How Telunas Resorts is Impacting Indonesia for a Better Tomorrow
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, it’s 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. Today, Telunas has grown to a socially responsible resort brand. Telunas is driven to have a positive impact on not just the local community, environment, and staff, but also on Guests, helping them to reconnect with what’s important.
Telunas is committed to bringing sustainable positive impact to co-workers, surrounding communities, ecosystems, and the local economy.
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.
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.
To date, Telunas has provided college scholarships to seven individuals with plans for more in the coming year.
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 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.
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 Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas)
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.