Pioneering Sustainable Tourism In Sri Lanka And The Maldives 

By Heritance Hotels and Resorts

Heritance Hotels and Resorts has been recognised as pioneering sustainable tourism, and continuously striving to sustain and innovate processes that reduce the impact of its resorts on its surroundings. 

Proudly adorning the Heritance banner are accolades that mater – such as the LEED and Travelife Gold certifications, testaments to the highly responsible management of the property’s socio-economic and environmental impacts as well as the high level of commitment towards sustainability. As guests relax in the serene ambiance of a Heritance properties, they can be assured that their enjoyable experience doesn’t come at the planet’s expense. 

The sustainability philosophy of Heritance Hotels and Resorts goes beyond mere hospitality; it sees travel as not just a journey across lands but a transformative exploration of self and society. It invites guests from around the world to join a movement where each stay contributes to broader perspectives, supports local communities, and fosters a harmonious planet. The Heritance experience is more than just accommodation; it’s a commitment to a sustainable and brighter future. 

Across the Heritance Hotels and Resorts portiolio, the essence of sustainable comfort shines brightly through many gems. Here are three shining examples in Sri Lanka and the Maldives – Heritance Kandalama and Heritance in Sri Lanka, and Heritance Aarah in the Maldives. 

“…the park consists of a plant nursery, bee keeping area, recycling segregation area, paper recycling plant and sustainability learning space developed to create awareness on flora and fauna and sustainability. “

Heritance Kandalama 

Nestled amidst the verdant embrace of Sri Lanka’s tropical landscape lies the eco-aesthetic architectural masterpiece, Heritance Kandalama, a creation of the legendary architect Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa. The entire hotel has been built on a raised platform resting on columns, allowing rain to flow freely from the mountainside into Kandalama Lake. Capturing the essence of tropical modernism, the opened spaces within the property allows natural light and air to freely flow throughout, creating a lasting blend with the man-made world and the natural world. 

Heritance Kandalama is the first ever LEED certified hotel outside the USA, the first Green Globe certified hotel in Asia and boasts the longest continuously certified ISO 14001 Environment Management system in Sri Lanka. These significant recognitions are a testament to the harmonious coexistence with nature. Heritance Kandalama has largely invested in enhancing the growth of the biodiversity forest oasis this year by incorporating an extra 13 acres into its conservation forest, resulting in a total of 211 acres. This expansion signifies Heritance Kandalama’s enduring commitment to environmental sustainability and aims to create a bridge to the surrounding existing verdant nature reserves. The Eco Park at Heritance Kandalama is another key initiative maintained by the hotel and the park consists of a plant nursery, bee keeping area, recycling segregation area, paper recycling plant and sustainability learning space developed to create awareness on flora and fauna and sustainability. 

To find out more about Heritance Kandalama’s sustainability initiatives or to make a reservation, visit: htps:// 

Heritance Ahungalla 

Amidst the sands and swaying palms of Sri Lanka’s southern coast, Heritance Ahungalla emerges as a hotel of comfort fused with sustainability. Created with an understanding of the fragile coastal ecosystem, the hotel’s practices prioritize marine conservation and beach preservation. As guests enjoy the beauty of Ahungalla, they are also welcomed to witness and contribute to turtle conservation and mangrove reforestation initiatives. The hotel features a specially designed turtle-shaped structure for waste disposal, where guests are encouraged to responsibly dispose of their garbage as well as those left behind by others on the beach. 

This unique initiative not only keeps the environment clean but also raises awareness about turtle conservation and its significance. Heritance Ahungalla is deeply intertwined with a commitment to the environment and the local community, ensuring that a stay here resonates with purpose, pleasing guests while championing eco-centric initiatives. 

“…the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold awarded resort in the Maldives, cementing its commitment to sustainability from the outset.”

