Six Senses, renowned for its unique blend of opulence and environmental stewardship, has emerged as a beacon of sustainable tourism. At the heart of this success is a philosophy that intertwines luxurious getaways with a profound respect for nature and local communities.

A Commitment to Transparent Sustainability

Jeffery Smith, Vice President of Sustainability at Six Senses, expresses the company's pride in receiving these prestigious accolades: "Six Senses is thrilled to be recognised by Positive Luxury for our sustainability efforts. This is not only a testament to our hotel teams striving for ambitious goals but also to our partner NGOs and organisations with whom we collaborate to produce meaningful community and environmental impacts in each of our destinations."

Each Six Senses property features an Earth Lab, a dedicated space where sustainability initiatives are crafted, showcased, and shared with guests and the community. These labs provide interactive experiences, allowing guests to engage with the processes behind sustainable practices, from energy generation to composting and water purification. "Transparency adds to the guest experience," Smith notes, highlighting how these initiatives enhance the appeal of Six Senses resorts.

Conservation and Environmental Stewardship

Six Senses integrates guest programming into its Sustainability Fund projects, focusing on environmental and social impact. At Six Senses Laamu, for instance, the marine ecosystem is a primary focus. Guests can participate in activities like scuba diving and dolphin cruises with a marine biologist, contributing to real scientific data collection. The Junior Marine Biologist program offers children hands-on conservation experiences, fostering a new generation of environmental stewards.

At Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, guests join the in-house biologist on jungle hikes to spot critically endangered Langur monkeys. This initiative is part of a broader conservation effort, including monitoring and education, to protect these rare creatures. The resort's restaurant, Zen, also supports local fishers through a responsible sourcing program, allowing guests to enjoy sustainably caught seafood while supporting local livelihoods.

Supporting Local Communities and Economies

Local community support is a cornerstone of Six Senses' operations. In 2022, 80 percent of Six Senses employees and 71 percent of managerial staff were locals. The company’s sustainable purchasing program connects with local suppliers, bolstering local economies and providing platforms for entrepreneurs to showcase their products.

"Our social initiatives are specific to each location and their unique challenges," says Smith. Preference is given to projects that promote community resilience and long-term social benefits. Local groups can propose projects for funding from the hotel’s Sustainability Fund, ensuring that initiatives are community-driven and impactful.

A Message to the Travel Industry

As the recipient of the Travel Business of the Year award, Six Senses hopes to inspire the travel industry to adopt more sustainable practices. "We aim to actively contribute to the restoration and enhancement of the environment and development of our communities while also mitigating our negative impacts from hotel operations," Smith explains. The company’s success demonstrates that environmental and social responsibility can coexist with luxury, setting a powerful example for other businesses.

Plastic Freedom and Beyond

One of Six Senses' most ambitious initiatives is its Plastic Freedom program, which aims to eliminate unnecessary plastics from all properties. "Our goal to be free of unnecessary plastic is on track," Smith proudly states. This initiative started with bottling water on-site and has expanded to encompass broader best practices shared with suppliers and the industry. The elimination of plastic straws was just the beginning, with the ultimate goal being a complete phase-out of all single-use plastics.

Integrative Sustainability Practices

Six Senses’ approach to sustainability is holistic, encompassing every aspect of its operations. Each property utilises local topography and renewable materials to create vibrant, eco-friendly spaces. The company also invests in community development, including education, sanitation, and healthcare programs, ensuring a positive legacy for future generations.

Through responsible operations, Six Senses preserves and rebuilds environments, protecting habitats both on land and in water. Each property maintains an organic garden, providing fresh produce for kitchens and spas, and employs local residents, supporting the surrounding economy.

Funding for the Future

The Six Senses Sustainability Fund is a critical component of the company’s environmental and social initiatives. Comprising 0.5 percent of revenues, 100 percent of soft toy sales and donations, and 50 percent of house-bottled water sales, the fund supports local projects that improve quality of life and restore habitats.

"Our sustainability fund allows us to invest directly back into the communities where we operate, addressing their specific needs and challenges," Smith elaborates. This model ensures that positive impacts are both permanent and continually evolving, driven by local input and collaboration.

A Vision for Global Impact

"Sustainable is not something that we do; it is who we are," Smith asserts. This philosophy is evident in every aspect of Six Senses’ operations, from eco-friendly building practices to community engagement and environmental conservation. The company’s achievements at the Positive Luxury Awards 2024 are a testament to its leadership in the industry and its commitment to a sustainable future.

Six Senses’ innovative practices offer a blueprint for other luxury businesses, proving that high standards of environmental and social responsibility can enhance, rather than detract from, the guest experience. As the travel industry continues to evolve, Six Senses stands as a shining example of what is possible when luxury and sustainability go hand in hand.

By leading the way in sustainable luxury, Six Senses not only enriches the lives of its guests but also contributes significantly to the well-being of our planet and its communities. This dual recognition from the Positive Luxury Awards 2024 celebrates their pioneering efforts and sets a new benchmark for responsible luxury in the hospitality industry.

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