Soneva CEO Sonu Shivdasani inspires Whole World Water
by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
“Since 2008, Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas have banned imported water in favour of bottling its own filtered water. Revenues were contributed to clean drinking water initiatives whose work has meant water access for over 600,000 people previously denied,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founding member of WHOLE WORLD Water. “Our resorts have proved that this solution works. We are proud to have inspired this global campaign and been able to provide initial seed capital through The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust to launch this exciting initiative.”
Six Senses and Soneva took the hotel industry lead 5 years ago to ban branded water in all their properties and to just serve their guests water that is produced on site. This was an important initiative because it is a perfect example of how one can do good to others by also doing good to oneself. The ban on imported water from around the globe has obvious environment benefits such as the reduction in waste and the reduction in the CO2 produced to package, bottle and transport the water around the globe. There are other benefits; it has been suggested that mineral water exposed to plastic bottles for a long period of time can be a health risk, so their water is healthier. There are advantages to the hotel operator in that they now have one less thing to worry about importing. There are financial benefits, as our costs of the water that they sold have dropped.
All of this saving and more is given to water charities around the world. Since this initiative started 600,000 people have had access to fresh water for 10 years.
Sonu continues: “The essence of our survival on the Planet is that we have to come up with more initiatives like this example, where we improve the quality of our lives and at the same time have a much more beneficial impact on the Earth.
“What we have achieved is commendable. However, the real significance of this initiative that we started 5 years ago is that we have set a path for others to follow. This quarter marks the launch of the Whole World Water campaign. This is an idea that was hatched at the 2011 “Water Wo/Men” and Slowlife Symposium events in our Maldives resorts. It is been driven by two passionate ladies who have a strong track record in social enterprise. The Slowlife Trust has financed the start of this.”
The Whole World Water campaign is a campaign that would encourage every hotel in the world to follow Soneva’s example. All members’ hotels will pay US$ 1,000 per hotel, per year as a Royalty and 10% of the properties’ water revenues. The Royalty will go towards administration cost and to market the campaign. The 10% of water revenues from each member property will be used entirely for water charity.
“It is our goal that in a few years time this campaign will have given hundreds of millions of people access to fresh water. It will make the Hotel industry an industry that we will all be proud of as our industry and we together as hoteliers would have made a big path to solving one of the biggest challenges facing the globe.”