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The Brando Celebrates Earth Day Highlighting Sustainability Efforts And Educational Programs Implemented At The Resort

April 25, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

The Brando, an environmentally-friendly, luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private atoll of Tetiaroa, composed of a dozen idyllic islets surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles north of Tahiti, celebrates Earth Day by highlighting sustainability efforts and educational programs implemented at the resort.

The Brando is committed to preserving and protecting the natural splendor and precious biodiversity of Tetiaroa; respecting and supporting Polynesian culture, hospitality and traditions; and achieving a negligible carbon footprint. The resort continues to establish a new world standard by utilizing pioneering technology and operating exclusively with renewable and non-fossil energy sources and has nearly achieved its goal of being fully self-sustainable with the implementation of the following innovative solutions:

  • The Brando’s Sea Water Air Conditioning system (SWAC) harnesses the cold of the ocean depths and offers low-energy, highly efficient cooling for all the buildings, reducing energy demands by almost 70 percent.
  • Solar energy produced from 4,000 photovoltaic solar panels along Tetiaroa’s airstrip provide over half the resort’s remaining energy needs and solar heating provides all of the resort’s hot water.
  • A coconut oil (biofuel) power station delivers the other half of The Brando’s energy needs. Fueled by locally produced coconut oil, this renewable power source also supports the local economy.
  • Cutting-edge flow-batteries are used for storage of energy generated from solar power and are made primarily from recyclable materials exhibiting a service life of thousands of deep discharge cycles ensuring smooth and flexible management of the various sources of renewable energy for the resort.
  • The Brando utilizes low-energy water independence and an innovative wastewater management system for irrigation.
  • All potable water is produced onsite by a desalination plant using the reverse osmosis principle.
  • A robust recycling and composting program minimizes waste and provides compost for the resort’s organic garden.
  • An organic garden and honey farm serves The Brando’s restaurants and provides the benefits of local sourcing.
  • For transportation around the resort, bicycles are provided to guests and staff and sun-powered electric club cars are used.
  • Programs are in place at the resort to minimize and ultimately eliminate the use of plastic containers.
  • The Brando also supports atoll neighbor Tetiaroa Society, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. nonprofit dedicated to exploring innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues relating to sustainable interdependence. Tetiaroa Society directs all scientific research and creative science taking place on Tetiaroa from its research station, which was built and donated by The Brando. This “Ecostation,” the hub of all scientific research on the atoll, welcomes scientists from around the globe and is led by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), made up of experts from French Polynesia, the U.S., Oceania, and Europe.

Educational programs for guests at The Brando comprise lectures and demonstrations about Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle along with activities led by naturalists showcasing the richness of Tetiaroa.

  • The Tetiaroa Ultimate Tour is offered every morning and consists of a boat excursion of the atoll’s lagoon with a naturalist guide enabling guests to encounter the unique diversity of Tetiaroa’s motu (islet) ecosystems which include primary forest, shark nurseries, and numerous species of birds and fish.
  • Reef Quest is a recreational and educational activity aimed to introduce the resort’s guests to marine research by putting them in the shoes of marine biologists for a special study mission on Tetiaroa’s coral reef. Supervised by a naturalist guide, guests learn about the different types of corals, species of fish, including each one’s role in the barrier reef ecosystems, along with the study methods of scientist surveys.
  • Tetiaroa is a major sea turtle nesting site and the nonprofit foundation Te Mana O Te Moana has studied sea turtles on the atoll and across French Polynesia. Through its research, conservation, and awareness-raising activities, the organization strives to protect the marine environment of French Polynesia and to educate the public. In research, Te Mana O Te Moana, in partnership with other associations and universities, is involved in studies and research projects pertaining to Polynesian marine fauna and flora and island ecosystems. The resort offers Turtle Nights in the evenings between November and March, where guests can join a guide from Te Mana O Te Moana for the opportunity to witness a sea turtle laying her eggs or a hatchling of baby turtles.
  • The Lagoon School is specially designed for children ages 6 to 12 years staying at the resort and is operated by Te Mana O Te Moana. With more than 10 years of experience in education of the environment, the organization educates future generations to become eco-citizens. Kids learn about Tetiaroa through a variety of fun, pedagogic activities and board games and also through lectures, visits, and discoveries in the field.
  • Green Tours are comprehensive visits to The Brando’s eco-friendly facilities including the Ecostation, SWAC building, the coconut oil-powered electric plant, the water production plant, the waste separation center, the organic garden, bee hives, and solar panel sites.

The Brando is currently nearing the end of the LEED certification process, and is endeavoring to become the first resort in the world to obtain LEED Platinum certification, the organization’s highest accolade, as new construction in the campus category.  The resort has also earned recognition for its environmental efforts including a HEC Paris & 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Award;  two SEP “Silver Turtle Awards” for responsible waste management; and honors by the Hawai’i State Senate for responsible actions that promote ecologically friendly practices that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

A video highlighting The Brando’s eco involvement can be viewed here.

For additional information on The Brando, please visit

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