During our visit to the barefoot luxury Zeavola Resort, the General Manager, Florian Hallerman had promised us a ‘behind the scenes’ tour to show us Zeavola’s green, environmental initiatives in action. Florian’s passion and determination is immediately evident as he talks about their ‘responsible co-existence’. 

Zeavola Resort

Zeavola Resort villa“It’s all about ensuring a safe and natural environment for our guests, each other and our partners on Koh Phi Phi Island. It’s not only what we achieve, but how we live it that determines the real value of our company”, he says. I soon learn that it is about the people – guests, colleagues, partners, and the local community, about the environment and about conservation.

Creating Awareness

We started our back of house tour in the staff area and meet Min who proudly shows off her Zeavola shopping bag and metal drinking cup – and her obvious support for Manchester United.

Florian explains that each team member received a metal drinking cup that they can refill at one of the numerous refill stations throughout the resort, as well as an environmentally friendly canvas bag to use when shopping. Not only does this reduce the amount of single use plastic, but it a great way to educate others.

We had each received a lovely aluminium water bottle which we were able to fill up with wonderfully chilled water from the reusable glass water bottles in our suite or the refill station at the reception area – which was really easy to do before heading out to the beach.

Florian tells us that the successful implementation of reusable glass bottles has reduced the use of single-use plastic bottles by over 120,000 per year.  Alexandre Tsuk, the founder of RefillMyBottle, had previously visited Zeavola and is the inspiration behind the water filling stations across the resort.

Zeavola water bottleRefillMyBottle station at ZeavolaWater

Florian takes us past the water purification dam, screened off from guests using bamboo fences and lush vegetation. The in-house maintenance and engineering team have created cost-effective methods of filtering the water using every-day materials – at a vastly reduced cost (and carbon footprint) to the equivalent imported products.  Education regarding the consumption on water has resulted in a reduction in wastewater. A complex reverse osmosis water system has been developed to ensure all wastewater, which is tested regularly for purity, is reused in the jungle gardens.

The water is so clean that fish reside in the pond and birds enjoy the aquatic environment it provides. We spot a gorgeous greater racket-tailed drongo on a branch overhanging the pond, happily catching bugs, and singing his melodious song. Just one of the new bird species to add to our list.

Water saving at ZeavolaWooden frog at ZeavolaWaste

The executive chef and his team work closely with local suppliers to reduce or eliminate the plastic packaging usually associated with food delivery. One of these methods is to use baskets for transporting food as well as reusable ice boxes for the transportation of perishable goods reducing the need for Styrofoam boxes. A strict recycling protocol is in place were packaging is unavoidable.

Recycling bins at Zeavola

Zeavola Resort sneak peek behind the scenes to the kitchenA composting cycle has been introduced so that all organic waste is re-purposed as a rich fertiliser for the plants and trees on the resort. Trimmings from the lush jungle gardens are shredded, mulched, and composted but what impresses most, is the relatively new Reddonatura composting machine that, almost miraculously, takes organic waste and in a matter of days turn it into ‘pre-compost’.

Florian explains that kitchen food waste is fed into a dewatering machine that essentially compacts the waste and squishes most of the water out through a mesh screen. The liquid is then sent to the water treatment plant and the waste, which is now reduced in volume by over 50%, is ready for the organic waste converter. Organic being the key thing. Compostable material includes fruit and vegetable peels, poultry, meat and fish and meal leftovers, but no big bones. Up to 75kg per day of this organic material is then fed into the organic waste converter, where the magic happens. After about 24-36 hours the organic material has been converted to a compost-like material, ready for use in the gardens. This system is likely to save over 20 tonnes of waste each year.


Energy consumption throughout the resort has been reduced through the implementation of energy efficient devices in all aspects of the operation, the installation of energy saving lightbulbs in guest rooms, gardens, public places and offices, as well as incorporating movement sensor controls in public areas. Heading to the ‘engine room’ which controls all thing electrical, my hubby appreciates the technology whilst I admire the vibrant and colourful adornments that, as per Thai culture, are asking for a blessing and the continued operation of this very crucial part of the operation.

Local Community 

A few of the other initiatives that Florian has implemented are: the daily cleaning of local beaches; regular coral cleaning under strict PADI guidelines with divers and experienced guests; the ‘adoption’ and regular cleaning up of Nui Bay; the active support of local clean-up initiatives as well as the maintenance and operation of the local pier, thereby providing safe and constant access to the village.

Support for the local community is an integral part of Zeavola’s social responsibility. This starts by embracing the local community and respecting their way of life as well as supporting them actively in a variety of ways such as: the provision of workforce and materials for renovation work at Laem Tong School; being the primary organiser of the Laem Tong School’s annual children’s day party on the beach; supporting local charities on Phi Phi Island, especially those that focus on child development; the support of two annual sea gypsy festivals with the local community as well as engaging with local fishermen and artists and purchasing their products thus providing them with additional income.

Zavola Little Green BookTo find out more about Zeavola Resort’s sustainability, check out ‘Zeavola’s Little Green Book’ written by Florian Hallerman – click HERE to download.