A key initiative of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is known as Rosewood Impacts, a purpose-driven commitment to positively affect not only the people who they serve, but the environments in which they operate. The effect is a unique approach to hospitality that is circular, collaborative, and ultimately, sustainable.
Lauren Nakoa is at the heart of this ongoing effort at Kona Village. As Sustainability Manager, she has the great kuleana, or responsibility, of ensuring the health and longevity of the resort’s sacred ecosystem, from land to sea to the ways in which our guests interact with both.
Rosewood is incredibly passionate about progressing the hospitality industry into a more sustainable space with Rosewood Sustains. The intention of this project is to set a new standard. Kona Village is incredibly water efficient. Having a wastewater treatment plant isn't anything new for a lot of resorts on this coast, but we do it a little differently. We pair it with a system that utilizes four groundwater wells that extract brackish water and desalinate them through our reverse osmosis system. We utilize two different forms of recycled or reclaimed water techniques, as opposed to leaning on the potable water that the county gives to the rest of our community here.
We also have one of the largest private microgrids of solar power in the state, so this whole property is 100% solar-powered. We have an incredible storage system for all that power and also a backup plan with generators, which actually take old oil that we send to the biodiesel refinery and then put it right back in our backup generator.
There's 81 acres within this property, with 22 anchialine ponds and 22 archeological sites. Kuleana, stewardship and respect for this ʻāina was proliferated to bring this space back to life. Having so many different kinds of natural resources means you have to manage invasive species. One of the most problematic aquatic invasive species is tilapia. So we've got a great program where you can fish for tilapia right out of the pond. We utilize them either as a high-nutrient fish emulsion compost, or we keep them alive and give them to the monk seal rehabilitation center we work with, for pups that have yet to learn how to switch from eating their mother’s milk to live fish.