LOMBOK, INDONESIA – As communities around the world struggle against a rising tide of climate change and environmental degradation, achieving a “green economy” has never been more important – especially in emerging island destinations. The concept is simple: to create a development model that is environmentally friendly and drives benefits back into the community. On the Indonesian island of Lombok, one forward-thinking company has woven this sustainable approach into every aspect of its operations.
Invest Islands, Lombok’s leading real estate investment company, is fully committed to the green economy. Not only does it create a breathtaking resort and residential projects that reflect the cultural heritage of the island; it does so in a manner that is both harmonious with nature and enhances the quality of life for local people.
One prime example of Invest Islands’ strategy in action is Gran Meliá Lombok, one of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular and eco-sensitive resort projects, which is currently taking shape on the island’s south coast. This five-star resort is a masterpiece of high-style, low-impact design that blends seamlessly with its tropical surroundings at Torok Bay, overlooking the Indian Ocean and framed by emerald headlands and rippling rice fields. Sixty-eight percent of the 16-hectare hillside and beachfront site is being retained as green space, and no aspect of the construction will rise above the tree line.
Read more: The Rise of Lombok’s First Gran Meliá Resort
Sustainability is integrated into all parts of the property, from the use of organic, locally-sourced materials in its luxurious suites and villas to energy-saving fixtures and fittings throughout the public areas and back-of-house spaces. A rainwater catchment and greywater system will provide natural year-round irrigation, and solar water heaters ensure a constant supply of hot water. Renewable energy, including solar paneling, will power the entire property.
Single-use plastic is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, and while many hospitality companies have made zero-plastic pledges, Invest Islands is taking this a step further by putting plastic waste to practical use. Having cleared trash from Lombok’s pristine beaches, Invest Islands upcycles it to create innovative “eco-bricks”, which are produced by local people and purchased by the company for use in its properties. Solid, water-resistant, and lightweight, these innovative bricks are the ultimate eco-friendly building material, while also generating revenue for villagers.
A dedicated charitable arm, the Invest Islands Foundation, has been established to drive educational and employment opportunities for indigenous people and ensure that the benefits of their projects are spread far and wide. This long-term social commitment provides medical care and education to disadvantaged families, including the construction of new schools.
“I think a real estate company and a charity are able to go hand-in-hand,” explained Kevin Deisser, CEO & co-founder of Invest Islands. “By its very definition, a property investment business must bring large amounts of capital into the region. When properly spent, this capital should not only benefit investors, but all stakeholders – particularly those within the local communities who live around our projects.”
For Meliá Hotels International, the acclaimed global hospitality company, Invest Islands’ activities are perfectly aligned with its own values. Meliá is regularly recognized as a leader in sustainability and came top of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) in 2019 and 2020 while ranking first in Europe in 2021. This included achieving the top score in terms of its climate strategy.
Natural, local materials have been used throughout the design and construction of the INSPIRAL villas
“Throughout our history, we have strongly believed in tourism as an engine to develop communities. Thirty-five years ago, we started our international journey, opening our first hotel in Bali. Since then, we have felt strongly attached to Indonesia as a destination. Pollution and waste represent one of the main environmental challenges of Indonesia. We will work to reduce waste and single-use plastics in our operations. In essence, Gran Meliá Lombok will become one of the most sustainable hotels in Southeast Asia,” revealed Enric Ortiz, Vice President of Global Operations for EMEA & Asia Pacific.
Gran Meliá Lombok features a collection of beautiful hillside duplexes and one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, with distinct concepts including KAYMA Moroccan tented suites, AURORA minimalist villas, LA RESIDENZA Bauhaus-style residences, and INSPIRAL eco-luxury villas. Sales are already open ahead of the property’s scheduled to launch in 2025. The project already making waves in the hospitality industry, having been named as the “Best Upcoming Hotel Development” in Indonesia and “Best Hospitality Development” in Asia at the PropertyGuru Property Awards.