Theme Resorts and Spas’ unwavering commitment to sustainability was reaffirmed at the recently concluded Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards 2020 with the company winning the award for ‘Sustainability Rising Star’ under the sustainability category.
ACES awards is an annual event organised by MORS group and is considered to be one of the most prestigious accolades that recognises inspiring leaders and sustainability advocates cross-industry and across Asia.
In 2020 the ACES Awards attracted over 420 nominations from across the region; the highest number accorded since the inception of the awards in 2014. Amidst tremendous competition from across the region the esteemed jury panel unequivocally admired Theme Resort’s commitment to sustainable development by actioning diverse solutions to sustainability challenges faced by the company especially during a pandemic centric time period.
The Sustainability Rising Star award was therefore presented to Theme Resorts and Spas in recognition of its efforts in creating new pathways and piloting change especially through grassroot sustainable initiatives.
Established in 2014, Theme Resorts and Spas Private Limited is a local hotel collection with a central vision of curating regional authentic experiences through its collection of 10 hotels and bungalows scattered across the island. As a pioneer in the local hospitality industry Theme Resorts focus has been to not just be a place for leisure and recreation.
The overarching sustainable policy of Theme Resorts and Spas is based on two fundamental pillars, namely environment and social, highlighting its formal pledge to the protection, conservation and upliftment of the environmental and social bottom lines within and beyond the company whilst driving sustainable economic growth. The twin pillars of sustainability have been developed to encompass some of the key impact areas of the tourism industry; such as the environment, employees, local community, local culture and heritage.
Some examples of its environmental sustainability efforts include the usage of renewable energy, comprehensive waste management systems (including the company’s very own paper recycling plant located at Aliya Resort and Spa) and the maintenance of inhouse organic gardens that contribute to the overall fruits and vegetables requirement in most of its hotels. Given the downtime created as a result of the persisting pandemic situation, the company has also ventured into new avenues such as agro-tourism with the active participation of company staff members as well.
Moreover, some initiatives undertaken for the upliftment of the local community includes generating employment through the creation of job opportunities within the hotels where it prioritises hiring from the local community, sourcing hotel day-to-day requirements from surrounding local communities to stimulate local economy, and having dedicated corporate social responsibilities initiatives specifically aimed at marginalised rural communities.
Theme Resorts and Spas also provides its employees with sustainability education and training to improve their knowledge on sustainable business operations, and encourages its employees to actively take part in the company’s sustainability initiatives through its resort wide environment and sustainability society as well.
The company also commits to two dedicated sustainability programmes which are run simultaneously throughout the year. Reconstruire et Vivre (Rebuild and Live), the long-standing CSR arm founded and run by the founders and directors of Connaissance De Ceylan and Theme Resorts and Spas, is an umbrella initiative that collectively conducts and coordinates a number of socio-economic development projects in various parts of the country with the aim of bettering the lives of marginalised local communities.
Some of its notable contributions include housing projects, three preschool projects and four language and computer centre projects around the country where students from marginalised communities are given the opportunity of learning free of charge even as of today.
Theme Resorts and Spas’ latest sustainability initiative is Biodiversity Educational Research Initiative (BERI) which was developed to address one of the longstanding sustainability related concerns in Sri Lanka, i.e., biodiversity conservation. The main scope of BERI is to facilitate research promotion and education for local and international students, researchers and other interested stakeholders on Sri Lankan biodiversity.
The facilitation of biodiversity-related research within the country began last year under the sponsorship and guidance of BERI with a dedicated team of students conducting research in three different areas of the country under the guidance of BERI’s research consultant.