Six Themes of Sustainability
Along with using ancient tools, the Beyul plans to also use the most advanced knowledge to create environments that are beautiful and, at the same time, sustainable, integrated developments. From the use of solar roof tiles to capture and store solar energy, to rainwater capture, to a total recycle and reuse policy of zero waste, to local sourcing of food and labor, the Beyul’s Resorts are intended to be models of how beauty and sustainability can be combined.
The Beyul’s sustainability expert, Bob Voermans from the Netherlands, has summarized the approach:
The Beyul Project is based on an appreciation of the beauty and value of every aspect of life. Each of us plays an important part in the creation of that beauty. With all our actions we continuously have an impact on this creation because we recognize that all parts of life are connected.
Since our health and wellbeing depend on nutritious food, clean water and fresh air to breathe, those basic needs are important to secure. With the exponential growth of our population and the trend of decreasing availability of natural resources, this is one of the biggest challenges we face in the world today.
The United Nations wrote in a report on desertification that already 52% of our arable land is severely or completely depleted. Due to drought and desertification each year 12 million hectares are lost (23 hectares/minute!), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown. The loss of fertile topsoil not only has implications for our food production, it also releases CO2 from the soil into the air. This is one of the main contributors to the greenhouse gasses in the air that causes climate change.
These and other stunning environmental challenges ask for an immediate and completely different approach to the way we manage our life and our resources.
One key part of the Beyul is to create models of a new way of living—to demonstrate that it’s possible to combine beauty and comfort with an integrated approach to building and living. Our vision is to create unique environments that support the natural world of which they are a part, as well as the people who are living in them. Our intent is that the Beyul Resorts will be inspirational examples that others will want to emulate.
Below are the six main categories the Beyul plans to address to meet its sustainability goals.
1. Green Architecture
Aesthetically well-designed in harmony with the surrounding landscape, the buildings of the Beyul's Resorts are intended to be uplifting and healing environments.
Here are some of the architectural solutions we will consider as we design these Resorts:
- How can the buildings be integrated into the landscape with minimum disturbance of the natural surroundings?
- Passive building design – How can we use ‘natural’ sources of heating, cooling, ventilation and light to create optimum comfort inside the building?
- What natural and local materials can we use with high thermal mass and insulation properties?
- How can we integrate ancient knowledge of building in accord with nature for optimum health, wealth and happiness?
- How can we design the roofs of our buildings so they are both attractive and capture solar energy for use within the buildings, and also capture rainwater to serve the Resort’s needs?
- How can we design structures that serve multiple purposes—aesthetically pleasing, functional, energy producing, and inspiring
2. Renewable Energy
Our aim is to become self sufficient in energy needs and ideally to have some over production to deliver back to the electric grid.
Here are some of the energy solutions that we will consider as we design the Resorts:
- Use of photovoltaic panels, tiles, or other innovative ways of capturing solar energy
Use of micro wind turbines
Use of solar powered heat pumps
Biomass energy generators
Passive energy building designs
Energy efficient laundry system
Energy saving lighting solutions
Using only electric vehicles for transport on the grounds
Application of geothermal solutions
3. Water management
As we all know water is a vital element to life on earth. We as humans are advised to drink about 2 liters of drinking water each day and our bodies consist of about 60% water. Apart from that all plants, animals and ecosystems that supply us with food and fresh air rely on clean water to grow.
The global demand for water is increasing and is expected to increase by over 50% in 2050. Due to water pollution this will become a great challenge for all of us knowing that already in the US alone, 40% of the rivers and 46% of the lakes are polluted and are considered unhealthy for swimming, fishing or aquatic life.
Proper water management and conservation is therefore one of the top priorities of the Beyul Resorts. It is our aim to sustain or regenerate our local water sources.
Some of the water management solutions we’ll consider as we design the Resorts include:
- Water saving devices and software
- Re-use of water (where appropriate)
- Water filter systems for healthy drinking water
- Providing glass vitalizing water bottles to our guests
- Rainwater collection
- Onsite water cleaning with solutions such as John Todd’s eco machine (the water we bring back into the water cycle should be cleaner than when we took it out)
- Building fertile topsoil (for retaining water in rainy seasons and releasing it in dry seasons)
- Water saving tips and tools for employees and guests
4. Zero waste Policy
Together we produce a lot of waste that usually ends up in public landfills. This is not only polluting our environment it is also a big loss of resources that could have been re-used or recycled if designed well.
When we mimic natural eco systems -where waste doesn’t exist and the output of one is the input of the other, we can move away from our linear economy into a new, circular economy--sometimes called a regenerative economy.
Whereas in the linear economy we take, make and dispose of finite resources to landfills, the circular economy specifically designs products with the possibility for re-use or recycling. In this way resources are of value throughout the whole lifecycle or they can safely reenter the biosphere after having served their purpose.
The Beyul Project intends to be a leader in designing the new circular economy and we envision contributing to it by:
- Choosing products designed for reuse and recycling
- Using recycled materials
- Reducing usage and implementing reuse where possible
- Differentiating waste collection for reuse and recycling
5. Food and Farming
Just as water is one of the basic necessities we need to stay healthy, so is food. We are committed to serving the highest quality, organic food to our guests, especially prepared for their specific dietary needs.
Where possible, we will purchase properties with land appropriate for organic farming that can supply guests and staff with nutritious food. This is not only a way to ensure the quality of the food, but when done well, can be a beautiful feature and experience for our guests. Where it’s not possible to grow our own food, we’ll source organic food from local suppliers.
In our supply chain we will aim to minimize the distance from our food supplies and work with farming practices that actively regenerate the soil. This will make the food even more nutritious over time and our guests can enjoy the best food now and for generations to come.
6. Social responsibility
Helping individuals, groups and organizations answer life’s core questions is a key part of our mission. We plan to do this by courses with world class trainers, an annual conference and groups that focus on specific areas in life to improve.
We are committed to bringing the best possible knowledge and trainers together to facilitate learning and development in the different areas. It is important to us to do this in a safe and inspirational setting that fosters the best possible outcome for everyone.
Some of the ways we hope to do this include:
- Free training days for local influencers that address the most urgent problems in the immediate surroundings of the Beyul resort
- Co-promotion with local authorities and agencies to support local cultural and social activities
- (Locally) sourced products to support the new circular economy
- Using local labor wherever possible to support the local economy
- Personal and career development program for staff members
A key part of our purpose and mission is to help individuals around the world contact and access the “inner Beyul” we each have inside of us. To this end, the Beyul Project plans to:
- Donate 10% of its profits to teach meditation to at-risk populations around the world including veterans suffering from PTSD, abused women and children, abandoned children, victims of war, and students throughout the world
- Provide matching funds for staff to learn meditation
- Create a Foundation to fund consciousness-based projects for addressing major social issues identified for funding at the Project’s annual conferences