We seek to minimise our footprint in all areas of operation, aiming not just for a neutral impact but seeking to create a positive environmental impact wherever possible. Our aim is not only to prevent further erosion of this rainforest environment, but to facilitate its recovery from the damage that has been done to it in the past, from deforestation, illegal logging, overhunting, river dredging and the building of a number of dams in our local area.
Sustainability is the first consideration in not only our operational systems, but most importantly the design and construction of our facilities. Our permanent buildings utilise local designs and methods in constructing new facilities, and use sustainable local materials such as palm wood for timber and palm leafs for roofing, wherever reasonably practical.
Our energy needs are met by a hybrid system utilising solar in the dry season and a combination of solar & hydro during the wet season, with those needs being minimised by low wattage equipment and our efforts in improving guest awareness of the impact of their energy consumption. The installation of a bio digester manages all human and food waste, turning it into Biogas that can be used for cooking & lighting. Access to water is our biggest challenge even in a rainforest, and our demand particularly in the dry season is supplemented, using storage tanks and a reservoir, during the rainy season. We use non-chemical water filters to provide quality drinking water. For trekking activities our guides carry a LifeStraw filtration system to replenish stocks mid-journey and thereby avoid the need to carry extra bottled water.
In all operations, our first commitment is to reduce our usage of resources as much as possible, especially those that cannot be reused or recycled. Where we recognize an unavoidable negative impact, we endeavor to create a positive offset such as allowing the forest vegetation on our property, which was previously deforested, to grow back.
We reduce our reliance on outside produce for meals using the fruit and vegetables grown on our property, including ginger, jackfruit, limes, cucumbers, coconut and pumpkin. Several other types of fruit tree have also been planted, and we intend to add to our range of homegrown produce in the coming years. Most of our produce is purchased at the local market in Koh Kong, ensuring freshness and quality. We further support independent local businesses such as IBIS Rice, BoTree Kampot Pepper, Three Rivers Coffee and Bodia Natural Soaps, who themselves also provide sustainable local employment. We use this local produce in our new range of homemade breads, peanut butter, yoghurt and jams, with plans to introduce beehives for the cultivation of honey. We have also created our own range of eco cleaning products for use throughout the premises.
On a broader scale, we have previously engaged in opposing environmentally detrimental activities in the local areas, such as the commercial dredging of sand from Tatai River for construction and the creation of a number of dams within the Cardamom Mountains, funded through foreign investment with little benefit to the country that serves it. We are currently collaborating with the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry’s and Farms in order to bring scientists from around the world to the Cardamom Mountains for a number of Bio Blitz events that will catalogue the variety of unique species that needs protection.