Caring for the environment

We are extremely lucky to be based in one of the world’s most unique spots; the Khao Sok national park rainforest area. Being close to nature and understanding the importance of conserving the environment are inherent values to Elephant Hills and our visitors. Hence, we are trying our best to lower our impact on this amazing planet of ours. Furthermore, we hope to inspire our guests and possibly even other organizations to become more environmentally conscious.

Read more about sustainability at Elephant Hills:

Sustainability 1

Involving the local community

When talking about sustainability of a resort, an elephant camp, or a nature tour operator, it’s important to take a boarder look at the surroundings and the local communities. We are one of the biggest employers in Khao Sok rainforest area, and we feel it’s our responsibility to ensure that the positive impact reaches the members of the community, not only in terms of wealth but education and active involvement.

For over 15 years we have spread awareness of nature conservation and preventing deforestation through our “Trees Can Talk” essay writing contest in three local schools in Khao Sok. This is an annual project during the National Children’s Day, and it encourages children to consider and discuss with their families the importance of environmental protection and the balance of the fragile but essential ecosystems they are surrounded by.

We arrange regular rubbish collection and clean-ups at the local Sok River. During these events we invite local people to join our team using our inflatable canoes, providing everyone with food and drinks at the end of the activity. During our tree-planting and carbon offsetting projects it’s important to involve local communities who live in the villages surrounding the National Parks. We have received amazing support from the villagers and local schools with plenty of helping hands working together for a good cause.

Lowering our impact and reducing plastic waste

At Elephant Hills, we are trying our best to constantly find ways to lower our impact to the environment and reduce the amount of plastic waste. Here are some of our efforts so far:

  • All guests are given reusable stainless steel water bottles for the period of their stay, with plenty of complimentary fill up stations available at all our tour locations
  • No plastic bottles are handed out or sold at our restaurant or cafes. Drinking water in rooms and transfers is provided in reusable and recyclable glass bottles
  • Reusable stainless-steel straws are used instead of plastic straws in all restaurants and cafes
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided in refillable ceramic dispensers
  • Only the essential toiletries are provided, using paper packaging and cotton buds with wooden stems. In our souvenir shop we sell bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, and reef safe locally made sun lotion
  • We no longer hand out single-packed items, such as refreshing towels or snacks during our tours. Paper bags available at our souvenir shops
  • We consider the environment during large staff events and training; instead of plastic or foam lunch boxes, plastic bottles, cups and utensils, reusable and recyclable options are used
  • Moving away from marketing material made of plastic; we hand out sustainable and plantable seed pencils instead of plastic pens. Instead of frequent long-haul flights, we have marketing teams based overseas. We do regular flight carbon offsetting by planting trees in co-operation with local National Parks
  • Monitoring and reducing water, energy, and fuel consumption and food waste where possible
  • Sorting recyclable waste, composting bio waste, and ensuring proper wastewater management
  • Regular staff training on environmental and sustainability aspects. Guests are advised to help save water and energy in the rooms and food waste during buffet meals via signage.
  • Our floating Lake Camp is designed in a highly responsible and sustainable way by using solar energy and running an exceptional waste management system. All wastewater is collected and treated in a septic tank in the mainland and rubbish taken to the mainland to be sorted.
Sustainability 8

CO2 Offsetting project

We like to keep a very close relationship with our overseas partners, and therefore the members of our marketing team are frequent visitors to our friends all around the world.

Over the past years, we have come up with different ways to both lower and offset our emissions caused by long-haul travel.  One of the biggest factors in reducing the number of flights is having our marketing teams permanently based in Europe and Australia. This has enabled our teams to use public land transportation as the main means of traveling.

In those cases that we still travel by flying, we try to maximize the time spent in each country or area, avoiding the need of constantly flying back and forth. In order to offset the carbon emissions occurring from our marketing flights, we started our CO2 Offsetting project with a survey to the potential planting area in 2017. Since then, we have planted altogether 6,500 trees in Kaeng Krung National Park, successfully offsetting emissions of all of our marketing flights of 2017 and 2018.

We are excited to keep going and continue this great initiative now after the pandemic and have plans in place for more tree-planting in 2023. Moreover, we believe that you can never plant too many trees and are currently looking for areas to expand this project even further!

Sustainability 14
Sustainability 15

The award-winning Lake Camp

Our floating tent camp at the magnificent Cheow Larn Lake doesn’t only provide a highly unique facilities in terms of accommodation. Yes, you are floating on a lake in the middle of one of the world’s oldest rainforests, sleeping in an African style safari luxury tent. However, the uniqueness of the Lake Camp goes beyond that. After all, here it’s all about being one with the nature at Khao Sok national park.

This floating tent resort is designed in a highly responsible and sustainable way by using solar and wind energy and running an exceptional waste management system. Each luxury tent has its own solar panel generating electricity, and all wastewater is collected and treated in a septic tank in the mainland.

As with our other tented camp, the usage of plastic has been reduced to absolute minimum. Guests use refillable, reusable stainless steel bottles for drinking water, whereas water in the tents comes in recyclable glass bottles. Cocktails and other drinks are served with reusable stainless steel straws. All rubbish is taken to the mainland to be sorted.

Furthermore, having a reception area with luggage storage near the pier has helped us to reduce unnecessary boat traffic at the lake. With only small overnight bags taken to the Lake Camp, and combining transportation of laundry, fresh food ingredients and other goods we have minimized the number of boat rides in and out of the resort. In 2018, the Lake Camp was awarded the Responsible Thailand Award in the category of Eco Lodge.

A never-ending journey

Although we are excited and proud of our efforts so far, we believe this is an on-going mission and the work towards more sustainable luxury tent resort and jungle tour operations is never completed. The more knowledge we have, the better we can consider, re-evaluate and further improve our actions. We are fascinated by some of the latest sustainability innovations and keep learning and exploring new measures by regularly joining sustainability events and conferences. At Elephant Hills, we welcome any comments and ideas from our visitors and partners when it comes to improving the sustainability aspects. We don’t believe in shaming anyone for their way of life, but rather in sharing information and creating change in a positive, encouraging manner.

Lead by example – celebrate every step

Needless to say, one of the most powerful ways is to lead by example. As we like to teach our staff in our regular sustainability trainings, even the smallest things you can do for the planet truly matter. Everyone can be the very person to trigger change in someone else. You can show up at your office carrying your lunch in a reusable container, shop at your local grocery store using reusable produce bags, or collect rubbish when walking in the forest. This doesn’t necessarily mean people around you will instantly do the same, but there is a good chance it will start some kind of thinking process that will eventually result in a positive change.

Sustainability 16
Sustainability 17
4 Days Promotion

Get an extra night for FREE!

Book 4 days – Nature Safari tour for the price of a 3 days tour!

Booking period: Until 29 February 2024
Travel period: Anytime

Get An Extra Night For FREE!

Book 4 days Nature Safari tour for the price of a 3 day tour!

Booking period: Until 29 Feb 2024
Travel period: Anytime