Calilo Establishes Environmental Action Plan & Observatory

The Family-Owned Resort in Ios, Greece Bolsters Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives With An Environmental Action Plan and Independent Observatory for The Island

Greece, Papas Beach, Ios Island. May 30, 2024

Calilo, the family-owned luxury resort in Ios, today announced the launch of an independent Environmental Observatory for the island, solidifying its commitment to sustainability and preservation. The independently funded, operated and science-based plan aims to enhance sustainable development on the island by monitoring environmental evolution, diagnosing trends, formulating data-driven proposals, and implementing sustainability practices across the island.

Situated on the unspoilt island of Ios in the Greek Cyclades, Calilo was created with sustainability and ecotourism at the heart of their ethos. With a deep rooted love for the island and a goal of immersing guests in a destination focused on reconnection and renewal, owners Angelos Michalopoulos and Vassiliki Petridou created a sustainable hospitality group, The Calilo Group, and opened Calilo - showcasing the surrounding magic of Ios, while also maintaining the land's integrity and natural beauty.

The Environmental Observatory represents a significant enhancement of The Calilo Group's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and further enforces its commitment to environmental accountability, while protecting the island from the adverse effects of inadequate urban planning and the challenges of overdevelopment and over-tourism seen on neighboring islands like Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, and Naxos. The group will collaborate with the local government and the Municipality of Ios, aligning with commitments to climate neutrality and the sustainable development goals outlined in the European initiative for climate-neutral cities by 2030. The Environmental Observatory will operate with complete scientific and operational independence, extending holistically across the whole island of Ios, with a primary focus on:

  • Monitoring: Overseeing the implementation of the Environmental Management Plan of the investing companies.
  • Guidance: Providing recommendations and directions on environmental matters.
  • Advisory: Offering opinions on actions related to environmental protection and awareness.
  • Funding: The Observatory operates completely independently to safeguard its scientific integrity and credibility. Its funding model prioritizes transparency through external donations, fostering a community-driven initiative with broad public participation and support.
  • Community Involvement: The initiative invites community members to join by volunteering, participating in research, raising funds, and assisting in the operation and planning of the observatory.
  • Additional actions may include measures for the protection and upgrading of beaches, improved waste management, enhanced greenery in communal spaces, and restoration of vegetation on eroded slopes with local flora.

The Environmental Observatory is dedicated to transparency and open communication with the local community. It will actively promote its activities and maintain open channels of communication to ensure that the environmental needs and concerns of Ios residents are heard and addressed. Its governing body includes a multi-disciplinary board composed of specialized researchers, esteemed professors, a legal expert in environmental law, a representative of the investor group, a representative of an environmental NGO, and a representative of the Municipality of Ios. This initiative is a response to specific actions aimed at enhancing environmental management, ensuring investment compliance, and preserving the cultural and natural richness of the area.

"The Environmental Observatory represents a monumental advancement in Calilo's Corporate Social Responsibility, underscoring our unwavering commitment to environmental accountability and the well-being of the local community and ecosystem," said Erica Michalopoulou, Director of Public Relations & Business Development. "We are confident that introducing science, innovation, and independent leading experts in such an initiative, combined with our humanizing development approach, will not only serve Ios but also hopefully serve as a beacon for the entire hospitality industry in the future. Our vision is to foster a thriving and sustainable future for Ios, ensuring the island remains a vibrant and competitive tourism destination while safeguarding its natural beauty and cultural heritage."

Calilo's Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives:

The Environmental Observatory is the latest addition to The Michalopoulos family's ongoing initiatives as part of their corporate social responsibility program and commitment to sustainability. Calilo's ongoing environmental practices includes:

  1. Calilo Model of Sustainable Development:

    • Eco-Friendly Land Development: The family's deep commitment to sustainability is evident in their decision to develop only 1% of their land, leaving the rest untouched for future generations. This approach guides their business model and informs their construction practices, which prioritize sourcing and use of local materials and low-density development to minimize their environmental footprint.
    • Eco-Conscious Property Material Construction: Prioritizing eco-friendly materials and sustainable construction practices in property architecture.
  1. Calilo Carbon Sequester Practices and Offsetting:

    • Elektra Olive Tree project: This project provides new life to trees which have previously been destroyed by wildfire and land deforestation, including 900 ancient olive trees which were saved from being sold for wildfire in Athens, with plans to plant over 20,000 more trees this year.
    • Rewilding Efforts: Donkeys are considered to be an extinct species in Greece, especially in the Cyclades, therefore, The Calilo Group has created a donkey sanctuary dedicated for their preservation. They also have rescued dogs who were affected by the wildfires in Athens.
    • Water Supply and Usage: The Calilo Group's commitment to water preservation is highlighted by over $3 million invested in state-of-the-art water management systems, including recycling used water and converting seawater into usable water. These systems are designed to meet the group's water needs independently without impacting the island's local water resources and supply. This is crucial for a small island like Ios, where water resources are limited and heavily reliant on sustainable practices to ensure long-term viability.
    • Zero Plastic Initiative: The Calilo Group has an effective in-house program to significantly reduce the amount of plastic produced and stop it from our beaches and Aegean seas.
  1. Calilo Corporate Social Responsibility Practices:

    • Educational Program: Next year, the family plans to open an education program and private university on the island of Ios. The college aims to provide free education for the first four years, which is supported entirely by The Calilo Group. The first-of-its-kind school on the island will allow students to develop skills in hospitality management, tourism, sustainability, travel, gastronomy, and business and will contribute to the community by training local talent, creating jobs, offering new higher education programs, and extending the seasonal tourism market. The college is currently under the permitted phase with the goal to launch to the public of Ios in February 2025.
    • Calilo Ios Green Workshops : In 2025, Calilo will organize Green Workshops aimed at educating the young population in Ios on the importance of ecological preservation. These workshops will facilitate interactive activities to foster a culture of eco-conscious learning and promote a culture for change.

The Environmental Observatory is set to launch on May 29, 2024. For more information about Calilo or to book your stay, please visit and follow along on social media on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


About Calilo

Business Contact:

Mary Burkhardt
T: +1 212-924-3600
E: [email protected]

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