Award-winning Phuket resort Indigo Pearl has extended its ‘green’ commitment, teaming up with the international Sustainable Smiles movement promoting environmental, social and economic sustainability among local communities.
The initiative is being launched with environmental education for over 150 students at two local schools near the 5-star resort, Wat Mongkol and Technical Thalang College.
It will also be implementing programmes with the students, resort staff and the local community to help improve the environment at nearby Nai Yang Beach and the surrounding area.
Already six members of Indigo Pearl staff clean the beach and beach road daily, along with at least two volunteers from Dewa Phuket and Nai Yang Beach Resort.
In addition, monthly beach cleaning is being organised, starting from July 23 at 4pm, with the local community, guests, schools and local businesses encouraged to become involved in these activities.
A Student Action Program (S.A.P.) will guide, train and supervise two small groups of students to design and implement their own community-based environmental project in Nai Yang.
They will receive funding from Indigo Pearl and Seedlings of Change “Bread for the Soul” Mini-Grant Program to implement a project of their choice.
The students will have to survey the surrounding community, interview locals and develop a project plan based on time, budget and need – encouraging local community members, businesses, the local government and other stakeholders to be involved.
An educational programme for local villagers and shopkeepers on Nai Yang Beach Road is also being established.
Indigo Pearl Resort has established a ‘Green Pearl’ environmental committee to execute the green mission.
“Nai Yang is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket. It brings a lot of revenue to local businesses so it is important to protect the environment and life there,” said General Manager of Indigo Pearl, Arnaud Girodon.
“We share many of the same goals as Sustainable Smiles with strong team of passionate and dedicated employees who really care about the environment and want to make a difference in the local community.”
Creating good environmental awareness among local children at a young age is the key, he added.
“They are the future generation. If we can teach them to pay attention to how their actions impact the environment and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to solve environmental problems then they can lead the way to a greener environment and more sustainable future.”
Sustainable Smiles launched the partnership with an environmental workshop for 50 Indigo Pearl staff, engaging in group exercises, presentations and discussions about environmental issues and solutions on how they can improve the environment in their community and at the resort.
Kelly Franklin, who founded the movement, said: “We will be continuing these workshops weekly to build environmental awareness and a strong team to help our efforts to bring environmentally sustainable change to the local community.”
She founded Sustainable Smiles (www.sustainablesmiles.org) as a nonprofit organisation based out of the United States in 2009 to promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability and appreciation for nature in communities around the world.
The movement has initiated environmental education and beach cleanups elsewhere in Thailand at Thai Muang Beach in Phang-Nga Province.
Indigo Pearl has a unique environmental heritage complementing its luxurious style. The resort evokes Phuket’s tin mining industry, incorporating unique furnishings and art pieces from recycled industrial relics.
The concept of ‘’found industrial art” was implemented by renowned international architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, in collaboration with Australian John Underwood, a resident Phuket artist.