Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is celebrating the launch of the second largest solar plant in Seychelles, with more than 7,200 solar panels now in operation on Desroches Island thanks to the plant’s implementation by the island owner Islands Development Company (IDC), which is responsible for the sustainable development of the outer islands in the Seychelles.
The new solar plant, which is capable of producing a minimum of 2,500 KW, will allow Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island – the only resort on the 6.5 kilometre (4 mile) long coral island in the Outer Amirantes – to reduce its dependency on Caterpillar diesel generators by 85 percent. The reduction in generator demand will lower diesel consumption by 1.3 million litres (292,000 gallons) annually, to deliver a saving of 3,200 tons in CO2 production per year, which is equivalent to 385 homes’ energy use for one year.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Islands Development Company Glenny Savy remarks: “’The launch of the solar plant in Desroches is the fourth solar farm in the Outer Islands after Alphonse, Astove and Farquhar, which all now receive 95 percent of their energy from this renewable source. The net effect of these solar plants is that our carbon footprint on the Outer Islands will significantly improve, which will bring Seychelles closer to achieving its target of producing 15 percent of all energy sustainably by 2030.”
The Desroches Island Agricultural Farm
Alongside the drive to lower carbon emissions through converting to solar energy, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is also increasing its commitment to sourcing fruit, vegetables and a variety of fresh produce from the island’s agricultural farm, which is operated by IDC. Currently occupying 2,500 square metres (27,000 square feet) of the island’s fertile land, the agricultural farm will soon be expanded to 10,000 square metres (108,000 square feet) to allow the Resort to eventually source a minimum of 70 percent of all fruit and vegetables from the Desroches Island directly, with an order for 35 tons of farm produce already placed for 2022. In addition, the majority of eggs are already sourced from the IDC agricultural farm.
Nick Solomon, Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island says: “So far this year, we have already purchased almost 5 tons of perishables from the agricultural farm. Not only does this allow us to enjoy the freshest produce, but in our remote location, it has a huge impact on reducing the capacity required to carry this produce on domestic flights. These perishables alone would have required eight domestic flights, which is a 460 kilometre (286 mile) round trip from Mahé, requiring 6,800 litres (1,800 gallons) of fuel. With the planned expansion to the farm, we are thrilled to be able to increase our commitment to locally grown produce, enabling us to increasingly feature organic dishes on our menus, while also continuing to limit the number of domestic flights required.”
An Island Commitment to Sustainability
Located in the Outer Amirantes of Seychelles, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island is conscious to the important role it plays in ensuring sustainable practices are adopted throughout all of its operations. Recycling is actively practiced throughout the Resort, which alongside glass, cans, kitchen and engine oil (all of which are recycled off island), applies to water recycling for irrigation and reuse of water in the laundry – using last rinse spins for primary wash cycles. A glass water-bottling system is in place to remove the requirement for disposable plastic water bottles, allowing the Resort to refrain from using any plastic bottles or straws. The approach to minimising plastic is also seen through use of refillable ceramic containers for bathroom amenities and eco-friendly garbage bags.
To ensure careful management of energy consumption, low energy air conditioning inverter units are used, alongside low-wattage LED bulbs throughout the Resort. Water is heated through a heat recovery system and all energy consumption is strictly monitored by the Resort’s Engineering team. These sustainability practices complement a range of environmental initiatives also in place at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, with guests able to partake in activities such as tortoise feeding and adoption, beach clean-ups and native tree planting.