Up close and personal with Puri Dajuma Cottages & Spa, Bali
Our Green Pearl gem in Indonesia, the Puri Dajuma in Bali, is nominated for a GreenTec award. We spoke with Louis Balme, who helped us understand how meaningful this nomination, and a possible win, is to the resort and its staff. The passion and commitment of each staff member to the deep-rooted cause of this unique, green hotel have left us feeling positive about sustainable tourism practices.
In talking to him we have come to understand that at this eco-friendly resort, sustainability is lived, not just preached:
1) Green Pearls: Louis, how does it feel to be one of the ten nominees for the prestigious GreenTec awards?
Louis Balme: Really amazing! The nomination is rewarding in itself. It recognizes all the efforts deployed by our staff every day, to make the resort outstanding while always being respectful of its exceptional environment.
2) What would a win mean to you personally, the hotel overall, and the staff at Puri Dajuma Cottages & Spa?
It would crown 12 years of commitment to the preservation of our environment by our dedicated staff. Puri Dajuma is a family run business, each member being paying attention to the preservation of our resources in the best possible social climate with our staff. As an external recognition of all these efforts, we would be so proud to win a Green Tec Award!
3) Why did you put in an entry for this particular award?
The Green Tec Award is, in our opinion, probably one of the best, if not to say the best, award in the area of environmental awards. Being awarded by such a prestigious organization would be very meaningful for us as well as for our guests.
4) What makes Puri Dajuma Cottages & Spa unique?
Mainly two things: our location within a preserved area, where guests can truly savor an authentic Bali experience, and the spirit of the hotel, where the principles of Tri Hita Karena are applied daily in everything we do. These principals are harmony and balance from human to God, human-to-human and human to environment. Tri Hita Karena is a traditional philosophy for life on the island of Bali. The literal translation is roughly the “three causes of well-being”.
5) What does sustainability mean to you personally?
My idea of sustainability is perfectly captured by the three principles of Tri Hata Karena I mentioned earlier: harmony and balance between human to God, human-to-human and human to environment. Our guests are very receptive to this special “Dajuma Spirit”.
6) Can you give us an example of sustainability at Puri Dajuma?
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do at Puri Dajuma. To give you an example of a recent undertaking, we are working on a construction project building eight new villas placed around a natural swimming pool that looks like a rice-paddy, with a 50 m swimming corridor leading to two large natural swimming pools connected through a waterfall. In this project, we pay particular attention to the protection of our natural environment with well-insulated rooms, energy savings and the treatment of used water in line with our eco-policy.
7) How do you engage the local community in your sustainable efforts?
As part of our eco-policy and among many other things:
- Our staff mainly originates from nearby villages, 44 out of 45 are from Bali.
- The resort is family run, respecting Bali traditions, culture and religion (Muslim and Hindu). For important decisions we always liaise with the Head of the village, the religious authorities (Muslim and Hindu) and the Government representatives.
- We support local activities such as the Dance School, the local Jeggog orchestras, the Pulukan Orphanage and the Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
- We encourage new behaviors in the community such as sustainable waste management, particularly glass bottle recycling which is a real problem in Bali.
8) What is being done to create a sustainable environment for the employees?
Since the beginning we offer to our staff comprehensive social coverage including health care and retirement. The Indonesian labor law is strictly applied (minimum salaries, salary progression, indemnities due when leaving, which is very rare). Service is also paid whatever the occupancy (10% of the revenue).
9) Is sustainable tourism important for your region? What is being done already?
It is very important. In this domain, Puri Dajuma is a pioneer in this part of the island. Our main concern is waste management and recycling. A lot still needs to be done, especially in terms of information and education of the villagers. For example our staff is used to cleaning all areas, not only the hotel area, once a week and tries to involve the local authorities as well as the villagers in this exercise. But it is challenging. There is no official recycling plan for glass bottles (except beer bottles, enforced a few years ago) sold by hotels, restaurants and grocery stores. In order to help solve this difficult issue, Dajuma recently bought a bottle-crushing machine from New Zealand, able to transform any glass bottle into re-usable sand.
To vote for Puri Dajuma to win the GreenTec Award in the tourism category, click here.