Soneva’s total carbon footprint was 33,714 tonnes CO2 in 2015-16. Only 20% of these emissions came from energy consumption, which is the figure typically quoted by companies when measuring their carbon footprint. 68% of the emissions came from guest air travel. To counter such emissions an Environmental Fund has been established.
Soneva Carbon Calculator
Soneva measures its operational performance through its own Soneva Carbon Calculator. It does not simply measure carbon footprint from energy consumption (Scope 1&2) but also measures air travel, freight, ground travel, food, waste, paper and water consumption (Scope 3).
As Soneva considers a carbon footprint beyond energy and also includes guest air travel (68% of carbon footprint) carbon mitigation is required. To address these emissions we have introduced an environmental levy of 2% of room revenue to each guest’s stay, which has raised $6.2 million to date. The Soneva Foundation invests these funds in projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact, and importantly, offset carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. We have implemented and initiated projects that will mitigate around 1 million tonnes CO2 over the next seven years. 190,000 lives have been improved so far and 388,599 tonnes CO2 has been mitigated to date.
Myanmar Stoves Campaign
The Soneva Foundation is delivering the first Gold Standard Foundation certified carbon project in Myanmar distributing energy efficient cook-stoves. Myanmar has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world. As the forests disappear, the price of wood gets higher, driving more and more families into energy poverty. Cutting expenditure on wood makes a huge difference to families already living in poverty, and reducing time spent foraging for wood means more time to spend on smallholdings and securing a good harvest. To date, 12,178 stoves have been distributed reaching 56,018 in 406 villages. The project has generated a social value of $9 million.
Darfur Stoves Project
The Soneva Foundation has provided funding to distribute 26,295 fuel-efficient cook stoves in war-torn Darfur. Women are particularly vulnerable to violent attacks while foraging for wood, so reducing the quantity of fuel needed for cooking is vitally important. Deforestation is also averted and carbon emissions from cooking – a major contributor to global carbon emissions – are reduced. The project has created a local industry around the assembly of cook stoves, bringing much-needed employment to an area where jobs are scarce. As a result, 242,000 tonnes CO2 will be mitigated.
Soneva Forest Restoration
The Soneva Foundation partnered with the P ATT Foundation to plant 511,920 trees covering 300 acres in the Chiang Mai region of Northern Thailand. We used a Framework Species Methodology, with guidance from the Forest Restoration Research Unit of Chiang Mai University, with 90 species of trees planted. Over a period of 7-8 years, seed-disbursing birds will increase the number of species further, creating a rich biodiverse forest. The project will mitigate an estimated 255,000 tonnes of CO2.