Heritance Aarah 

Located in the breath-taking Raa Atoll with a short 45mins seaplane ride from Malé, Heritance Aarah is leading the charge for sustainable tourism in the Maldives. Designed by a prominent architect in the Maldives, encompassing the true Maldivian spirit into the design, the resort opened its doors in 2019, and became the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold awarded resort in the Maldives, cementing its commitment to sustainability from the outset. Since that time, the premium all-inclusive resort has unveiled an array of eco-minded and CSR initiatives that help to protect the environment, support local communities, and celebrate the rich history of Maldivian culture. 

Here are 10 inspiring ways Heritance Aarah continues to set the benchmark for sustainable tourism and CSR in the Maldives. 

1. Celebrating Maldivian Culture 

In 2021, Heritance Aarah achieved a remarkable milestone as the pioneering resort to introduce the immersive concept of a Live Maldivian Village Museum and gallery, offering guests a glimpse into the Maldivian way of life dating back 4,000 years. As they explore the village, visitors can sample traditional food items in the open kitchen, discover the handicratis and trades that have supported the nation’s economy, and learn about the history of the Maldives and its self-sufficient practices. What truly sets the resort’s Live Museum apart is their commitment to interactive live demonstrations, which are the key highlight of this experience with scheduled demonstrations upon request. With a captivating Maldivian experience show, guests are allowed to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and history of the beautiful nation. 

2. Supporting Local Fishing Communities 

The resort supports local fisheries by purchasing seafood direct from local communities. This contributes to the economic sustainability of the region and reduces food miles. 

3. Using Eco-Friendly Tableware 

To minimise waste and landfill, Heritance Aarah uses biodegradable materials such as paper plates and paper straws – a move that has seen 182,500 plastic straws saved from landfill. 

4. Sustainable Island Gardening 

Rainwater harvesting provides invaluable support for island agriculture and gardening. The resort proudly recycles and repurposes 100% of wastewater. 

5. Growing Organic Herbs & Vegetables 

Heritance Aarah’s organic herb and vegetable garden supplies reduces the need for externally sourced ingredients. 

6. Procuring Local Produce 

The resort’s chefs seek out fresh, local ingredients from local communities, building a thriving network of growers and producers. 

7. Sustainable Energy Initiatives 

Heritance Aarah harnesses the power of heat recovery to meet hot water requirements and embraces solar energy, boasting a total capacity of 320.7 kWp. 

8. Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Bottles 

With its state-of-the-art in-house water botling plant and refillable glass botles, Heritance Aarah has effectively ceased the inflow of single-use plastic botles. 

9. Innovating Waste Management 

To maintain Heritance Aarah’s island throughout the year, the resort has implemented an innovative waste management system. The centre-piece of this system is the ‘Wet Garbage Digester Machine’, which converts wet garbage into eco-friendly soil additives. 

10. Launching Sustainability Awareness and Educational Programmes 

The resort hosts an array of awareness and educational programmes for guests and staff. By offering insights into common plants, animals on land, marine life, unique ecosystems, and endemic species, we aim to cultivate a deep appreciation for these treasures. 

The 7R Principles of Heritance Hotels: 

1. Reject all non-biodegradable material, such as packaging material and plastic wherever possible. 

2. Reduce the use of resources, especially those based on non-biodegradable material that cannot be 


3. Reuse every possible resource especially those that cannot be rejected or reduced such as paper, 

plastic packaging material, construction material etc. Eg: Durables against Disposables. 

4. Reclaim what cannot be totally reused. Eg: Wastewater and sewage sludge – reclaimed, treated, and converted to compost. 

5. Replace what cannot be rejected, reduced, or reused with more environmentally friendly options. 

Eg: Oil based paints with water based. Plastic with other biodegradable options. Cycle or walk without burning fossil fuels. 

6. Repair what is broken and reuse them. Eg: Broken furniture, machinery and other equipment can be repaired and reused without extracting new resources. 

7. Recycle every material, so that nothing goes to waste. Eg: Wastewater, cooking oil, engine oil, metal cans, plastic containers, PET botles etc. 


Leave a Comment