How to Build a Sustainable Resort

“Integrating environmental management is not a challenge that can be met overnight.”

Frangipani incorporates 200 green practices to run the operations in its resort. Some of the most prominent ones are featured here.

Delma Genevieve Lawrence is Environment (Sustainable) Manager at The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa

Previously known as Langkawi Village and owned by a Maldivian since 1991, Adjunct Professor Anthony Wong bought over the property in 2005 and renamed it The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa. We have been enthusiastically practising and promoting eco-tourism and adventure tourism for the past 30 years.

With 115 rooms spread over 10 acres, The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa (FLGK) has always found ways to minimize the threat to the environment in our daily operations. We recognize the need for making profit coupled with environmental responsibility. The protection of environment is the greatest challenge as we are aware that energy, water and materials are increasingly threatened.

With over 200 green practices to run the operation in this resort, we aim to reduce our energy and water usage by 5% every year, to have enough supply of organic vegetables for our kitchen and to minimize the waste that will go to the landfill. Our environment (Sustainable) Department plays the most important role in maintaining and improving the green practices from time to time.

With the endless support from the other departments, we are able to improve our operation and environmental performance. Every employee also has the opportunity to suggest ways of improving the environmental practices at the resort.

Healthy Food

We are focusing on our edible landscape as well as our organic farm to produce healthy food for our staff and guests. As food security is the main issue nowadays, organic farming is one of the solutions.

Besides the 4R concept (reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink), Black Soldier fly farming is one of the best solutions that we practise to reduce the landfill which is one of the main issues on the island.

Every day, there is an increase of about 4,000 metric tonnes of food being wasted including untouched food from hotels, private residences, hawker centers and other sources.

The Frangipani resort, together with 10 other businesses have started Food Waste Champion Project where we will collect all the food waste which will then be processed to feed the black soldier fly larvae. The larvae will be then used to feed our poultry like chickens, ducks and fishes. These high-appetite larvae will also produce the valuable compost which is used as organic fertilizer in our farm.

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We strongly believe that the ecosystem has its own way of maintaining itself if we really take good care of them. Our integrated organic farm which comprises organic vegetables, free range chickens and ducks, fruit trees and stingless bees is a balanced form of ecosystem at the back house of the resort. By having chickens and ducks, we can reduce food cost, reduce carbon footprint of food supply transportation and be self-sustainable. Eggs from our ducks will be made into salted eggs and served in the restaurant. We are also hatching our own chicken eggs to maintain the numbers in our chicken villa.

Having a good variety of fruit trees in the resort gives our guests the privilege of eating fresh organic fruits from our own garden. We have mangos, jack fruits, starfruits, mulberries, papayas and water apples. Our stingless bees colonies in the farm are not only for producing honey, they are also alternative pollinators for our fruit trees. The honey from our stingless bees are served to our guests and they are allowed to visit and experience the harvesting process.

Constructed Wetland

As a green resort, we treat our own waste water, black and grey water using our own constructed wetland. It has the capability to treat the waste water including the sewage and laundry water from the resort.

Bioremediation is a process where aquatic plants such as water hyacinth, water mimosa, and water lettuce are used to absorb the nutrients in the waste water and other contaminants. This method is proven to be effective as the water from point 1 and point 3 are sent for water analysis testing every six months to ensure the water quality is good to be used in the garden and resort during the dry season.

“Our integrated organic farm which comprises organic vegetables, free range chickens and ducks, fruit trees and stingless bees is a balances form of ecosystem.”

“Sustainability is our future.”


The Frangipani is aware of the importance of sustaining the surrounding community and therefore places priority on developing the educational aspect to empower the community and improve health and quality of life.

Every month (since 2018), we will conduct an organic farming course, targeting mostly the local Langkawi people and school students. The main objectives are to educate people especially the local community on organic farming to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance.

This will help to minimize pollution and wastage as well as showing methods on making use of biological materials and avoiding synthetic substances. Participants comprise mostly locals, government servants, hoteliers and school students.


“Frangipani believes a company which has integrated environmental performance into its sustainable development strategy will usually deliver proven business benefits.”

1. Solar panels

Every villa in our resort is installed with solar panels to heat up the water. This is to reduce the usage of the electricity. We also look at maximizing this energy source throughout our resort in a manner which is comfortable for our guests.

2. Open Spaces

By having larger windows and open spaces for more light and air to come through the resort, this can indirectly reduce the building’s energy use. This design allows for maximum natural lighting to enter the room.

3. Thick and Transparent Roofs

Other than that, transparent roofs are used at the recycling center, restaurant deck as well as staff area to enable natural lighting to enter these areas. The thick corrugated plastic roof is UV treated and is more resistant to weathering. It also requires minimal maintenance and can withstand against strong impact; such as a coconut falling onto it.

4. Air Condition Water

Further, chlorine and paint containers are reused and placed under each air conditioner compressor behind guests’ rooms in order to collect condensation from the compressor.

The usage of air condition for 12 hours will generate an average of 10 litres of air condition compressor water. This water is then used for irrigating the surrounding areas. This is a more efficient method of watering plants as it minimizes the need to use paid treated water.

5. Rain Harvesting

The resort has 125 poly tanks, each able to harvest up to 4,000 liters of rainwater for a total capacity of 500,000 litres. Water is collected during the rainy days to be used. The rain water is collected from the rain gutter, and goes through the first poly tanks. Then, through a small filtration system connected to a second tank, the water is ready for use. Uses of the rain water include cleaning the public pathways, landscape and vegetable gardens, irrigation purposes as well as flushing toilets.

“We aim to reduce our energy and water usage by 5% every year”

6. Separate Piping

Our rooms have dual piping system from the guests’ bathroom. The bigger pipe is for black water which goes directly to the septic tank (waste) which will be treated by the constructed wetland, whereas the smaller pipe is from the bath room and sink which is channeled directly to water the plants outside the room.

7. Garbage Enzyme

We create our own garbage enzyme which is used as a soil fertilizer, detergent to wash floors, and as a natural pesticide. Our eco-enzyme is a complex solution produced by fermentation of fresh kitchen waste such as fruit peels and vegetable waste which are then mixed with brown sugar and water. It is a multi-purpose liquid and can be used for a variety of applications such as household cleaning or as a fertilizer.

The Housekeeping department use this eco-enzyme in cleaning operations and the landscape team will spray it onto the soil to fertilize the soil. Using this enzyme helps to reduce the use of toxic chemical fertilizers. When used for cleaning purposes, the enzymes also helps to protect the environment. Chemical compounds used in detergents are often responsible for environmental degradation.

8. Shore Plants

Our resort is blessed with a beautiful beach in front of our restaurant, however with the change of current and the coastal erosion, it has affected the vegetation at our beach area. To control this issue, shore plants are planted along our beach. The roots of coastal plants help to anchor the sand and ensure that it is not carried off in erosion.

9. Gabion

Other than that, we have built a gabion to protect the exposed roots of the casuarina trees along the beach front. Gabions are cages fill with rocks and placed at the sloping area to prevent soil erosion. The gabion is proven to be effective in ensuring the sand is restored back to protect the exposed roots.

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