CINNAMON CSR AND SUSTAINABILITY
We are a responsible corporate entity – while one part of our focus remains on the experience of our guests, another important faculty is dedicated to being good citizens and engaging both locals and guests in sustainable practices across the hotels and in their lives. Cinnamon conducts business in a sustainable manner, identifying, measuring, and monitoring material, economic, social, and environmental impacts to ensure that our growth, earnings, and reputation can be sustained and improved in the long term.
We have an impact on the lives of our guests, our employees, the communities we work in, our suppliers and business partners, and surrounding environments.In addition,we meet the financial needs of our key investors and shareholders. We also inspire others to adopt sustainable practices and engage in projects that uplift the lives of those in need. We help preserve the limited resources of the planet whilst enhancing guests experiences with us.
Our vision is to facilitate the socio economic progress of the communities we operate in, whilst minimising our environment footprint. We have, in fact, reduced our carbon footprint by 2 to 0.8 metric tonnes (as at now) – an achievement that was possible due to our group’s efficient sustainability policy, spanning the following areas:
We strive to conduct activities in accordance with the highest standards of corporate best practice and in compliance with all applicable local and international regulatory requirements and conventions.
We monitor and assess the quality and environmental impact of our operations, services and products whilst striving to include supply chain partners and customers, where relevant, and to the extent possible.
We are committed to transparency and open communication about our environmental and social practices in addition to economic performance. We seek open dialogues with stakeholders in order to contribute to the development of global best practices.
Here is a quick snapshot of a few key projects among the innumerable sustainable initiatives conducted by the group:
Reducing our emissions is of paramount importance to us. As such we have already installed bio-gas digesters at Cinnamon Citadel Kandy and Habarana Village by Cinnamon. All food waste is used to generate bio-gas, which then goes on to be used in the staff kitchens of the respective resorts. The coming year will see another bio-gas digester at Cinnamon Wild Yala. Our Maldives resort Hakuraa Huraa will also commence installation of a bio-gas digester in collaboration with the UNDP.
Current Results: Reduction of Carbon Footprint by 25 Mt
Energy is an essential input for most of our resort operations and is among one of our top expenses. This naturally led us to implement concentrated efforts across all our resorts to increase energy efficiency on a consistent basis. As a policy, low energy consuming equipment is utilised when replacing higher energy consuming units, whilst employees and guests are encouraged to contribute towards conserving energy.
Cinnamon Lodge Habarana & Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon utilise energy on a co-generation basis. In addition, solar heaters have been installed at Habarana Village by Cinnamon to heat water in guest rooms.
Current Results: Reduction of Energy usage by 8,700 kWh per month
Our water policy seeks to conserve and optimise the use of water obtained from surface and ground water sources. We also attempt to re-use waste water after treatment when possible, to reduce the intake of fresh water. All our resorts actively engage in recycling water being used for the gardening and washing requirements of the respective properties.
Current Results: Annual water saving of 816 cubic meters
We believe in the mantra of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; multiple initiatives are in place to meet our waste reduction goals. A state-of-the-art waste management system has enabled all resorts to effectively segregate, recycle and responsibly dispose of waste in an environmentally-friendly manner. In our Sri Lankan resorts, wet waste is used to generate energy whilst the remainder is sent to local piggeries. Recyclable material obtained from dry waste is sent to recyclers certified by the Central Environmental Authority and garden waste is used to generate eco-friendly fertilisers.
Cinnamon Lodge Habarana has an in-house paper recycling plant that utilises waste paper generated from hotel operations and elephant dung to produce recycled paper. The project is now moving into its second phase with increased participation from the women in the community. Meanwhile, all our Maldivian resorts continue to use discarded timber to produce a variety of items for guests including guest room trays, wine display racks, lamp shades, brochure stands and ash trays among others. Cinnamon Dhonveli also uses bio-degradable and discarded materials such as dry coconuts and damaged chipboards in order to produce eco-friendly decor. At Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa, waste paper is used as an input to produce building blocks.
Current Results: Non-hazardous decline of 14% and landfill waste generated declined by 16% to 1.94 kg during the year from 2.31 kg the previous year.
Protecting the bio-diversity and natural elements around us has become second nature to us. The launch of Cinnamon Nature Trails and the training of expert naturalists enable us to pass on this knowledge to our guests and staff as well. Here’s a quick glance at some of the key projects we have undertaken in recent years:
An on-going project in its fourth year of operation, Project Leopard in Yala has dual objectives of supporting the livelihoods of cattle farmers and protects the leopard population living in and outside the boundary of the parks. We have distributed 50 steel pens to cattle farmers, enabling them to protect their cattle from leopards in the area, an effort that won the distinguished Davis Award for Peace last year at the University of Clark – USA. This project is supervised and deployed by the Cinnamon Nature Trails naturalists at Cinnamon Wild, Yala.
The ‘Cinnamon Elephant Project’ is a collaborative effort between Cinnamon Hotels and the Centre for Conservation and Research, a groundbreaking initiative to develop best practices in elephant tourism. Elephants are identified based on their morphological characters and their life stories are followed by the naturalists at the Cinnamon Hotels. This information is shared with visitors while on safari and based at the Cinnamon Lodge through a newly-constructed elephant research station, enabling them to obtain a unique, enriching and more personal experience.
Cinnamon Nature Trails has been involved in conducting whale watching in the East since 2009. Our teams have been recording unusually high numbers of sperm whales off the Trincomalee sea each year. This phenomenon has now been identified as the Super Pods of sperm whales, and the team began collating data to understand the reasons for these mega congregations in Trinco, also observed in Mirissa and Kalpitiya.
CINNAMON RAINFOREST RESTORATION PROJECT
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts proudly launched its latest sustainability initiative, “Cinnamon Rainforest Restoration Project” in collaboration with Ruk Rakaganno (The Tree Society of Sri Lanka), Forest Department Sri Lanka and the John Keells Foundation, to restore a degraded 50-acre plot over a period of three years after which nature will take over the regeneration process. Natural forest regrowth is increasingly being seen as a viable climate change solution globally and this project, heralds the dawn of a new era in enriching Sri Lanka’s biodiversity amid a sense of urgency.
The 50-acre site is situated in the Ratnapura District, at a proximity of 3.5 kilometers from the biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, one of the few virgin forests left in the country. Restoring and reforesting this 50-acre site will further enrich the ecological significance of the region which also consists of numerous waterfalls and places of cultural and religious significance. The “Cinnamon Rainforest Restoration Project” provides a timely role model for corporate institutions working with government organizations and NGOs to conserve the biodiversity.