Swiss hotelier Armando Kraenzlin landed in the Maldives and decided to make a difference.
At a time of immense change, when we are revisiting what it means to be a global community, Four Seasons Resorts Maldives marked Earth Day 2020 by announcing a new partnership with the NOW Force for Good Alliance and EarthCheck–a commitment to creating a more conscious, collaborative, and Earth-aware travel industry.
“The world has pressed pause and together we are on the cusp of an unprecedented moment of clarity, if we choose to frame it that way,” comments Regional Vice President and General Manager, Armando Kraenzlin. “Here in the Maldives, we’ve long been aware of our responsibility to take mindful care of our planet and people. Launching our partnership with EarthCheck and the NOW Force for Good Alliance on the occasion of Earth Day 2020 underlines our determination to become even more accountable and transparent in all that we do and encourage the continual improvement that is so needed in the travel industry.” The past two decades have seen Four Seasons Maldives marine conservation team, Marine Savers, based at its two Resorts of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru, forge some of the region’s most ground-breaking ocean initiatives, including coral propagation, turtle rehabilitation, and manta ray research.
“There’s a chance for the travel industry to establish a new way of being where sustainability actions are the norm, not simply the ideal.”—Armando Kraenzlin
The Time is Now
These initiatives sit alongside on-site water-bottling plants, Parley-linked plastic recycling schemes, solar energy installations, local health and outreach projects, a TVET-accredited Hospitality Apprenticeship School, and support for the Maldives’ last remaining lacquerware craftspeople in an ongoing program that addresses all aspects of environmental, social, and cultural sustainability.
And the ripple effects spread outwards from the Resorts’ pristine islands, through moments that change guests’ lives; from days spent researching manta rays to coral reef transplanting, Junior Marine Savers experiences to wildlife monitoring dives.
“Our partnership with NOW and EarthCheck is about how we continue to expand our sustainability efforts in a changed world,” continues Kraenzlin. “With space to reflect suddenly forced upon us, the time is now to choose a different kind of future. Through collaborations like these, there’s a chance for the travel industry to establish a new way of being where sustainability actions are the norm, not simply the ideal.”
Four Seasons Maldives Most Inspiring Sustainability Actions
• Being the first Maldivian Resorts to have marine biologists (since 2000) and introducing the country’s first— and most extensive—Marine Discovery Centres for conservation and research, now standard at most Maldivian resorts.
• Pioneering the Maldives’ first coral frame structures to regenerate local reefs. Beginning life as experimental reef ball structures in 2001, the coral frame project has since developed into Reefscapers: one of the most successful reef propagation projects of its kind in the world. To date, the project has deployed over 7,000 coral frames, covering an area in excess of one hectare featuring over 40 thriving species of corals. Establishing the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) in 2005, under then Four Seasons marine biologist, Guy Stevens. MMRP became the founding project of the Manta Trust—now the world’s leading manta ray charity—instrumental in designating Baa Atoll as Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011.
• Introducing the first sustainable and environmentally responsible mosquito control initiative into the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (2015), working with Mosquito Lady Consulting (MLC). Four Seasons financially supported MLC’s dengue risk assessment of Baa’s 13 island communities and is the main sponsor of the Dengue Eradication Program on the island of Malhoos.
Inaugurating the Maldives first Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in 2011, following guest donations and the rescue of an Olive Ridley turtle, Olivia. The Resorts’ turtle biologists have since: rehabilitated and returned more than 155 sea turtles back to the wild; significantly raised awareness of the plight of turtles in local and international waters; and re-homed six non-releasable turtles overseas (dubbed “The Flying Turtles”).
• Teaming with the Maldives chapter of environmental organization, Parley For The Oceans since 2018, by channeling plastic waste from Resort operations as well as the collection of plastic waste from neighboring islands. In the first year of operation over 1.3 tons of plastic were sent to Taiwan to be recycled into sportswear; plastic that may otherwise have ended up on the Maldives’ waste island or being dumped into the ocean. Parley-initiated Adidas sportswear, made from recycled plastic, is available at the Resorts.
• Installing one of the Maldives’ largest resort-based solar installations. Spanning over 57,909 square feet and saving between 250,000 and 300,000 liters of diesel annually, it will also hopefully inspire other local Resorts to adopt similar technology.
For more details about Four Seasons Resorts Maldives partnership with NOW Force For Good Alliance and EarthCheck, visit the link here.