At Waxpol Hotels and Resorts, we have implemented practices that incorporate sustainability in most of our operations. We have also ensured that our employees, partners and the locals are active participants in our conservation efforts. Our endeavor is to ensure our processes cause minimal environmental impact and that the natural resources are consumed responsibly. Our motto is to implement the 4 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Replenish. Our resorts are periodically audited by external agencies like TOFT (Tour Operators For Tigers) and Department of Tourism, Ministry of India.
Sustainability is a key focus area in the conservation processes implemented across all our resorts. We have devoted considerable amount of time and effort to develop an approach that has helped in ensuring responsible consumption of water and energy as well as reducing the amount of solid waste generated. We have created awareness amongst the local community via our community development initiatives about the importance of sustainable tourism and conservation.
We have adopted a forward-thinking approach that includes:
- Minimum generation of waste emissions.
- Zero discharge of liquid and solid waste.
- Minimal net consumption of water and energy.
- Rain water harvesting.
- CO2 sequestering through development of Green infrastructure.
- Maintaining diversity.
- Integrating tourism into planning.
- Supporting local economies.
- Involving local communities.
- Improve architecture/use of local materials to maximize use of natural lighting/ ventilation and minimize heat absorption/ release.
Our model of low impact and responsible luxury adventure tourism can help protect endangered species and threatened ecosystems.
Some of our practices are:
For Energy conservation, we have installed Solar Lights, Solar Powered Heaters for warm water and Solar Charged Batteries for regular use of electronic appliances. From 2004 to 2017, Sunderban Tiger Camp did not have any direct source of electricity due to its unique location in the Sundarbans National Park. Presently, there is an electric line that supplies power for approximately two hours everyday. The use of solar power reduces the reliance on using wood as a source of energy, which in turn reduces deforestation. It also results in avoiding the use of hydel power in the Sundarbans area as it endangers the aquatic life.
At Waxpol Hotels and Resorts, we understand the importance of maintaining water sustainability in the regions where our wildlife resorts are situated. We have implemented a combination of rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and recycling processes at all our resorts.
- We harvest and conserve rainwater, which, after purification, is used for drinking, bathing, cooking and irrigation. This is especially beneficial for the Sunderban Tiger Camp as the region has no direct source of sweet water or underground water. Our rainwater harvesting process has resulted in fresh water being available 24 hours everyday. The harvested rainwater is collected in the specially constructed freshwater pond that attracts a variety of birds and animals.
- The waste water from all the outlets is channeled, collected, cleaned, and used for gardening.
- Zero Water Discharge Units: Zero Water Discharge is a water treatment process in which all wastewater is purified and recycled; therefore, leaving zero discharge at the end of the treatment cycle. Sunderban Tiger Camp units are encouraged to eliminate water discharge. This is being achieved through water conservation and the reuse of treated wastewater. The ‘zero discharge’ target helps reduce fresh water intake. More importantly, it also minimizes energy consumption, brings down indirect CO2 emissions and eliminates effluent pollution.
- Water Efficiency landscaping – Planting indigenous saplings of trees that do not require a lot of water to grow, nourish the soil and also prevent soil erosion.
We are proud to be recognised as a ‘water positive’ organisation. This means that we harvest more water than what is consumed by our units. This is achieved by specifying the amount of water consumed per activity at our resorts. For Example: Hot water is given through taps and filled in buckets and mixed with cold water for bathing.
Garbage and Recycling Policy
We follow what we call the R effect:
We have implemented processes that reduce generation of waste and divert waste away from disposal and towards its recovery as a valuable commodity. At an organisation level, this includes incorporating waste-wise product design manufacturing processes and in our business operations. At a resort level, this involves segregating waste at source into organic and inorganic waste. The organic waste is then transferred to the onsite vermiculture pits for composting. The rich compost is then used to improve the garden soil and boost the outdoor plants.
Zero Garbage Policy
- The resorts handle organic waste each day using their array of vermiculture pits. These pits produce rich fertilizer that is used in the gardens and vegetable patches.
- Guests and staff members do not have permission to pluck fruits from the fruit bearing trees on property. The fruits are left for the birds to consume.
- Separate recycling bin for guest use is placed in common areas. The garbage is segregated and the non recyclable items are given free of cost to Kabadiwallas (junk dealers).
- Some of the garbage bins used by us are made from recycled plastic/resort waste.
- Increasing substantially the forest/ tree cover in the region through massive afforestation, especially on all denuded, degraded and unproductive lands. We have planted saplings of indigenous origin in and around our resorts in Pench National Park, Dooars and Sundarbans National Park.
- Encouraging efficient utilization of forest produce and maximizing substitution of wood.
- Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchments areas of rivers and creeks in the interest of conservation and mitigation floods and droughts.
- Creating a massive people’s movement with the involvement of women, for achieving these objectives and minimizing pressure on existing forests.
- Energy efficient LED lamps are used that provide more light than the ordinary bulbs, yet consume substantially less energy. Guest room lights are only put on when the master switch located outside the rooms is on and that too, only when the guests are in the room.
- Solar water heaters are used to supply hot water in guest rooms.
- Solar lights have been installed in outdoor areas in all our properties.
- Non-CFC emitting air conditioners and mini fridges are fitted in guest rooms in The Riverwood Forest Retreat – Pench.
Infrastructure facilities such as construction of roads, bridges and modernizing of resorts and waste management are mostly subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as per the notification and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest in this regard.
India is, and has always been, a store house of eco-cultural resources. The cultural attractions can be classified as performance arts and handmade artefacts. The former includes Folk songs, drama, Folk dances, etc.
We organise tours and visits to local villages near our resorts where guests can interact with the locals and purchase traditional and handmade artefacts. This provides the villagers an additional source of income.
- At Sunderban Tiger Camp, we organise folk dances and Bonobibi Yatra. This achieves the dual purpose of generating employment and allowing for cultural exchange amongst the locals and the guests.
- The Riverwood Forest Retreat – Pench organises visits to the nearby potters village where guests can watch or try their hand at making pots. They can learn about the local culture and customs as well as purchase terracotta souvenirs.
Guests can purchase bamboo art and artefacts made from buffalo horn during the local village tours organised by The Riverwood Forest Retreat – Dooars.
Loyalty of the locals to become conservationists can only be achieved by promoting sustainable tourism and providing them with employment. This makes them self reliant and less dependent on the forest for their livelihood, thus reducing man- animal conflicts and making the inhabitants responsible and responsive in the wildlife conservation efforts. 95% of employees that work at Waxpol Resorts belong to the local populace. Some of the community development initiatives undertaken by us are:
- Training local people: Tourism Services, Language and Skills.
- Development of Local Handicrafts in the region
- Cultural Exchange between Locals and Tourists: Village Walks and Special Talk Education
- Knowledge of interdependence with the Forest and Wildlife
- Better Quality of Life and Lifestyle growth
- Education opportunities for the children of the employees
- Financial Safety and Security for the employees
- All staff members of Waxpol Hotels and Resorts have been given health insurance and have access to healthcare facilities as well.