World Environment Day: The luxury hotels championing sustainability

This World Environment Day, we have compiled some of the best luxury hotels that are making a genuine effort towards sustainability

InterContinental Maldives World Environment DayGrowing up, we have always been taught the importance of keeping our environment healthy and clean. Now more than ever, we are witnessing drastic effects of climate change on our environment — from natural disasters to wildfires and melting ice caps. In lieu of this, the United Nations has declared 5 June as World Environment Day.

This day is a way to encourage awareness and action to protect the environment across the globe, with the focus for this year being land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. So how does one support the environment without compromising on their luxury? Well, if you’re travelling, staying at sustainability forward and eco-conscious hotels might be a start.

Below, for World Environment Day, we compile the best luxury hotels around the world that are championing genuine sustainability.

Related: Lesser known must-visit UNESCO heritage sites of 2024InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort, Maldives

The InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort in Maldives is supporting conservation efforts with manta rays in the Maldives in partnership with The Manta Trust. Sitting on the Southernmost tip of Raa Atoll, on the edge of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the hotel occupies an island with close proximity to a newly discovered juvenile manta feeding ground, the Maamunagau Lagoon. 

This lagoon provides a protective shelter and homes a large and healthy population of manta rays, enabling the Manta Trust team to research their natural habitats and migration behaviour — all without ever interfering in their ecosystem. The hotel provides guests with educational workshops and research snorkelling trips with marine biologists, and arranges donation/adoption schemes for The Manta Trust. So if you’re looking to learn more about the manta rays while living in complete luxury, Maldives is the place to go.World Environment DayWindjammer Landing Resort and Residences, St Lucia

Windjammer Landing Resort and Residences in St Lucia has partnered with The Perry Institute for Marine Science in the Caribbean — a non profit organisation that supports a wide range of research and educational activities that help to protect the oceans.

During their stay, guests can indulge in a carefully tailored environmental diving package made exclusively for the resort. This is to encourage young divers to take an interest in marine conservation and the importance of coral restoration and rejuvenation. So enjoy a wonderfully luxurious stay in St Lucia, while also earning a diving certificate and making a conscious effort to help protect the environment.LepopoLepogo Lodges, South Africa

Lepogo Lodges, situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province is one of Africa’s few entirely non-profit safari lodges within the 50,000-hectare Lapalala Wilderness Reserve.

Designed sensitively so that only one percent of the build touches the land, Lepogo calculates the carbon emissions resulting from each guest’s journey from the time they leave their home to the moment they return, which they then turn into a monetary figure. They then present the guest with the opportunity to choose one of three conservation projects for the lodge to offset their carbon footprint. 

The choices include the Community Stove Project, which donates efficient stoves to local families; the SA Forest Trust, which focuses on indigenous tree species planting, and Stand For Trees, a global initiative protecting forest landscapes and their communities and wildlife.

Related: How Bali’s most extraordinary luxury resorts are redefining wellnessWorld Environment DaySani Resort, Greece

Sani Resort is the first certified carbon neutral resort in Greece, and has pledged to be net zero by 2030. They are also working towards being a zero plastic and zero waste hotel by the end of 2024 as part of their Zero Carbon Footprint project.

Alongside living in a 1,000 acre ecological reserve with blue-flagged sandy beaches, forest trails and wetlands, you will also be part of a resort that supports biodiversity projects as well as over 40 organisations (schools, hospitals, refugee shelters) and provides scholarships to encourage local farmers to farm more sustainably.

Beyond this, the hotel also supports the iSea non-profit organisation to help catalogue the dolphins of the Halkidiki region. Not to mention the other sustainable and environment friendly projects that the hotel makes a conscious effort to be a part of. This World Environment Day, if you’re looking for a truly sustainable luxury hotel in Greece that puts its weight behind its words, Sani Resort is the place to be.Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Greece

Another environmentally conscious Greek resort is the Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas in the mountainous paradise of Zagori, which has recently been added to the UNESCO world heritage list.

The hotel is a member of the Zagori Excellence Network (ZEN), an initiative that protects the region’s environment, biodiversity, human geography and traditional economic activities and ways of life.

Among other things, in an effort to conserve water, the hotel uses waste water that is processed in a high tech tertiary cleaning system, to ensure that released water is as clean as possible.

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