LUX* Resorts has launched its “Tread Lightly” initiative to reduce its environmental impact and to further support sustainable hospitality and tourism development. LUX* Resorts appointed impactChoice, provider of end-to-end environmental sustainability solutions, to implement key interventions that will strengthen its commitment to protect and maintain the environment, including adoption of the Hotel Carbon Management Initiative (HCMI) protocol as an integral part of their Carbon Measurement and Mitigation strategy.
Vishnee Sowamber, Tread Lightly project leader at LUX* Resorts says, “The protection of the environment is fundamental to us at LUX*. That is why we are working towards reducing our carbon footprint, with the hope that others will follow. We are engaging all our guests in our green initiatives as it is our responsibility to raise awareness and encourage our customers and colleagues to respect the environment.”
The hospitality sector accounts for approximately 5 per cent of global emissions; this is expected to rise by 156% by 2035 (2008 UNWTO-UNEP study and ‘Towards a low carbon & travel tourism sector’ report by the World Economic Forum – May 2009).
LUX* Resorts are committed to GRI in the long term and are in the midst of conducting an audit. Among their key challenges was developing an easy-to-implement, standard framework to calculate the carbon footprint associated with guest stays. “This is where the HCMI was of huge value”, says Payen. “The initiative offers a very simple methodology to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way, allowing impactChoice to get us up and running in a very short amount of time.”
The “Tread Lightly” project works across all LUX* Resorts to offset emissions attributable to each guest’s stay, as well as energy-saving related activities through the implementation of Energy Management Systems. Carbon offsetting allows any company to counteract the negative effect of its Green House Gas emissions, by purchasing a carbon offset which has resulted in a positive environmental effect produced elsewhere. LUX* Resorts partnered with impactChoice to devise a strategy based on this principle.
According to Leonard Harley, group MD of impactChoice, “By implementing our solution and offering a measurable emission reduction option to their guests, LUX* becomes the first leisure hotel group based out of Mauritius to implement a verifiable carbon offset solution across all its operations in Mauritius, Reunion Island and the Maldives. LUX* Resorts has a history of taking a leading role in environmental initiatives and its engagement with impactChoice is a testament to this.”
On the basis of the pre-calculated amount of carbon offsets required to neutralise their emissions, guests are able to purchase certified, compliant and verifiable emission reductions in the form of guaranteed carbon offset certificates.
The small, once-off payment made by guests goes towards funding the Sofala Carbon Community Project in Mozambique, for rehabilitating forests on community land and introducing sustainable farming practices, which is based on the Plan Vivo & CCBA Gold standards for verification of authenticity of the carbon credits generated by the project.
Payen explains, “Our aim is to lead the way to a brighter future, leaving only the slightest trace of our presence on the environment. Beyond making every effort to conserve energy and use renewable energy where possible, our “Tread Lightly” initiative goes a step further by offsetting all carbon emissions related to the energy consumed as a result of a guest’s stay in our resorts.”
LUX* Resorts is also reducing carbon emissions year-on-year through the efforts of a Green Committee at each resort tasked with oversight of all environmental projects and energy-saving related activities. These include deployment of Energy Management Systems (EMS), which have already yielded an average of 30% energy savings across the two facilities where implemented. Further reductions come through office automation strategies reducing paper consumption, minimising waste and segregation of solid waste materials and balancing the use of local water and imported water, to name a few.
Source: LUX* Resorts