Electricy and Lighting
- All 20 of our Superior Rooms and 20 new Villas are equipped with energy saving light bubs and inverter air-conditioners.
- Since 1995, our lodge has been completely self-reliant on energy until 2008, when we started using government electrical supply 12 hours daily, with backup from our own generators for our power demand.
- Our garden and corridors are lit up by kerosene oil lamps. We also recycle our cooking oil to light lamps in our restaurant and lounge area to provide a romantic and cozy ambiance.
- We are currently using crystal solar heaters to supply hot water to all our rooms.
- Part of our Green & Sustainable Practices is encouraging guests to switch off all lights and air-conditioner before they leave their rooms.
- Our Gecko Lounge and Melapi Restaurant are open-concept designed which allows for natural light and air circulation around the area, minimizing the need to use energy, and maximize day time cooling.
- We practice rainwater harvesting, which makes our lodge 100% self-reliant on water. The rainwater harvested is filtered and chlorinated for kitchen use, and washing purposes.
- The hot water in all rooms are supplied by 4 units of 78.69 gallons of Crystal Solar Heating Systems.
- Part of our Green and Sustainable Practices encourages guests to conserve water by minimizing flushing the toilet and making use of the dual flushing system when they flush.
- We also encourage guests to turn off the water taps and shower when not in use.
- To reduce our carbon footprint in such a sensitive area, we do not normally replace guests' towels and linens when they are staying at the lodge for only 2 nights. We will only replace them upon request.
- Our Lodge is equipped with septic tanks so that nothing is discharged into the river. Organic materials are turned into compost, while non bio-degradable materials are separated and sent to Sandakan for disposal and recycling.
- Our lodges also uses BioSolv Treatment System, which is a greener and better alternative in sewage treatment. This modern environmentally-friendly system minimizes the impact of water pollution.
- As part of our Green & Sustainable Practices, littering around the lodge is prohibited. We also encourage guests to recycle their recyclable items and place them into the recycling bins located at the open deck of our lodge.
- Instead of frequently buying bottled water, we encourage guests to bring along their own water bottle, which they can reuse and refill for free anytime from the water dispensers located around our lodge. This is to minimize the use of single-use plastic bottles.
Noise, Safety and Cleanliness
- We want our guests to truly step-out to experience and enjoy all of nature and its wonders, which is why our rooms are not equipped with radio and television.
- Our boats for river boat rides to and from the lodge, and river safari cruises are equipped with outboard engines and electric motors (Evinrude E-TEC and Yamaha Portable Outboard Engine), which meet the world's most stringent emission standards of the European Union and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its low-noise performance and zero-emission minimizes pollution, and reduces the stress on wildlife.
- As a safety precaution, guests must wear their life jacket at all times when on river cruises and boat rides.
- Guests are prohibited from smoking and burning any materials inside the room. Charging of commercial/TV batteries is also prohibited in the room.
- Fire extinguishers are located along the verandahs outside your rooms.
- Guests are not allowed to eat in the room as this will attract insects.
- Feeding of wildlife is prohibited. Thiscan risk their health.
- Keep a safe distance from any wildlife. 20 meters for orangutans, and 30 meters for elephants.
Design and Construction
- The Lodge is built 100ft away from the river bank (except for Melapi Jetty) and outside the riparian reserve to prevent storm water soil erosion. Native vegetation is left intact to provide natural shade, to minimize impact of noise, and provide maximum privacy to the in-house guests.
- The Lodge is built on stilts five feet above ground to minimize impacts of annual flooding of the Kinabatangan River and keep insects, animals, and reptiles out of the rooms. Hornbill boardwalk is built on stilts and is covered for added protection from falling rotting branches.
- Passive cooling design and exhaust fans installed to extract hot air above ceilings to enhance indoor thermal comfort of the Lodge with low energy consumption.
- An open concept is adopted for the Gecko lounge, Gomantong Hall, and Melapi restaurant to allow for unrestrained air circulation and ventilation, thus minimizing the use of fans.
- The Lodge is built with local hardwood species, including Belian (Borneo ironwood), for stilts and pillars. Belian, Merbau and Selangan Batu for open decks and balconies; Nyatoh for room furniture and fixtures.
Local Community Participation
- If possible we try to provide employment opportunities for the local community. The jetty, plank walks, open deck, wall panelling, wooden benches, and deck tables/chairs are all testimony of their capabilities. 80% of our staff are locals. Senior staff were recruited from outside to transfer their skills to the locals and to help provide consistent services. Most of the local staff could not speak English when they joined us. In response we have instituted training and brought in overseas tourism student interns to help them understand different cultures and needs of the tourists, to develop communication skills, and speak English. A few staff has been sent for nature guide training. We hope we have trained them to run the Lodge to your expectations and maximized their natural ability as wildlife spotters for the river cruises and jungle walks.
- The management also encourages ongoing personal development including book reading and a mentoring program that provides leadership training for local staff.
- Your patience and encouragement for any shortcomings will go a long way in helping the staff to overcome shyness, language, and cultural barriers.
Community and Environment Projects
- Since 2000 our community and environmental profit society, Sukau Ecotourism Research and Development Centre SERDC (renamed Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies BEST Society), has organized many projects. That include supplying over 90 water tanks to local families, three medical camps, and the ongoing Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor Rehabilitation Project (KWICORP).
- Sukau Rainforest Lodge and Borneo Eco Tours contribute RM4.00 and RM8.00 respectively for every international guest (totalling RM50, 000.00/ USD 16,400 annually) who stays at the lodge in addition to contribution from guests. We started collecting RM 20.00 per guest as conservation levies in 2009; this goes towards the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life Tourism Operators Association (KiTA) and BEST Society to enhance conservation along the Kinabatangan.
Education and Interpretation
- An information gallery on the local flora and fauna has been set up to provide education for in-house guests, additionally, our naturalist guides can provide additional interpretation of the rainforest around the Hornbill Boardwalk. A self guided booklet and free handbook on Kinabatangan Floodplain is also available in the room. Information about Conservation Fellows who have contributed to the conservation of the Kinabatangan region is also available in the room. A free pictorial colour guide of wildlife of Sabah is also made available to all guests.
- Additional information is available in our publication "Saving Paradise - The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge".