The Brando, an environmentally-friendly, luxury resort on French Polynesia’s private atoll of Tetiaroa, composed of a dozen idyllic islets surrounding a lagoon 30 miles north of Tahiti, salutes the United Nations for its landmark agreement on climate change that was signed on December 12, 2015, in Paris, France.
As an environmental leader in the hospitality industry, The Brando applauds the United Nations for its stance on climate change. Environmental initiatives and sustainable tourism is core to The Brando’s mission, and the resort continues to establish a new world standard by utilizing pioneering technology and operating almost exclusively with renewable and non-fossil energy sources. The Brando supports research, education, and outreach aimed at increasing the knowledge and appreciation for the natural and cultural heritage of tropical islands and their people, and that sustainable development can be achieved and makes good business sense.
The resort has nearly accomplished its goal of being fully self-sustainable with the implementation of the following innovative, earth-friendly 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 electric club cars with rechargeable batteries 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 eco-friendly practices, Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle, along with activities led by naturalists that teach about the precious biodiversity of Tetiaroa.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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 Brando has also earned recognition in 2015 for its environmental efforts including Virtuoso’s Best of the Best Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award—Hotels; a Gold Magellan Award for Hospitality Overall: Eco-Friendly “Green” Resort/Hotel from Travel Weekly; and Best Eco-Tourism Property from Luxury Travel Magazine. The Brando was also a finalist in the Earth Changers category of National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards; received a HEC Paris & 1.618 Sustainable Luxury Award; was honored with a “Gold Turtle Award,” two “Silver Turtle Awards” and one “Bronze Turtle Award” for responsible waste management; and was recognized 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 www.thebrando.com.