Zuri Zanzibar – the recently launched, design-led resort – is delighted to announce its recognition as the first hotel in the world to be awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification.

The stylish beachfront 13-acre Jestico+Whiles-designed resort, located in Kendwa, on the the idyllic northern west shores of Unguja, provides a seamless blend of contemporary design, sustainable architecture and authentic African flair offering world-class gastronomy, wellness and responsible tourism.

On receiving the certification, Jean-Francois Laporte, the Zuri Zanzibar Project Director comments, “We’re extremely proud of being the only resort globally to receive Gold Certification in EarthCheck’s highly-esteemed Sustainable Design Programme.  This accolade reflects our unwavering commitment to sustainability, by making positive changes to reduce our environmental footprint and improve social impact”

“This award is also testament to the fantastic team behind the construction of Zuri who all shared the joint vision of creating a truly magical resort with ecology at its heart, without compromising on design and style.”

The EarthCheck BPDS Final Certification Report found that “Sustainable design principles were integrated from the outset with the building concept respecting the original terrain configuration and utilising local materials and local architectural traditions.”

EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. Zuri Zanzibar achieved a Gold certification in EarthCheck’s Design Programme which facilitates environmentally, socially and economically sustainable design and construction management of collective buildings and associated infrastructure. Results are determined by operational data from global clients which benchmark their environmental, social and economic performance.

As part of the certification process, the resort was assessed by an independent third-party auditor who appraised Zuri Zanzibar against the ten key performance areas of sustainability approach, energy, water, solid waste, land use planning & biodiversity, sustainable materials & resource conservation, indoor environmental health & pollution control, transport, social, cultural & economic wellbeing and innovation.

Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck stated, “Achieving EarthCheck Design Gold places Zuri Zanzibar as an industry leader that has benchmarked its design and sustainability performance against internationally recognised criteria and demonstrated responsible business practices across their operation”

“This award highlights the long-term commitment that Zuri Zanzibar has shown to the communities and environment of Zanzibar and has allowed the resort to take practical, meaningful action to provide a quality holiday experience for their guests. We look forward to continuing to support their environmental efforts for years to come.”

EarthCheck commended Zuri Zanzibar on the following environmental and CSR initiatives:

Sustainable Energy Use: Zuri Zanzibar’s energy use per guest per night is 52% below the EarthCheck baseline for similar developments. This is achieved by implementing self-sufficient power sources and installing less energy intensive technologies including automatic lighting and the Evening Breeze’ system to create a microclimate around the bed to promote healthy sleep, using seventy five per cent less energy than a conventional air-conditioning system

Self-Sufficient Water Sources: Zuri Zanzibar is self-sufficient in terms of water consumption with no connection to the island’s water infrastructure. Water is produced and harvested on-site using wells, seawater and a desalination process supplying irrigation water and clean, drinking water to the whole resort. The resort’s design has also avoided the use of grass due to the large amounts of water required to maintain it

Sustainable Materials and Resource Conservation: The project used largely all local materials found within 500Km from the site such as sand, cement, steel, blocks, timber

Social, Cultural & Economic Wellbeing: Zuri Zanzibar has a focus on community initiatives that improve basic living conditions in Kendwa village through education, training and development. Examples of community programmes include ‘Pack to Give’ which allows guests to bring essentials such as books, eye-glasses and towels with them in their suitcase, to directly donate to the local community. Zuri Zanzibar is also working closely with Zanrec to found the ‘Keep Kendwa Clean’ initiative to improve the serious issue of waste management on the island.  Other projects include the provision of wells around Kendwa, construction of local schools and leading a tourism training project designed to give locals the opportunity to be trained and find work in the hotel and hospitality sectors.