Over the past ten years, Heritage Bel Ombre has constantly sought to reinvent itself to offer visitors the best of Mauritius while protecting the local environment and neighbouring communities. Heritage Resorts is now leading on four new social and environmental sustainability projects.
Better waste management
On the 1st of April 2019, Heritage Resorts implemented a new process to improve the consistency and efficiency of its waste management. The different units operating at Heritage Awali and Heritage Le Telfair now send their waste to on-site disposal centres, where the refuse is sorted by a dedicated member of staff. The different types of waste are then sent to certified recyclers. The goal is both to recycle as much as possible in order to reduce the amount sent to landfill, but also to ensure that the waste is 100% traceable. Heritage Resorts will be able to quantify how much refuse it produces every month, allowing it to progressively set targets to reduce its waste.
Reducing food waste
In the next few weeks, Heritage Resorts will launch a new initiative in collaboration with NGO FoodWise. The goal is to retrieve and preserve leftover food (notably from hotel buffets) and distribute it, through an official distributor, to beneficiaries. This initiative will not only reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions, but also provide food to struggling communities. According to FoodWise, one-third of the food produced globally is wasted; if this food were distributed, it would be enough to feed those in food poverty four times over. Since 2015, the association has saved 15 tons of food from landfill and distributed 60,000 meals.
Training and employment
In 2017, Heritage Resorts teamed up with the Maison Familiale Rurale de la Savane, a non-profit school in Riambel that offers school-leavers vocational training in technical trades. The aim of this partnership is to allow the students to put their new knowledge into practice via apprenticeships at Heritage Bel Ombre. Participants attend classes for several months then spend several months working in Heritage Bel Ombre’s cooking and maintenance departments. They are provided with free transportation, meals and school supplies. The first cohort of participants graduated in 2018, and three of the programme’s alumni are now employed in Heritage Bel Ombre’s maintenance department.
Heritage Resorts Academy
Heritage Resorts has a long history of working with local NGOs and schools to help educate young people, so it was only a matter of time before the group created its own school at Heritage Bel Ombre. The construction of the Heritage Resorts Academy will begin on the estate’s grounds in July 2019. The Academy will initially offer catering and housekeeping courses with both theoretical and practical modules, and will subsequently expand its curriculum. The project will provide young people from the area with first-class, remunerated training, with the possibility of being employed after the course. From Heritage Resorts’ perspective, this project will offer professional development opportunities to those living in the region and make it easier to recruit qualified individuals who share its brand values.
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