Nestled at the northernmost point of Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago, Hayman Island is the nearest Whitsunday Island to the outer reef, with direct access to the Great Barrier Reef. Since its launch in July 2019, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort’s journey has been intrinsically linked to its exquisite surrounds and the safeguarding and protection of these is at the forefront of General Manager Arpad Romandy’s sustainability commitment.
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 new designs. A resort-wide building management system was implemented, and there was installation of variable speed drive technology on pump equipment to reduce electricity usage. An in-room automation system – Suite Control – was installed to improve the guest experience and reduce electricity consumption. The Suite Control system reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions, and while producing a cost saving of between 20 percent to 45 percent annually. The system regulates the room environment with the aim of optimising guest preferences including temperature and fan-speed, while minimising energy consumption. In addition to this, automated black-out curtains and light-dimming were installed. Conventional light fittings were reduced and replaced with LED fittings to provide longer life and less maintenance combined with energy savings.
From a waste management perspective, the resort employs several processes to achieve greater sustainability and less impact on the Great Barrier Reef environment. Due to the geographical location of Hayman Island, all water used on the island is produced through an onsite Reverse Osmosis Desalination plant that is capable of recycling salt water from the ocean into fresh drinking water. Additionally, the by-product of the sewage treatment plant is used as recycled irrigation water on the vegetation throughout the resort landscape. In addition to these measures, the resort undertakes wet food recycling. This is designed to biologically convert solid food waste materials into ecofriendly and nutrient rich liquid. The liquid flows into the existing sewerage system, reducing general waste landfill by more than 450 tonnes per annum.
During their stay, guests are taken on a journey of education when it comes to the island’s neighbouring reef ecosystems. They are exclusively supplied with reef-safe sunscreen, namely environmentally friendly Australian owned We Are Feel Good Inc. products which is a biologically safer sunscreen alternative. The activation of this initiative is an effort negate the wider effects of toxic sunscreen on the world’s oceans and a result of a myriad of international scientific research projects that detail the long-lasting effects of sunscreen ingredients on the world’s reef ecosystems. Guests also receive a complimentary, reusable water bottle upon check-in reinforcing the ban on single-use plastics and will be encouraged to refill this during their stay from the multiple still filtered water stations placed conveniently across the resort.
Conference groups can embark on Sustainability Tours and interactive sessions with the region’s leading Marine Biologists on Blue Pearl Bay, while InterContinental Planet Trekker’s Kids Club has designed an education program for little travellers which centres on local marine life and conservation. Kids can enjoy Sand Flat Tours on Hayman Island’s beachfront as expert guides teach them about marine life before taking on Garden Tours with the resort’s Executive Chef to plant herbs.
The above sustainability initiatives have been implemented to conserve Hayman Island’s natural beauty for years to come.
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