Sogifa l’Heure Bleue Rewarded for Treading Lightly in Madagascar

Sogifa l’Heure Bleue Rewarded for Treading Lightly in Madagascar
July 3, 2014 Arton Kabashi

Green Globe is pleased to announce the re-certification of Sogifa l’Heure Bleue, Madagascar for its ongoing commitment to sustainable management and operations.

L’Heure Bleue Director, Anne Fagegaltier said, “In its first year of membership under the prestigious Green Globe label, l’Heure Bleue’s biggest achievement was the environmental compliance of the hotel which was approved by an environmental impact study.

“Our goal has been to achieve a harmony between the location of the hotel and the components of the environment (social, economic, ecological). By focusing on all these environmental factors l’Heure Bleue reiterates its commitment to eco-tourism and local and national development,” added Anne Fagegaltier.

L’Heure Bleue was the first in Madagascar to install solar electricity panels, which generate 3,500 kWh of electricity and supply power to all lighting at the hotel. Each year l’Heure Bleue has reduced its carbon emissions by more than four tons. And solar energy also heats hot water for most of the year.

Water from the base of the surrounding hills is drawn through pumps and recovered in a 10,000 litre fully sealed tank. During the dry season this water is used within the hotel for watering the organic garden. All wastewater is collected in sumps and processed through filters made of coconut and dead coral. Instead of being discarded at sea, this wastewater is fed into the gardens. The hotel also lowers its water usage in the laundry by using honeycomb-weave towels and sheets, which are quick to dry and help reduce the amount of detergent needed for washing.

L’Heure Bleue further minimizes its environmental footprint by composting food scraps and recycling waste metals and plastics. Local wood and native Ravenala trees are used in the construction of roofing at l’Heure Bleue in order to preserve the site and minimize the transportation of materials. For each traveller who visits the hotel, l’Heure Bleue plants one Ravenala tree to offset carbon emissions and reduce the impact of global warming.

L’Heure Bleue does its very best to be a leading example of sustainable operations in Madagascar. It is a leader in community projects such as the monthly plastic waste collection with students from the Madirokely School. The hotel also supports the recruitment of local staff and provides training in hospitality with wages higher than local standards. In addition to donating to local projects the hotel has established a health fund for staff and their families and all these factors contribute to individual development and social cohesion at large.

Director Anne Fagegaltier concludes, “Our hotel is truly appreciated by all in our community and in return we enjoy the contribution of a lot of local products. Everything from handy-crafts to be enjoyed by guests as well as freshly grown produce and seafood for our tables.”