Key initiatives include removing ghost nets and converting sea water into drinking waterJumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives has once again met the strict requirements set by Green Globe, the global certification for sustainable tourism. This year, the resort achieved an exceptional compliance score of 85%, an improvement on last year’s 80% when the resort was first certified.
Since opening in 2011, Jumeirah Vittaveli has placed the utmost importance on implementing sustainable procedures into its operations. Successful initiatives this year include a programme to remove ‘ghost nets,’ (often left or lost by fishermen) which can harm marine life. The resort teamed up with the Olive Ridley Project, a charity registered in the UK which was founded in the Maldives, to actively remove ghost nets in the Indian Ocean. The organisation’s founder, Martin Stelfox, visited the resort in July 2016 to educate colleagues and guests on the threats ‘ghost gear’ poses to marine creatures such as sea turtles. He also gave advice on how to rescue injured turtles and report any ghost nets found.
Amit Majumder, General Manager, said: “Jumeirah Vittaveli is not just a resort, it is home to our guests, colleagues and also the flora and fauna of the island and surrounding seas. We are extremely honoured to have achieved Green Globe Certification for a second year, and are proud to say that our efforts have made a positive impact on the environment. We aim to further increase our compliance score and achieve the next level of recognition – to become a Green Globe Gold Member – by the year 2020. Our team is fully committed to implement any measures necessary to achieve this goal.”
Environmentally friendly features at the resort include a mineral enrichment water bottling plant which converts seawater into drinking water by reverse osmosis. This is available still or sparkling in reusable glass bottles. In addition, water at the resort is heated by heat recovery from the generator operations. Electric buggies are offered to transport guests around the island and bicycles are available to explore the resort. Other regular Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives include: weekly marine biology talks by Best Dives, the dive school at Jumeirah Vittaveli. Topics include presentations on the fragile coral reef environment, the adverse effects of the 2016 El Niňo and efforts to reverse these consequences through a Coral Regeneration Programme. Colleagues also visit surrounding islands to donate essential equipment to schools and other institutions.