Amankora Sustainability

Culture & Conservation at Amankora

Exemplifying a spirit-lifting model of high-end, low-impact community-based tourism in the Himalayas

Bhutan is one of the only carbon-negative countries in the world. A nation with 70 per cent forest coverage, the country's sustainability endeavours also include hyper-localising their supply chain, eliminating all traces of plastic bottles, long-term temple restoration, and skill-sharing between tourists and the Bhutanese community. In Bhutan, it is custom to mark special occasions by planting trees. At Amankora, supporting in these efforts is an essential part of daily life, for both the team and Aman guests.  

RESOURCES

Amplifying how precious water is for us all 

It’s important for Amankora to help convey how water is a precious resource in so many ways. Taking guests from one valley to another with experiences in nature, the resort helps guests, many of whom may never have experienced water shortage or droughts, to better understand the environment, and the realities of life for others if water sources are compromised. This outreach has also elicited generous donations for wells and pump systems for local villages from our generous guests. 
 
In addition, and to reduce the negative impact bottled water has on our environment, in 2019, the resort installed its own reverse osmosis and four-step filtration systems and introduced refillable glass bottles. The resort also introduced flasks for all team members to enjoy their daily Bhutanese tea without the use single-use coffee cups. 

Clean, green energy 

In Bhutan, hydropower has overtaken both the agriculture and tourism industries in its contribution to the country’s GDP. The country’s national grid is powered by renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind and bioenergy. These processes are being developed by the government with the belief that for everything we take from our surroundings, an alternative approach should be found to restore balance - this ethos is instilled in the conscience of both society and Amankora. 
 

Home grown discoveries 

Shrinking the miles in Amankora’s supply chain has been a satisfying part of reducing the resort’s carbon footprint, allowing the team to examine their practices in food operations. With borders closed and supply chains flowing less predicably in recent times, Amankora has struggled to rely on importation of key ingredients for its kitchens. Necessity being the mother of invention, to combat this issue, the resort recently began growing food across its five lodges, expanding its gardens to tend to the needs of its kitchens serving both guests and team members. One of the most exciting new discoveries on site has been the cultivation of delicious fresh chillis, a common ingredient in Amankora’s dishes, previously sourced externally 

CONSERVATION

A decade of restoration

An historic Bhutanese fort built in 1638, the reconstruction of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong has been a labour of love for the local community and Amankora’s maintenance team. In 2012, faulty wiring meant that this important fortress between Punak Tsang Chhu and the Dang Chhu burned down. A great loss for the nation, it has been an honour for Amankora to have assisted the monks with part of the reconstruction process. The year 2021 marked ten years of restoration work, and by late 2022 this significant dzongkhag will finally reach full restoration. Amankora's craftspeople worked painstakingly with the Ministry of Culture to honour the original architecture and medieval form of the structure, in hope to restore it to its former glory.  

COMMUNITY

Education exchange and upskilling  

Amankora’s lodges are connected in so many ways to Bhutan’s institutions, student networks and the wider community. The resort supports a local school through community service with the team participating in several of activities during low season. Amankora guests are also involved with this community service effort, with leading professionals from across the globe sharing their skills and experiences in manifold ways. Examples include leaders from the art world improving the archiving systems in a local museum, financial professionals sharing invaluable advice on accounting, and design and merchandising alumni offering support with e-commerce endeavors.