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April 23 2020
In this first Sustainable Travel blogpost to mark Earth Day 2020, we take a look at how the brand Six Senses is implementing sustainable initiatives across its properties.
Published: April 23 2020
Without doubt we have all been forced to slow down, and it’s a time when the health of the planet and its people has never been so important. We have already been witnessing lots of steps made by our partners around the world to make their properties and practises more sustainable, and we’ll be featuring more on this over the coming weeks. In this blogpost to mark Earth Day 2020, we take a look at how the brand Six Senses is implementing significant environment-friendly initiatives across its properties.
Right from their beginnings in the early 1990s, Six Senses has been widely recognised for establishing the early benchmarks for the hospitality industry. These standards have enabled them to establish consistent quality without being formulaic, and with each property free to infuse their own local touch. As more properties opened under the Six Senses brand, they all shared the same commitment to balancing economic, environmental and social profitability. They were created with a vision that was both meaningful and measurable and resolutely harmonious with local communities and ecosystems, creating spaces that were also vibrant and alive.
Of course hospitality is never just about a place to stay. We want our places and spaces to help you reconnect and explore what it means to be mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally happy.
- Neil Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer, Six Senses
Here are six highlights of Six Senses’ dedication to eliminating their impact on the planet and achieving a truly sustainable ethos, of which they continually seek to improve and innovate.
Earth Lab was launched in 2017, showcasing the brand’s efforts to reduce consumption, produce locally and support communities and ecosystems. It serves as a place to communicate the work happening on and off site, for example marine conservation, forestry or farming initiatives, harnessing renewable energy, and bottling drinking water. It also displays the company’s consumption data including water, energy and waste. When you stay at a Six Senses property, you are invited to join the team and learn handy life hacks such as making your own compost or chemical-free detergent, or how to extract essential oils from herbs grown in their organic gardens. It’s also great for families as children get involved in foraging, farming and recycling during the ‘Grow with Six Senses’ activities. And even more importantly, the learning process doesn’t end when you get home from your trip – Earth Lab’s ‘How to’ videos teach guests step-by-step procedures to grow organic produce back home.
Six Senses has adopted a philosophy of Zero Waste, which entails upcycling materials for innovative reuses such as in the spa and room amenities, as well as producing materials on site to reduce transportation-related impacts. For example, when Six Senses Zighy Bay created an organic farm, its resident goats which feed on landscaping waste became an overnight attraction, and produced a lot of milk which is also used for homemade cheeses. Already a pioneer in farm-to-table production, the resort set up an economically sustainable cheese factory. Six Senses has also been serious about reducing disposable plastic for many years, going back to the 1990s with their signature water bottled in glass, and more recently with the elimination of plastic straws and disposable Food and Beverage containers from all their hotels in 2016. Their long-term plan is to transition to natural compostable materials in some cases, and to high quality reusable materials in other cases. Additionally, they are reaching out to suppliers asking to deliver food and goods without plastic containers and seeking safer alternatives.
Six Senses also gets involved in work off-site and invites local community members to learn and share traditional ecological knowledge. For example, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay has assisted in a number of projects with local schools such as improving drinking water systems, and is launching a coral reef restoration programme. Six Senses Fiji is also working to protect local wildlife and marine life including the endangered iguanas on Malolo Island.
In collaboration with Blue Marine Foundation, the marine team at Six Senses Laamu launched the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign to protect seagrass at all resorts in the Maldives on World Seagrass Day last year, which took place on 1st March 2019. One of the most valuable ecosystems on our planet, seagrass, is being deliberately removed so as to maintain the white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters prized by the tourism industry in the Maldives.
Six Senses partners with local NGOs to pursue coral restoration. This is a vital initiative, as the negative effects of climate change on marine life are becoming a visible global problem. Happy colonies are now growing off the shores of several properties. For example Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Six Senses Laamu, Six Senses Fiji and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay are all committed to coral projects to preserve and restore this highly sensitive ecosystem.
All the Six Senses properties source fresh, organic ingredients grown on-site as part of the brand’s ‘Eat With Six Senses’ approach to food and drink. Natural insecticides are distilled from plants and used as an organic alternative to chemical sprays and herbal plants are harvested and distilled on-site to extract essential oils used in Six Senses spa treatments. Seeds are harvested, kept in a seed bank, and made available for guests to take and grow at home. Beehives are maintained for honey harvesting and to stimulate local crop growth from pollination.
Six Senses Bhutan is investing in the local farming landscape by developing a 17-acre ecological village in Paro. The vision is to blend traditional Bhutanese cuisine with modern superfoods such as kale, quinoa and chia seeds.
On February 13th, 2019 Six Senses became part of the IHG family of brands and their development plans for 2020 and beyond include Six Senses Shaharut, a desert hideaway in Israel’s Negev Desert, and a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles located in along the High Line in Manhattan. European openings also include Spain and Switzerland which will be pushed back for the moment but we can’t wait to see what the brand does next and how their sustainable approaches evolve.
If you would like more information on sustainability at Six Senses, or if you would like to talk to us about booking a stay at a Six Senses property in the future, please call us on 020 8935 5779 or email email@example.com and quote ‘SIX SENSES’ in the subject. We look forward to hearing from you!
Hanna joined Go Bespoke in February 2018 and has over 15 years’ experience working in Marketing & PR. She studied Modern Languages at University, and lived in Granada in Spain before working for a city-based tour operator and then at Orient Express. Hanna is our resident Spanish speaker, and also speaks French and a bit of Portuguese. She looks after all our social media and marketing collateral, including the website and anything visual that you might see!
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