How Telunas Resorts is Impacting Indonesia for a Better Tomorrow
January 7, 2019
Telunas Resorts is not your average luxury island resort.
Digging wells, protecting endangered sea turtles, teaching English as a second language, supplying sports equipment and athletic venues for local kids, repairing and painting schools, replacing roofs for local islanders and providing a computer lab and college scholarships for students—it’s probably not the first thing you think of when dreaming of an over-water villa on a luxury private island resort in Indonesia. But every day, corporate social responsibility is the first thing on the minds of Telunas Resorts co-founders Mike Schubert and Eric Baldwin.
From the beginning in 2004, Mike and Eric recognized that the community they lived and worked in was filled with gifted, talented and creative people…people that have become their number one priority.
Schubert shared, “The Indonesia people and its island communities are diverse and unique. But there are also diverse and unique needs here. These needs encompass not only environmental concerns, but also social and community wellbeing”.
The Telunas Vision
Telunas Resorts vision is twofold.
First, and most importantly, it is to provide an unforgettable experience for Guests, helping them reconnect with what’s most important in life – family, friends and loved ones.
Second, Telunas is committed to bringing sustainable positive impact to co-workers, surrounding communities, ecosystems, and the local economy.
Not Just Marketing Hype
Telunas puts its energy into its people.
Baldwin shared “Our staff is our greatest asset. We care for their personal development and we care for the island communities they are from.”
Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands with over 300 ethnic groups including Javanese, Sundanese and Batak. Employees of Telunas Resorts leave their island communities and travel by boat to the resorts. It’s these island communities that Telunas cares for in tangible ways.
Employing The Resorts’ neighbors.The most obvious tangible impact is the employment of over 160 individuals. The majority are from surrounding neighbor islands. Many of these individuals were subsistence level fishermen prior to the start of Telunas.
Community Development. Telunas engages the surrounding community by simply asking about needs. They survey local leadership to understand needs and how best Telunas can help support their desired future. Projects and programs vary from village to village. Telunas and their guests have partnered to impact over 30 villages each year, with over 10,000 volunteer hours by Guests and Staff.
Scholarship Program. To date, Telunas has provided college scholarships to seven individuals with plans for more in the coming year.
Telunas Camp. Students from age 13 to 19 are invited to Telunas Camp. Weighty issues are discussed including drug, alcohol, cigarette and pornography addiction. Students are taught about healthy lifestyles and planning for their future.
Keluarga Teladan. Keluarga Teladan means Exemplary Families. It is a program, which is arguably the best sustainable positive impact program by Telunas. It involves life-coaching and mentoring, and focuses on developing stronger family relationships and improving relationships between husbands and wives. There is also training on practical life skills like home finance management, budgeting and differentiating between needs and wants.
Supporting local entrepreneurs. Utilizing local entrepreneurs is key to the resorts’ success. By developing channels for local producers to gain access to the tourist market, Telunas is helping a small but growing community of local artisans to find markets for their products. Local craftsman built the resort furniture from upcycled Malay boats; local builders were hired to build the two resorts.
Waste Management. Telunas Resorts strives to minimize the use of single-use plastics such as plastic water bottles, straws, and more. 100% of organic waste is disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way through advanced composting techniques. An incinerator was built to reduce harmful pollutants going into the air or into the ground.
Carbon Footprint Reduction.Telunas Resorts goal is to shrink its carbon footprint, minimizing high energy consuming equipment and the preservation and planting of mangroves. Mangroves provide the largest offset to the resort’s carbon footprint. The 70,000 square meters (over 17 acres) of mangroves conserved by the resort absorbs over 12 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. In 2019, a solar power system will be installed on Telunas Private Island that will reduce diesel consumption by 60%.
Endangered Sea Turtles. At Telunas Private Island a hatchery was built to protect the endangered turtle eggs from predators.
Recently 112 eggs were successfully hatched and will be released into the ocean.Between mid-November to mid-December (when they hatch) Guests and Staff release them into the ocean.