Audits of environmental sustainability management systems at Maldivian hotels

          Date: June 2013

          Third party audits executed at three of the leading resorts in the Maldives

          June 2013 – Male/Maldives

          Daniel Koeppel Associates Co. Ltd. had the privilege to be mandated to execute 3 separate 2 man-days audits at three of the leading resorts in the Maldives.

          What is a third party audit?

          do and don't when diving on a reef

          A definition following the ISO 19011 standard is:

          “The systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.”

          Audits are an effective and reliable tool in support of management policies and controls, providing information on which an organisation can act to continuously improve its performance.

          What are the benefits of an environmental management system audit?

          Audits act as an effective risk management tool for assessing compliance with legislation, and thereby avoiding the risk of prosecution and fines arising from potential breaches.

          Additionally, stakeholders (particularly guests) have heightened expectations for a company’s environmental performance particularly when the property’s location is in a very pristine location and or the property makes statements of environmental sustainability actions taken.

          Conducting an environmental audit will help reassure stakeholders that a company is living up to its environmental and social principles.Environmental Audit 2

          Internally speaking an audit also serves as reaffirmation towards the employees. It is the owners or top management who has the vision on implementing an environmental sustainability certification, but it is the employees who implement and upkeep it on a daily basis.

          The communication prior to an third party audit should be the one of encouragement and reflection. What are the prevailing problems and challenges at the property level? Such problems and challenges should be communicated to the auditor. An auditor who has substantial experience not only in the systems and compliance approach but also he or she can draw knowledge from multiple operations with perhaps similar problems and subsequent solution attempts.

          The added value of a well planned third party audit is hard to dispute.

          Best practices examples from the Maldives

          Bulb Checking station

          Apparently blown bulbs are double checked prior to disposal.

          * Broken bulbs are tested again prior to finally discarding them

          * Sand pumbs are used to counteract beach erosion and migration

          * The adaptation of 1 hour of time saving by changing all clocks one hour forward.

          * Information on Do’s and Don’ts when diving on a reef is included in the waiver form filled out by guest renting dive equipment.

          * Guest feedback questionnaire includes questions about visibility of CSR practices as well as requests for suggestions in regards of environmental sustainability actions.

          * Palm leaves are sent to an nearby island where they are used to produce roof coverings.

          Flytrap

          A home built fly trap

          * Construction of Natural fly trap in front of Kitchen entrance.

          * Used deep frying oil protects the extensive wooden jetties.The oil is applied to coat the wood to protect it from the sun and seawater.

          * The pumps for the villa plunge pool and 2 swimming pools are running 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening as a default or according utilization.

          * The Hotels landscape lighting is 100% directed downwards therefore minimizing effectively light pollution for the surrounding biosphere.

          * Maintaining the landscape by leaving dead leafs on the ground underneath the plants. Only walkways are cleared daily. Hence support natural soil forming + reduce the amount of bio mass burned in the incinerator.

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