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Environmental Wellness in the Land of Smiles
As a luxury health resort, Chiva-Som is in the business of helping people take care of their own well-being; but, as a firm believer in the purpose of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations, they are also dedicated to nurturing and protecting their environment.
Chiva-Som was founded in 1995 with the philosophy that, “For society to flourish, personal wellness must go hand in hand with environmental wellness” states Krip Rojanastien, Chiva-Som’s Chairman & CEO. This is the ‘Haven of Life Philosophy’. Chiva-Som lives up to this by co-existing with the local flora as the environmental preservation steward of the Krailart Niwate Mangrove Preservation Centre.
Mangrove trees hold three to five times as much carbon dioxide as tropical forests and so offer value to the climate by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. The preservation centre forms part of the last remaining Mangrove ecosystem in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is an important environmental factor as the world has lost fifty percent of its global Mangrove coverage in the last half century, due in many cases to commercial development. Chiva-Som is leading the way to reverse this damaging trend through reforestation, with over five thousand Mangrove trees planted since 2007.
“We are immensely proud of our stewardship of the mangrove ecosystem.” Says Chiva-Som Manager, Win Rojanastein. “Because deforestation has become a huge problem for Thailand over the last few decades.” He explained how Thailand is particularly vulnerable to climate change before continuing. “[It is important to] reverse this trend for future generations.”
Chiva-Som’s efforts for the youth of today are not limited to planting the forests of tomorrow. The group leads beyond the confines of the resort by conducting sessions in local schools to educate children on the benefits of Mangrove forests, healthy lifestyles and humanity’s overall impact on the environment.
The guests of the resort are encouraged to live healthy and sustainable lives. While they are at the resort, they can do so by partaking of food grown in Chiva-Som’s own organic farms, as well as a number of another initiatives, such as energy conservation, solar water heating and solid waste reduction as well as the re-use of water waste. These initiatives have the effect of reducing operating costs, making sense from a business point of view as well as from an environmental perspective.
Chiva-Som are anticipating the effects of climate change on the hospitality industry. Their goal is to work towards becoming carbon neutral through new and expanding initiatives, such as raising public awareness and minimising non-biodegradable products in their operations.
Such efforts go a long way to making a positive and lasting impact on the environment. Chiva-Som believe in ensuring that future generations do not have to deal with the fallout of a ruined world and so are taking tangible, practical steps show the hospitality industry that it is possible to effectively run their operations while offering a positive contribution to the wider world and its environment.