Turtle Bay Resort's Best Practices in Sustainability

By Carl Kish Co-Founder, STOKE Certified | May 10, 2015

Co-authored by Dr. Jess Ponting, Co-Founder, STOKE Certified

As the only hotel on Oahu's Fabled North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort takes its role in preserving and enhancing the North Shore's rich Hawaiian culture, surfing heritage, and fragile ecosystems very seriously. Since 2010, the resort has been transformed under the leadership of Replay Resorts and has significantly raised the bar in terms of sustainability best practices by introducing two conservation easements totalling 1,134 acres, green roof installations, rooftop solar panels, and integrating authentic Hawaiian culture into every facet of the operation.

Turtle Bay Resort completed sustainable design renovations in 2014 that include a 59,000-square-foot native plant and rock garden on all lower rooftops. In addition to stunning views of the coastline and nearby surf breaks, every room in the resort overlooks these elevated gardens. Green roofs significantly reduce the energy used to cool the resort, double the lifespan of the roofing materials, and greatly reduce the amount of stormwater runoff which mitigates erosion. Perhaps most importantly, green roofs act as a natural filter for pollutants in runoff.

Replay Resorts have also opened 847 acres of resort land and 4.5 miles of shoreline to the public for everyone to enjoy and have the opportunity to hang out with professional athletes, celebrities, and artists in "the living room of the North Shore". Guests are able to access the inaccessible through the services of experienced local guides that include former professional surfers, big wave legends, and spearfishing world champions.

If guests want to learn about hiking trails, or when the Humpback Whales migrate past Kuilima Point, then the one stop shop for environmental and cultural interpretation is the Guidepost Experience Center right in the middle of the hotel lobby. Equipped with interactive devices, and staffed by the best guides in the business, the Guidepost is designed to allow guests and visitors access to any information about the Resort and its surrounding community, surf, activities, marine wildlife, and cultural events.

Giving back to North Shore communities is an integral part of Turtle Bay's sustainability management system and the Turtle Bay Foundation was established in 2012 to drive community development initiatives. In 2013, the Foundation gave out $50,000 in grants and scholarships for 36 nonprofit organizations and college-bound students on the North Shore. In addition to providing hundreds of backpacks annually to Operation Backpack; feeding the homeless during a North Shore holiday meal; and providing holiday gifts for local families as part of the Christmas Tree of Hope; the foundation oversees numerous charitable contributions, including the preservation of historic and cultural sites; educational and cultural activities; health care, housing and job-training programs.

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