SUSTAINABILITY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICIES AT THE EVASON HOTEL HUA HIN
*** The Evason Six Senses Spa Hua Hin is now Blue Lotus Hua Hin however the sustainability efforts are still are priority ***
Although the hotel has been rebranded, many of the practices remain unchanged. It is recommended to contact the hotel directly (contact details below) to confirm prior to booking to ascertain their sustainability polices.
Sustainability plays an important part in travel for me, especially when selecting hotels as well as experiences. One of my reasons for staying at the Evason Hua Hin for our recent visit to Thailand is because of the resorts sustainability and social responsibility policy. I’ve mentioned before that I have a keen interest in sustainability and social responsibility in the hospitality industry and its response to environmental and social issues, locally as well as globally.
Prior to my stay at Evason, I got in touch with the hotels sustainability manager, Niran Sadakorn who was more than happy to show me around and educate me on the resorts consideration to the environment and its surroundings.
Inevitably a lot of energy is used to heat water, run machines to dry and iron clothes. The hotel uses sunlight to dry towels in order to reduce electricity consumption. Air conditioning should be used as a minimum with louvres in rooms to allow in fresh air.
Zero Waste Management
A robust recycling operation is in place with plastic, glass, paper, aluminium and metal all sent for recycling. The resort has switched to rechargeable batteries and organics waste from the kitchens/gardens are decomposed and turned into fertiliser to be used in the gardens and vegetation projects. The hotel therefore provides a beach bag in each room to be used instead of plastic disposable bags.
Water Conservation & Sustainability
Water efficient techniques have been installed in the showers and flushing toilets by float adjusting techniques. Treated water is re-introduced into the man made ponds and streams around the resort. The gardens are watered using the treated water and guests are reminded to be mindful to turn off the water whilst they brush their teeth, wash hair and shave.
Glass Bottle Water & Sustainability
Since October 2009, all imported water has been replaced by the Evason’s own drinking water. These are delivered to your room twice a day, morning and evening and has eliminated carbon emissions form transportation of water as well as plastic bottles.
Laundry and housekeeping, use biodegradable washing detergent and cleaning products. The provider the resort uses, provides non-toxic chemicals, biodegradable and biologically based formulations contributing to the eco-friendly cleaning program. Guests are kindly asked not to change towels or bed sheets daily and re-use where possible.
Stakeholder Engagement in Sustainability
The Evason is most definitely part of a community who support local organisations in preserving the environment, by contributing to natural resource conservation. Guest can too be a part of this by participating in local activities as recommended by the resort.
Ecological Nature Walk
One of my favourite parts of the Evason is the Herb and Vegetable garden and spending a couple of hours each day walking through the lush vegetation, especially in the morning before breakfast when the area is filled with bird song and fluttering dragon flies.
The resort combines organic gardening using permaculture principles with an on-site recycling programme. They have built an organic raised bed garden by using recycled materials. The Evason is using the area as an educational tool for the local community, which I think is a fantastic idea to demonstrate the concept of waste. As we walked around the garden, I noticed beds built from old beer and wine bottles, mud bricks and aluminium, being used to grow a range of different organic vegetables, such as a large variety of lettuce as well as a range of herbs, such as basil and lemongrass to mention a couple.
The garden also houses a mushroom cultivation hut where oyster and wood ear mushrooms are grown in sawdust for use in the kitchens. Once the mushrooms have extracted the cellulose and lignin from the wood the resulting rich compost is then used in the garden as mulch.
The Evason supports the Sirinarth Rajinee Mangrove Ecosystem learning Centre where abandoned shrimp farm ponds have now been transported into a mangrove ecosystem. Tourists can visit this to learn more about the biodiversity and importance of this ecosystem community.
Knowledge of the Mangrove ecosystem has been transferred to the local community especially the children from local schools so children can volunteer as a youth guide during school holidays to show people around. The Evason Eco Team has supported a basic English training session with the children, which has motivated them to speak English with the visitors to the Learning centre. Due to this training Youth camp, some of the children have been selected to move onto the next stage in a English communication programme for the Sirinarth Rajinee International Study Mangrove Centre.
Prachuabchock Foster Home
The Evason visits a foster home for people with disabilities, living on minimal funding supported by the government and they provide them with food and rice as well as games and dinner cooked by the resorts chef.
Tam Boon Tuk Bart
This is also known as Monk Merit, every month the Evason invite monks to the resort so guests can immerse themselves into the Buddhist culture by giving merit to the monks in terms of giving, virtue and mental development. The monks are given traditional offering before prayers.
One of the stand out things for me at The Evason was the staff and the training, and equal employment policy. The Evason is most definitely an equal opportunities employer, with no prejudice against disability. Staff are put through a training program including learning English and being supported throughout the training program.
Baan Pa Deng
Prior to my visit, I contacted Niran, about the work they do with children in a nearby orphanage and was keen to help out in any way I could during my stay.
There are around 24 children and young adults, from the ages of 4-20, living in the district of Baan Pa Deng about one and a half hours drive from the Evason. The children originate from the Thailand, Myanmar border and thus have no identity as they are not fully recognised by the Thai government, although measures are being taken to reverse this, it’s a long process.
Sam who was also bought up in an orphanage in the area and originates from the tribal hill villages, set up the safe house and now helps look after the children with his wife and friend. It is truly heart-breaking, the children come here from terrible circumstances however the programme of schooling, self-sustainability, learning to grow fruit and veg, raising dairy cows to sell milk gives them essential life skills.
Dr C and I decided to take some gifts with us for the children and were delighted to hear that on Christmas Eve they’d be doing a performance of song and dance at The Evason.
The resort was hosting a Christmas meal for them to and following the performance we had an opportunity to meet the children and speak with them even Santa made an appearance.
Evason Sustainability Practices
We had teh opportunity to visit the hill tribe orphanage with Niram and Mandarin, another one of the Sustainability team and were given a tour of their house. It really was an opener as we saw first-hand how much the Evason had helped with purchasing cows and school uniforms as well as many other things and hosting days out for the children, including an upcoming trip to a water park.
I was astounded by their resilience of these beautiful children and despite what they have been through; their smiles from ear to ear were simply infectious. At present we are looking at how we can help their community in Baan Pa Deng.
As a true advocate of sustainability and social responsibility, I was blown away by the experiences I came across in Hua Hin, whilst staying at the Evason. It is inspiring that a resort is doing so much for its surroundings and carbon footprint and how it encompasses guests to become involved in its practices. Being so passionate about travel goes hand in hand with making sure I give back to the locales that I visit and ensuring that the planet is looked after with natural resources.
Related Recommended Reading
- A Guide to Authentic Things to do in and Around Hua Hin
- Evason Six Senses Spa & Hotel Hua Hin: A Review
- Blue Lotus: A Plant Based Cookery School
- Top 12 Things to do in Hua Hin
Blue Lotus Hua Hin (Formerly The Evason Six Senses Spa) Pak Nam Pran Road. Tambon Pak Nam Pran. Amphoe Pran Buri, Chang way Prachuap Khiri Khan 77220 Thailand.
Tel +66 32 632 111
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