each guest night it sells to the Tread Lightly Fund. This fund is used to enhance its green credentials by investing in a significant internal carbon-reduction strategy, focused on projects such as solar-power, LED lighting replacement, wind turbines and the recycling of grey water for cleaning of public spaces and irrigation. A Green Committee has also been appointed by the company, ensuring full coordination between the three LUX* destinations of Mauritius, the Maldives and Réunion. This way, all of the resorts can learn and improve through the experiences of others.
For example, some hotels are now operating sea-water desalination plants, and successfully recycling waste waters, plastics, paper, cardboard and cooking oil (for bio fuel). A planting scheme for trees and vegetation has also been initiated to compensate for unavoidable carbon emissions, along with programmes of constant care for beaches and the natural areas surrounding the properties.
LUX* Resorts & Hotels is proud of its achievements in this area so far. In Mauritius, LUX* Belle Mare, LUX* Le Morne and LUX* Grand Gaube have each been awarded the Certificate of Good Environmental Practices by SGS in 2010. This certifies that
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the hotels have completed a complex evaluation process, including four environmental audits based on unannounced visits by experts. LUX* Maldives has opened a Marine Biology Centre on the island of Dhidhoofinolhu.
Here, the company employs a full-time specialist marine biologist, equipped with office and laboratory, dedicated to researching the presence and conservation of whale sharks in the South Ari Atoll waters. LUX* Ile de La Réunion works closely with La Reserve Naturelle Marine de La Réunion, an organisation which protects the lagoon and its wildlife through the education of guests on subjects such as respect of the corals and knowledge of endemic flora. LUX* also recognises that small changes can ultimately make a big difference. To this end, it does not promote the import of bottled water. LUX* house water – still Earth and sparkling Dance - is locally sourced, natural and highly purified.
Its production also creates jobs for local people. LUX* knows that education is the key to ensuring the survival of Indian Ocean marine and island eco systems. It offers educational programmes on green issues not only to its staff, but also to neighbourhood schools, ensuring future generations are raised as responsible adults. It believes that through the shared efforts and contributions of the company, guests, employees and local communities, the world really will have a lighter, brighter future.