Heritance Kandalama Awarded EarthCheck Silver Certification for Environmental Practices

15 May

The environmental practices of Heritance Kandalama have been recognised by EarthCheck; the world’s leading sustainable travel and tourism certification organization in line with the Green Globe Company Standard for Travel and Tourism.  Heritance Kandalama was first certified by Green Globe in 1999 and was the first hotel in Asia to be Green Globe certified based on the agenda 21 principles for sustainable development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. Heritance Kandalama has now achieved Silver certification under the revised Green Globe Company standards for Travel and Tourism.

The EarthCheck Program is widely regarded as the world’s most scientifically rigorous, and is focused on maximising operational efficiencies to minimise CO2 emissions, while supporting host communities. It looks at key environmental indicators such as energy and water consumption, total waste production as well as community commitment, to determine the level of performance. Only those companies that can demonstrate operational practices that adhere to the highest environmental standards receive the much-coveted Silver Certification.

“We are delighted to be awarded the Earthcheck Silver Certification for Environmental Practices. Winning this award attests to our stance on sustainability and reinforces our commitment towards reducing energy consumption which will help us reduce our carbon footprint”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Prior to achieving certification, Heritance Kandalama successfully benchmarked its operations using the EarthCheck tool. This involved the organisation submitting a year’s worth of operational data, and having it compared to that of other organisations that are similar in kind.

“The ability to provide the world’s finest green hotel experiences is made tangible by the accolades won by Heritance Kandalama. The awards and accreditations won by the hotel are a testament of our commitment to our guests and the environment in which we operate in” said Mr. B H R Sariffo’deen, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The EarthCheck Program uses more than a decade of factual, operational data, submitted by over 1000 companies in 60+ countries. By taking such a holistic view of company practices, Heritance Kandalama was able to identify where they were out-performing others, and where room for improvement remained.

“I am delighted that Heritance Kandalama has achieved Certified Silver status,” says Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. Heritance Kandalama has recognised a maturing of the science behind climate change and environmental sustainability, and has chosen to apply the highest possible standard to their practices. “Going well beyond mere tick-box action is not an easy task. It requires the commitment of all levels of staff, as well as a readiness to submit to expert scrutiny. Heritance Kandalama has emerged as an example of an organisation committed to environmentally sustainable tourism, and the EarthCheck logo will serve to demonstrate that their claims are both credible and relevant.”

Changing regulatory environments, rapidly evolving markets and complex risk implications require organisations access specialised tools and expertise. Taking a science-based approach, Heritance Kandalama has increased efficiencies, maximised guest experience and minimised their environmental footprint. Heritance Kandalama has turned garbage into a resource by practicing the “7 R” principle introduced by Mr. Ravi de Silva, Environmental Consultant, Aitken Spence Hotels. This has resulted in the hotel producing zero waste while also benefiting monetarily by selling sorted waste for reuse and recycling purposes.

EarthCheck is the next generation of environmental certification and benchmarking. It is the culmination of a journey that began in 1987 and continues to this day. Exclusively owned by EC3 Global, the EarthCheck Program is used by more sustainable travel and tourism companies than any other; helping them navigate the path forwards with certainty and peace of mind, while recognizing that the planet deserves more than half measures.

Heritance Kandalama is positioned regally by the placid waters of the Kandalama tank; it surveys the rich wildlife that visits its precincts. Located amidst verdant jungle, calm waters and rocky mountains, it offers a holiday where one can wake up to bird calls, stunning vistas, profuse foliage and luxury. Heritance Kandalama is flanked by two UNESCO world heritage sites-the 1st century BC Dambulla rock temple and the 5th century AD Sigiriya rock fortress while it also has its share of unrivalled international recognition. The hotel has received many accolades for their environmentally friendly operations which demonstrate their strengthened commitment towards the individual environments in which they operate in and their responsiveness towards the crisis faced with regards to the depletion of natural resources. The Heritance Kandalama team and their stake holders are the heart of the hotels efforts and by gaining their commitment towards ‘greening the chain’; the hotel will continue to make a difference locally and collectively make a difference globally.

Media Release – 15 May 2010

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