Luxury hospitality pioneer Soneva has been awarded the 2023 Terra Carta Seal from the Sustainable Markets Initiative. The award-winning resort brand, which has properties in the Maldives and Thailand, is built on the foundation that businesses must exist for a greater purpose than shareholder returns. Soneva recognises that luxury travel and the pursuit of rare experiences can co-exist with a deep care for the earth, the environment and its people, and continually strives to raise the benchmark for responsible tourism.
The Terra Carta Seal is awarded to companies that have demonstrated the success of a high-impact, large-scale company-wide project, initiative, or strategy that aligns with one or more of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s ten Terra Carta Articles. The Articles underpin the Terra Carta, the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s guiding mandate, which provides a roadmap and framework to accelerate the transition to an ambitious and sustainable future, placing Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation.
The winners were selected by a panel of global experts from the environmental, business, political and philanthropic worlds. Designed by Sir Jony Ive, the Terra Carta Seal was launched in 2021 at COP26 by His Majesty King Charles III when he was the Prince of Wales. Since its inception, the Sustainable Markets Initiative has awarded its coveted Seal to 83 companies globally.
“The Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Seal recognises those companies which are taking great strides in delivering real-world outcomes to create a more positive future that we can all embrace. The calibre of the projects and initiatives these companies drive sets the standard for us all as we push forward to a more sustainable future.
Jennifer Jordan-Saifi, CEO of Sustainable Markets Initiative, said, “The Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Seal recognises those companies that are taking great strides in delivering real-world outcomes. As we stand on the eve of COP28, public, private sector and philanthropic actors will come together at the inaugural Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum to bridge the gap between ambition and action. It is examples exemplified by the 2023 Terra Carta Seal winners that are helping to inspire and lead the way.”
Recognised for its remarkable sustainability efforts, Soneva is the only hotel brand among a select group of large global organisations that received a 2023 Terra Carta Seal. Other companies who received the 2023 Terra Carta Seal include Airbus, Carbon Clean, CDPQ, DLA Piper, EY, Haier Smart Home, Hitachi, LanzaTech, Novartis, Orange, Ping An Bank, Pollination, ReNew, Robertson, Siemens Energy, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc.
While there is currently no industry standard for environmental and social reporting, Soneva developed its own Total Impact Assessment (TIA) methodology in-house, which includes measuring its Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) and improving year-on-year. By taking a ‘planetary boundaries’ view of its social and environmental impact, the TIA assesses the impact from sources Soneva has direct and indirect control, including natural capital, human capital, social capital, economic capital and tax.
“Soneva is honoured to be awarded the prestigious 2023 Terra Carta Seal. We are dedicated to leading the way in responsible tourism and championing the transformative power of travel and tourism in global conservation efforts. Soneva Resorts has been carbon neutral since 2012. We recently invested USD 9 million in 4.5MWp solar PV and 4.5MWh of battery storage at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, which will take us to 50% of electricity from renewable energy.
“We also have a mandatory 2% environmental levy on all stays. The proceeds go to the non-profit Soneva Foundation, which helps offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from our resort activities as well as guest flights while also supporting impactful global projects such as forest restoration efforts in Mozambique and Thailand, coral restoration in the Maldives, reintroducing near-extinct hornbills to Thailand’s Koh Kood island, distributing fuel-efficient cookstoves in Myanmar and more,” said Arnfinn Oines, Social & Environmental Conscience, Soneva.
For more information about the Soneva Foundation, visit www.sonevafoundation.org