June 2016 – North Island, Seychelles has been named the winner of the prestigious Energy Globe National Award for Seychelles for its successful initiative to reduce the consumption of bottled water on the Island. This is just one of several programmes intended to lessen North Island’s ecological footprint without compromising the world-class guest experience and the generosity of the offering.
“We are delighted to win this award”, commented North Island General Manager, Nick Solomon “as bottled water was previously one of our biggest challenges. Through installing the latest Vivreau water purification technology we have been able to dramatically reduce the volume of plastic waste generated by the Island, and still offer our guests a premium bottled water – only now in a stylish, reusable glass bottle rather than a plastic one”.
As one of the inner granitic islands of Seychelles, North Island is of course surrounded by salt water. The only source of fresh water is an aquifer which is fed by rainfall, so there has always been an elevated level of consciousness on the Island about water usage. Grey water is repurposed for irrigation in the nursery, and the level of the aquifer is carefully monitored.
Historically, North Island has been one of the heaviest users of bottled water per guest across the entire Wilderness Group. This was something that needed to change, but in keeping with the world-class service and facilities on North Island, a top-quality solution had to be found. Installing advanced Vivreau reverse osmosis water purification technology enabled North Island to become more sustainable as it was able to offer its guests its 'own' advanced micro-filtered water in reusable, designer glass bottles.
Prior to the installation of the Vivreau system in 2013, bottled water consumption on North Island was 11.68 litres per guest bednight. By 2015, that figure had fallen to just 1.86 litres per guest bednight – a reduction of 84.1%. Just 7 362 bottles (500ml) of water were used on North Island in 2015, compared to 30 089 used in 2014.
Reactions from guests and staff in relation to the ‘new’ water has been overwhelmingly positive, and there has been almost universal buy-in. North Island is confident that it will ultimately reach the Wilderness Safaris Group standard for bottled water consumption.
Fewer plastic water bottles has also meant a decrease in North Island’s carbon footprint: less plastic means less oil used in the manufacture of the bottles, and less fuel used to transport them. The positive impact of this initiative has been even greater than anticipated, and as this scheme is easily replicable, it is hoped that other luxury island resorts in Seychelles will follow North Island’s award-winning example.
The Energy Globe Award was founded by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and is now considered one of the world’s leading environmental awards. The programme is under the patronage of UNESCO and is conducted in cooperation with UNEP. This year, more than 1 500 entries were received from 77 countries, each of which was evaluated by high-profile experts from the Energy Globe evaluation committee.
Delivering water; the guest offering and the technology behind the scenes.