Nestled at the northernmost point of Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago, Hayman Island is the nearest Whitsunday Island to the Great Barrier Reef’s outer reef. Since its launch in July 2019, the story of InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has been intrinsically linked to its exquisite surrounds. The Resort team recognizes that with its doorstep location to one of the world’s natural wonders comes responsibility to treat the surrounding environment with great care and consideration.
After the destruction of Cyclone Debbie in 2017, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort undertook work to rebuild the island’s infrastructure with sustainability measures at the forefront of the redesign.
Engineers began by implementing a resort-wide building management system to better monitor energy consumption, in addition to installing variable speed drive technology on all pump equipment.
The guest experience was also integrated into the resort’s energy-savings initiatives with the execution of in-room Suite Control systems. These interactive systems allows guests to optimise their in-room climate while minimising energy consumption, and have so far reduced energy costs 20% to 45% per annum. Automated blackout curtains were installed in all guest rooms, along with dimmable light fixtures. All outlets utilize LED fittings, which reduce energy output by 75% and last years longer than conventional fittings.
The Resort also employs several systems that contribute to an overall reduction in waste creation. Rather than continuously import thousands of litres of drinking water a day, the property houses a highly advanced Reverse Osmosis Desalination plant that is capable of recycling salt water from the ocean into fresh, potable water. An onsite treatment plant also processes wastewater and recycles the by-product into the resort’s irrigation system, which is utilized to keep the grounds vibrant and thriving during the dry season.
InterContinental Hayman Island Resort’s culinary team utilizes a Liquid Food Composter, which effectively uses microorganisms to break down food waste and convert it into a nutrient-rich liquid. This high-speed composter reduces the amount of waste that the Resort would otherwise send to landfill by 450 tonnes per year.
Guests also receive a complimentary, reusable water bottle upon check-in reinforcing the 2021 Queensland ban on single-use plastics. Filtered water stations are placed in convenient guest areas so that visitors can refill their bottles and remain hydrated throughout their stay and well beyond.
The Grove, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort’s on-site boutique, strives to support businesses that either operate sustainably or support environmental causes. Bracelets that fund ocean cleanup and protection charities, certified B Corp swimwear companies and clothiers that produce items from recycled materials can all be found in-store.
If desired, environmental education can also play a key role in any visit to InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Conference groups can pre-arrange interactive sessions with a Marine Biologist on Blue Pearl Bay or neighbouring islands and include sustainability theming into their stay, while InterContinental Planet Trekker’s Kids Club has designed an education program for little travellers which centres on local marine life and conservation.
Hayman Island itself is also a dedicated wildlife sanctuary. The island team is committed to animal welfare, and guests can see native fauna thriving across the island; from flying foxes and cockatoos, to protected species such as Proserpine rock wallabies.
The resort works with several external partners to contribute to larger sustainability initiatives across the region and world.
Whitsundays Healthy Heart Project This local initiative, developed by the Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub, provides an opportunity for regional businesses to implement and attain more ambitious sustainability targets. By working with operators on an individual basis, the project seeks to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef, help the Whitsundays attain certified “Sustainable Destination” status and achieve a regional zero-net emissions target by 2050.
Alliance for Water Stewardship
The Alliance for Water Stewardship is a global membership collaboration comprising businesses, NGOs and the public sector that advocates for the equitable and sustainable use of freshwater resources. The Alliance is assessing the Resort’s water performance and will develop a long-term strategy for bettering our freshwater consumption strategy.
Anything Environmental We work with a local Airlie Beach recycling plant, Anything Environmental to reduce our contribution to landfill. Our team sends all recyclable waste to their nearest depot for weekly processing.
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