Knai Bang Chatt means “a rainbow encircling the sun” and in Buddhism, this rainbow is the halo around Buddha’s head. This represents a pleasant shelter, protecting the travelers of the world from the melting sun when they are far away from home. Knai Bang Chatt was initiated approximately 15 years ago by the founder who was particularly interested in an old colonial house along the coastal province of Kep in Southern Cambodia. With that concept, the historical house had been restored, designed as a resort, and transformed into an 18 room-hotel with “barefoot luxury”. Today, Knai Bang Chatt continues to impress the world of tourism with impeccable services, a calming and soothing atmosphere, and environmental-friendly practices.
One of Knai Bang Chatt’s missions is to provide customers with unforgettable experiences and beautiful surroundings that simultaneously take part in safeguarding the environment.
Knai Bang Chatt has associated with its neighborhood by helping to establish Hand-in-Hand, a community service program that assists local schools in the region of Kep in building local income and inspiring children to achieve their further goal in life.
Knai Bang Chatt has participated in a great number of pollution reduction activities. One of them is waste reduction by instating an internal recycling program. This is the process of separating different types of waste by those that are recyclable (glass, cans, paper) and managing kitchen and garden waste for making compost. Knai Bang Chatt takes advantage of this compost to enrich the soil in an organic garden for their restaurant as well as other projects. In addition, the hotel limits their waste by using environmental-friendly products such as biodegradable bags, paper straws, and reusable bottles to decrease the amount of waste going to landfill.
The resort relies heavily on their organic garden. For the produce that is unavailable in their homemade space, Knai Bang Chatt purchases from the local stores in the hope to strengthen the financial situation of the regional community. For environmental conservation, the water gets treated through five stages of treating process before releasing it into any operation. This task eliminates the contamination in the water before usage. Additionally, a hydroponic system has been installed to ensure a variety of plants grow in sustainable food production programs.
For energy conservation, two sets of solar panels have been installed to provide 20% of the overall amount of energy consumed by the entire hotel. Knai Bang Chatt is working to increase this to 30% of the total energy consumption and is expected to be officially set up next year. Light Emitting Diodes (LED), latest advancement in lighting industry, also aids energy conservation by operating more efficiently and lasting longer than traditional light bulbs.
Certified “Gold” Rating with Green Growth 2050 Global Certification Standard
The hotel has been listed as the first to have achieved the Green Growth 2050 Global Standard with gold certification for 2 years in a row (2016, 2017) for sustainability programs which are comprised of 474 key performance indicators. The certificate demands strict conformance to a standard that includes key performance indicators as diverse as environmental stewardship (conserving resources and biodiversity and reducing pollution), health, safety, labor practices, sustainable design and many other environmentally-friendly aspects of a sustainable business model.
The workload for ninety employees can sometimes be tough. They need a constant reminder to think about each of their actions, like which bins should be used in regards to the types of wastes. Knai Bang Chatt has put out additional training programs to make sure employees understand what they need to do to be more environmentally friendly.
Transporting products from the suppliers can also be very difficult as there are always risks of having a large amount of waste from plastic and other non-compostable materials. To fix this problem, Knai Bang Chatt instead uses big reusable boxes in the to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and Styrofoam that goes to landfill.
Influence and Change
Knai Bang Chatt has gradually seen the change they wanted to see. In order to increase sustainability in the community as a whole, they step up and share their inspiration for a change. A series of students from Don Bosco were taught by inspired Knai Bang Chatt employees to make drinking glasses from bottles in the aim to cut down plastic and start thinking about re-using ‘waste’ materials. On top of that, the hotel has participated in conferences related to farming and waste reduction in the last few years and is involved in the green business forum every year.
The general manager, John Black, wants to be able to do business in a way that is beneficial to the local community rather than just the resort itself. They do this by employing local people and having local supply chains. The vision of their business is to grow together as one without leaving the neighborhood behind.
The last message from this amazing hotel is to encourage other businesses to play their part in reducing the pollution in our environment. For them, the most obvious way is by changing to suppliers who are willing to reduce the amount of disposable single-use plastics and packing materials. Instead of buying thick plastic bags, buy biodegradable bags so it doesn't take long to degrade. It is up to each and every one of us to make a difference.
Vitak Cheav is a business student from American University of Phnom Penh. She loves writing books and is willing to open a big bookstore where she can be the source of providing millions of books to the readers around the country. Vitak also has a great affection for reading, painting, filming creative videos, going on an adventure, and exploring impossibility. She believes in seeing problems from a different angle and mending the world within our reach.