Since its relaunch in 2019, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has been dedicated to safeguarding and protecting the natural environment and surrounding Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. According to the resort’s General Manager, Arpad Romandy, the theme of 2022’s Earth Day is a fitting one.
“Invest in our Planet could not be a more apt theme for this iconic island resort that placed sustainable initiatives at the very heart of its rebuild following Cyclone Debbie in 2017,” Romandy said.
“We had the opportunity to design and rebuild using new technology across the resort and implemented smart room technology in all suites to reduce electricity usage. Not only has this reduced energy and greenhouse gas emissions but has provided a cost saving of between 20 and 45% annually, and we haven’t stopped there,” he said.
“The resort’s water is sourced from the purpose-built ocean desalination plant and a partnership forged between IHG and Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) in 2021, affords the opportunity to assess our water consumption to identify areas for improved efficiency across the island. This not only helps Hayman Island’s own long term sustainability strategy and targets but sharing our findings enables other hotels and resorts to see the environmental and financial benefits of our sustainable practices,” continued Romandy.
To significantly reduce landfill waste, the resort joined forces with Anything Environmental to ensure Hayman Island’s recyclable waste (including empty glass and plastic bottles, cans and flavoured milk containers) are sent to an Airlie Beach depot for processing. The resort also undertakes wet food recycling, designed to biologically convert solid food waste materials into eco-friendly and nutrient-rich liquid which flows into the existing sewerage system. This practice reduces general waste landfill by more than 450 tonnes per annum.
InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is continually investigating new initiatives to preserve the world’s largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef, and recently joined the newly formed Whitsunday’s Healthy Heart program. Inspired by its namesake, the instantly recognisable Heart Reef, the group aims to decarbonise the tourism sector and see the Whitsunday’s become a certifiable sustainable destination to conserve one of the world’s most precious jewels for generations to come.
Romandy said “It’s very important to us that sustainability initiatives are intertwined with our guests’ experience. We take our guests on a journey of education throughout their stay, so they understand the importance of what we are doing to protect neighbouring reef ecosystems.
“We are in the process of launching a new app in addition to the tablets that are already in each suite to support paperless rooms at the resort. Guests are supplied with reef-safe sunscreen which is a biologically safer sunscreen alternative and are gifted a reusable water bottle upon check-in to reinforce the ban on single-use plastics.”
To further immerse guests in the local environment Hayman Island offers conference groups sustainability tours and interactive sessions with the region’s leading marine biologist. For the little travellers InterContinental Planet Trekker’s Kids Club has designed an education program that centres on local marine life and conservation.
“InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has a strategic commitment to sustainably managing our impact of the environment, whilst continually engaging our guests and the wider community in this important endeavour,” Romandy concluded.
All images supplied.