Sonevafushi it appears is indeed headed for the poll position in the race to be carbon zero in a decades time. Reported in Jazeera, the resort is already bragging about the achievements so far and points out to the cooling system for their guest rooms which uses chilled sea water drawn out from deep sea below 300m. The deep water cooling system (a 1st in Maldives) is expected once finished to replace all electrical Air conditioning units and reduce 20% of the total power demand of the island. They also claim this type of air conditioning on the island alone would save 200 000$ and stop a 700k tons of carbon emission… Once air-conditioning is done away with chilled sea water technology then there would remain hot water which is easier followed by lighting which is more easier than the other two mentioned. The current government (like the former one) is promising incentives for being a good green resort and for their hard arduous work, they have bagged quite a number of laurels over the years. According to their site ” Soneva Fushi has received the President of Maldives’ Green Resort Award three times (in 2000, 2005 and 2007), Virtuoso’s Most Environmentally Friendly Resort Award in 2007 and PATA’s Gold Award in 2007, amongst others.”
Sonevafushi has also engaged the local communities surrounding the resort in environmental awareness programs such as a marketing campaign to teach locals about the detrimental effect that plastic bags can have on the surrounding eco-system. Under the campaign Soneva Fushi donated around 3,000 reusable natural cotton bags to households in the region. The campaign will cover a total of 13 islands in the Baa Atoll, an estimated 300 households and more than 11,000 individuals by the end of 2009. They hope to reach out to more regions in the Maldives and potentially run a nationwide campaign in 2010.