Ekies all senses resort: a model of sustainable destination
Since its opening in 2001, Ekies operates with respect to nature, always having the upgrading of the ecosystem and the support of the local community as development guidelines. Today, having incorporated the principles of circular economy in its daily operation, it has evolved into a model of sustainable destination. Through its policies, specific programs, and targeted initiatives, Ekies every year reduces its environmental footprint, does its share in the fight against climate change, increases the positive impact it has at local level, and trains its personnel, as well as the visitors, on how to act in an environmentally friendly way. Also, it hosts various art projects-installations that intend to raise awareness about climate change, like last year’s beach-house project by CTRLZAK Art & Design Studio, which endeavored to draw attention to the issue of coastline changes caused by the noticeable rise of sea water levels.
Overall, Ekies supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- Clean water & sanitation (6)
- Decent work & economic growth (8)
- Sustainable cities & communities (11)
- Responsible consumption & production (12)
The sustainable development of Ekies resort, which is certified with ISO 22OOO (Food safety management system) and Green Key (for its environmental identity), is based on the following 6 pillars:
- Smart energy consumption
- Effective waste management
- Careful water use
- Ethical food management
- Support of the local community
- Nature regeneration & protection
- Smart energy consumption: from the transfer of construction materials to electricity consumption, we strive to minimize our energy needs and significantly reduce CO2
- PV installation is in progress: upon completion, it will cover 100% of the property’s needs
- The buildings are eco-friendly, fitted with thermal insulation and modern frames that decrease the energy demands of cooling systems
- Most construction materials are found in the area, which minimizes the CO2 emissions which would result from their transport
- Effective waste management: during the previous year we recycled 20 tons of plastic, paper, and glass, achieving a rate of 0.75 kg recycled material per single person stay.
- Reuse of materials, such as old sheets and towels, to make laundry bags, cards for various uses, such as the “Do not Disturb” sign, and shopping bags
- Every year we increase recycling rates by selecting packages that can be recycled / reused
- Organic waste is composted and used as fertilizer
- We have eliminated single-use plastic products and packages, even in take away orders
- We reduce the consumption of plastic bottles by encouraging our guests to use stainless steel glasses. Water is free of charge for any guest coming with his/her glass.
- Careful water use: we implement a holistic water management program that is based on two principles: reuse and controlled consumption.
- Special filters are installed on all taps to control consumption
- We use a root watering system for our plants, vegetables and trees
- Irrigation system needs are covered 100% by water reuse
- We invite our guests to contribute to our effort for less water consumption by encouraging them to avoid requesting a daily change of linen.
- Ethical food management: we cooperate with local producers to develop a sustainable food supply chain. This year we have organized our own organic farm on the property, adopting the “From farm to fork” philosophy.
- Almost 40% of ingredients, such as fish, chickens, vegetables, fruits, honey, and cheese, are supplied by local producers
- 100% of the ingredients that we use for decoctions are hand-picked from our gardens
- In partnership with “The Chill Factor” organic farm we grow natural crops over an area of approximately 500 square meters, which includes also a greenhouse. We cultivate organic edible flowers and vegetables to improve the quality of our dishes, make them even healthier, and cover the needs of our kitchen
- At closing, we distribute unused products to vulnerable social groups or social institutions, such as the local orphanage
- Support of local community: we add value to the local community by reducing the unemployment rate, investing in permanent partnerships with local producers, running several voluntary actions and enhancing the age-long tradition in ceramics and textile crafts.
- 40% of our personnel are locals
- We cooperate with more than ten producers in the greater area to cover kitchen supplies
- We organize volunteer environmental and social activities, such as beach cleaning or the “Cooking for Charity” initiative
- The rooms, the outdoors and the public spaces are decorated by unique local handicrafts. Ekies supports the local tradition in ceramics and textile crafts by giving the opportunity to local artisans to sell their creations
- Nature regeneration & protection: we protect and upgrade the local ecosystem by adopting daily practices that do not pollute the environment and by enhancing the local flora and fauna.
- We plant three saplings for every tree lost to a forest fire. We have developed gardens with more than 100 endemic aromatic plants, thus helping bees to survive and preserving the richness of the local flora
- The trees – planes, eucalyptus, lemon and apricot trees, and many others – and undergrowth on the grounds and in the surroundings of the resort are home to hedgehogs, squirrels, turtles, small mammals, like foxes, and hundreds of birds
- We use exclusively natural cleaning products to avoid contaminating the aquifer
- We protect the Posidonia oceanica meadows on the resort’s seafront so that marine species can find food and shelter.