Our Native Village, an eco-resort for holistic health located outside of Bangalore, is at the forefront of sustainable hospitality in India. The 24-room resort has a fully natural swimming pool, a spa, and a 12-acre organic farm that serves the guests sustainable food. Working with the GSTC criteria, Our Native Village now generates 75% of its own electricity, uses mostly rainwater to meet the water needs, and produces zero waste—making it a 100% eco-resort. “In 2006, we started Our Native Village to provide a place for people who are seeking refuge from the complexities of life, but also a luxurious place to be at peace,” said Ramkumar, owner of the eco-resort. “By making our facilities, our products, and our food completely sustainable, we are able to provide an even more holistic experience for our guests.”
Our Native Village has set the stage as the only firm in the country to have adopted the GSTC criteria on its own. As CB Ramkumar developed the eco-resort he looked to the GSTC criteria as a guiding tool on how to be truly sustainable. And auspicious of “greenwashing”, he saw the GSTC as a source of credibility for Our Native Village. “Being a sustainable resort is all about accountability, sincerity, and hard work,” said Ramkumar. “By utilizing the GSTC’s criteria and guidelines, we are able to be responsible and accountable to ourselves and our guests. And the GSTC criteria provides a truly comprehensive approach to sustainability—from energy conservation and sustainable building to employee health and community investment.”
As a result of this effort, the Tourism Ministry of India organized a workshop on the criteria and indicated that the resort may serve as a role model supporting the Ministry’s decision to adapt the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria at the National level to Indian standards.