Social Responsibility and Giving Back
27th September 2023
At the Zanzibar Collection, social responsibility is not just a nice-to-have but a significant part of how we do hospitality. Economic, social and environmental responsibility are the three pillars guiding our way of giving back for over 20 years, since the first hotel was opened.
Local Sourcing and Partnerships
Zanzibar Collection prioritizes local sourcing in a variety of ways. Many of the beautiful furniture pieces and striking artifacts seen in our hotels are handcrafted by local artisans, celebrating centuries of creative traditions in Zanzibar. Quite often they integrate reclaimed items following a policy of reduce, reuse and recycle that minimizes waste and the cost of new materials.
90% of the hotels’ workforce is from Zanzibar and Tanzania. Many staff members have moved up the ranks over the years into senior positions, thanks to investment in skills and career development by the Zanzibar Collection. Siriac, manager at The Palms, started as a waiter at Breezes Beach Club. Asmine, head chef at Breezes Beach Club, arrived as a kitchen trainee.
The local community of Bwejuu is more than just neighbours. Zanzibar Collection helped establish a maternity and neonatal clinic at Bwejuu village, providing much-needed medical services and supplies. We continually work to improve the area through support in sanitation and educational infrastructure. An arranged visit to Bwejuu village gives guests an authentic encounter with the local communities.
Supporting the local economy extends to food ingredients that aligns with our aim of healthy meal offerings for guests. The delectable cuisine at the hotels could not happen without locally-produced fruits and vegetables, fresh-catch seafood from local fishermen and the range of spices grown on the island. We are keen on procuring seasonal items, organic foods and pesticide-free produce, supplemented by an organic garden at Zawadi Hotel. The hand-made, chemical-free body treatment products at the Frangipani Spa are based on locally available ingredients such as coconut, fruit spices and fragrances.
Zero Plastics Pledge
To date, our zero-plastics pledge across all properties has phased out plastic straws, and introduced cardboard lunch boxes and biodegradable glasses and cups. We prefer to buy beverages in glass bottles and recyclable drinking water containers. Plastic bottles and containers are repurposed as flower pots in the nursery garden and construction material for back-of-the-house structures.
Climate Change remains the most critical environmental issue of our time. Zanzibar Collection was the first to install electricity on this part of the island, however, we remain unwaveringly committed to energy conservation and renewable energy. The solar farm, opened in 2019, is a first of its kind in Zanzibar and now supplies power to all four hotels alongside grid electricity. Our carbon footprint is further minimised by solar water heating systems at Baraza and Breezes hotels.
Ocean activities for guests (reef walks, diving, snorkelling and more) are carried out with utmost consideration for the environment, following safe diving practices and controlled visitor numbers to the coral reef. Through the Rising Sun Dive Centre at Breezes Beach Club, we are engaged in coral restoration in the Chupis area of northern Zanzibar as a citizen science project.
The various excursions we arrange around Zanzibar gives guests a first-hand experience of the rich cultural and natural heritage of the island whilst contributing to the local economy. Tours of Stone Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Jozani Forest, the reefs and coastal mangroves take place in small, intimate groups. At the hotels, Swahili cooking classes, palm-weaving demonstrations, Kiswahili language basics and traditional story-telling immerse guests in diverse aspects of Zanzibari culture.