Serena Hotels has remained sensitive towards improving and preserving the environment in which it operates. Responsible management of natural resources in our operations has been a part of our business since construction of our first hotel over four decades ago. As the Company expands, developments and operations have and continue to be guided by a dynamic ecological-policy focusing on actions and projects related to climate change, water and energy conservation, air emissions, reducing and recycling waste to the extent possible, conserve biodiversity, restore natural habitats and respect of local tradition, culture and heritage.
The environmental consequences of our ‘addiction’ to plastic are massive. Marine, birds and wildlife become entangled or choke on our plastic waste, some even mistake it for food. This waste eventually breaks down into tiny toxic particles, which are eaten by plankton and fish and ultimately enter our food chain.
With this in mind, conscious efforts and initiatives to reduce single-use plastic consumption at the 24 Serena properties in Africa have been implemented in a phased manner since 2016, thus further enhancing Serena Hotels commitment to reducing its environmental impact.
At Serena Beach Resort and Spa, a couple of initiaves have been launched and go a long way in reducing plastics along the kenya coast.
The first project is the Walk in Chess on the grounds of the Resort. Implemented in 2017, the walk in chess pieces were made from 2, 512 flipflops collected from the ocean and along the beaches and later recycled and transformed. The pieces carry two themes; Marine Life vs Life cycle of the butterfly based on the conservation projects run at the Resort (Marine life with the King and Queen as turtles based on the Turtle Hatchery Conservation project vs Life Cycle of a Butterfly as king and queens being butterflies based on the Butterfly Park project still based at the resort).
The chess pieces have been handcrafted to protect the oceans and create awareness about the threats of marine debris and the importance of marine conservation. The rubber soles from the flip flops end up being eaten/swalloed which sadly ends up suffocating the fish and other animals. They also obstruct turtle hatchlings from reaching the sea. They have become man-made menace to our fragile ecosystems.
Joining the rest of the wolrd in the fight against plastic waste, the Resort has further replaced single use small guest amenities bottles (shampoo, shower gel, Lotion) in the guest bathrooms that would typically go to the landfills with refillable dispensers. Implemented in september 2018, so far the intitive has eliminated 52, 746. Apart from the amenity bottles, the Serena Beach have also replaced single use plastic water bottles from meeting rooms and opting to serve water on a Carafe. Starting April 2018, 23,143 single use half litre bottles have been eliminated.
Straws, a big contributer to the amount of plastic levels in the environment/oceans, have been replaced with bio-degradable paper straws, eliminating 12,000 plastic straws in one year while the country wide ban of papaer bags necessitaed the alternative solutions and in close to two years, 81,000 single-use bags have been eliminated.
The team at Serena Beach resort and Spa have also played a big role in reducing the amount of plastic waste along the beach by participating in monthly beach clean up in colaboration with Kenya Wildlife Services.
Whilst not exhaustive, other initiatives planned for year 2019 include offering Mineral Water in Glass Bottles at our restaurants for sale to our guests, down-cycling (as some plastics such as bottles cannot be recycled into another plastic bottle) of plastic consumed into another product, such as textiles; continue to educate and inspire our employees and guests on the conservation initiatives in place.
Serena Beach Resort & Spa are committed to operating responsibly and we think this is a powerful step forward to reducing our reliance on plastics.