The developer of Patina Maldives and the Fari Islands, Singapore-based luxury property developer Pontiac Land Group has converted a US$180 million bank loan for the project into a green loan after achieving EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Advanced Certifications, an international green building standard developed by IFC (International Finance Corporation, member of the World Bank Group).
This is the first green loan in the Maldives to be granted by Pontiac Land Group’s international banking partners DBS, HSBC and UOB, as well as being the developer’s first green loan. This historic milestone lays the foundations for the next chapter in establishing the Fari Islands as a future-ready integrated destination that is carbon-neutral without offsets and reaffirms Pontiac Land Group’s commitment to building a better future for the generations to come.
Forward-looking Fari Islands
From its inception, the Fari Islands’ development has been guided by sustainable architecture and design. It is the largest hospitality project globally to benefit from the extensive use of offsite manufacturing technology known as ‘Mass Engineered Timber’ or ’MET’, which reduced carbon emissions by over 6,000 tons after production and transportation; in addition, all the villas were prefabricated, to ensure minimal run off into the marine ecosystem Departing from the conventional thatched roof structures prevalent in the Maldives, villas and amenities were designed with flat roofs, allowing solar panels to be easily mounted. This allows the Fari Islands to host one of the latest largest solar installations in the Maldives (>2MW). Pontiac Land is currently exploring further site-specific renewable energy solutions to help achieve its net-zero goals.
A first in the Maldives, the island archipelago features the Fari Campus, an island dedicated entirely to a revolutionary purpose-built mix of staff housing and facilities that seeks to bring a sea-change to employee accommodation and wellbeing in the Maldives.
Designed by Gaurang Khemka, founder of award-winning architectural and urban planning firm URBNarc, the spacious Fari Campus offers generous, comfortable living spaces and a full suite of recreational facilities and amenities, as well as the benefit of abundant outdoor areas, including the entire coastline of the island. It was designed to foster a sense of belonging and kinship, with intuitive communal spaces inspired by traditional Maldivian communities, crafted to meet the varying needs of its residents. In partnership with leading hospitality institution Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Fari Campus provides high quality Swiss education to employees in the Indian Ocean offering local talent a realistic, credible alternative to hotel schools in Europe.
Patina for Perpetuality
The flagship of the four-island Fari Islands archipelago, Patina Maldives, the inaugural resort by new lifestyle brand Patina Hotels & Resorts by the Capella Hotel Group, opened in Q2 2021, with a guiding principle of sustainability at its core. A hands-on, data-led approach to positively impacting people and place reflects a brand-wide commitment to the pursuit of ‘perpetuality’.
To further reduce import footprints, Patina Maldives houses an organic permaculture garden, the Garden of Perpetuality, that cultivates fresh pesticide-free produce, including watermelon, sweet melon, okra, eggplant, cucumber, capsicum, pumpkin and kang kong; all food waste is turned into organic fertiliser through bio-digesters. Plant-based Roots, one of the resort’s signature restaurants, operates on the root-to-leaf principle to encourage guests to adopt a more conscious and conscientious lifestyle. Drinking water for the whole archipelago is filtered on site by Nordaq and bottled on island without the use of single-use plastic. In the rooms and at Flow spa, guests are treated to a range of sustainable amenities in refilled containers by British brand Haeckels and US-based OSEA.
Patina’s interpretation of perpetuality is rooted in its belief in effecting and empowering lasting change – starting with nurturing sustainable values in tomorrow’s travellers. Embodying this future-thinking approach, marine conservation and sustainability are woven into the daily offering, through partnerships and creative guest programming focused on coral propagation, ecological research, turtle rehabilitation and repurposing marine plastic.
In partnership with their partner for ceramic tableware Kevala Ceramics, who individually handcraft each piece in Bali, Indonesia, the resort has introduced the use of handmade ceramic frames as a natural alternative to other materials that are widely used. The resort’s marine biologists, along with the guests, have completed 32 coral frames, 30 ceramic structures, and planted 1200 fragment corals into the house reef.
A strong emphasis is placed on children’s activities to engage and raise awareness amongst the next generation of champions for the ocean. Embodying this future-thinking approach, Patina Maldives’ pioneering children’s centre, Footprints, is a place of discovery and inspiration, engaging activities and exceptional facilities – all powered entirely by Swimsol, a company specialising in marine offshore solar panels and the leading solar panel provider in the Maldives. Patina Maldives plans to expand renewable panels by the end of 2023, with more rooftop panels being installed on all beach villas, with the ultimate goal of outfitting solar panels on all of the villas at the resort. With this addition, the solar contribution will increase from 15% to 20.8%, with the objective of providing 50% of the resort’s energy needs within the next five years.
David Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Pontiac Land Group said, “Pontiac Land takes a long-term view on our real estate investments and developments, demonstrating responsibility, integrity and serious consideration for sustainability in every project.”
Antonio Saponara, General Manager of Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, commented: “As an industry, we are entrusted with the role of custodians of the natural beauty of the extraordinary destination that is the Maldives. At Patina Maldives we are meticulous in our efforts to minimise the environmental impact of Fari Islands; we are constantly monitoring our processes and operations to make sure we always focus on human, social, economic and environmental factors, and to ensure we have a positive impact through everything we do.”