Connect with us


Raising bar past low-tide mark – Phuket Business

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a long-standing and ill-fated tradition of stopping at the low-tide mark. For mountain resorts in the French Alps, which do not rely on what is beneath the ocean surface to draw guests, such an oversight is understandable. However, the trend of CSR projects not safeguarding heavily threatened marine systems, such as the coral reefs surrounding Phuket and Phi Phi, will lead to the downfall of these areas, said Zeavola General Manager Florian Hallermann.

“If the corals are gone, the island will be eroded and in the end we will be gone. So my plan is actually for self preservation, because I love this island and I love to work here,” Mr Hallermann said.

“By looking after the coral and educating people on how important the corals are, I do hope we can make a difference, and basically keep on living here and being successful.”

CSR has evolved significantly since the term was coined in 1953 by Howard Bown in Social Responsibility as Businessmen. The evolution has not been a smooth one, as many critics on both sides of the fence see CSR as either harmful divergence of a business’s resources from its essential role in the economy, or as a preemptive attempt of corporations to avoid stricter regulations enforced by government watchdogs.

Nonetheless, the widely cited article published in 2000 in Strategic Management Journal by McWilliams and Siegel demonstrates that CSR, when properly modeled, has a neutral impact on financial outcomes – costing corporations little to nothing, but offering long-term benefits to its stakeholders.

For Mr Hallermann, a primary stakeholder on Phi Phi Island is the Sea Gypsy population, who have been living among the islands off the Thai Andaman coast for centuries.

“I see the Sea gypsies using the coral reefs as a source for their protein and their food. The more I got involved with coral reefs, the more I understood about how important they are for the ecosystem of Phi Phi Island,” Mr Hallermann said.

In an effort of both self preservation and the preservation of essential stakeholders, Zeavola launched its project “Coral Freedom” last month.

The project plan for 2013 relies heavily on supporting the efforts of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) and the work of Andrew Hewett from the Adventure Club.

The DMCR and Andrew Hewett established coral nurseries in the waters off Phi Phi and an artificial reef “Viking Cave” in 2006. Despite drastic setbacks caused by coral bleaching in 2010, they have continued to foster the conservation of corals in the area.

“I know how hard the PMBC and other individuals, such as Andrew from Adventure Club, have been working over the last seven years. I think if we can get more individuals together, we can create a dynamic where more hotels will get involved,” said Mr Hallermann.

Zeavola, home to a PADI Green Star dive center, will join up with those currently working on coral conservation projects and help maintain the mid-water coral nurseries, as well as the seabed nurseries, Zeavola’s Activities Manager Cian O’Fearghail explained.

In addition to the hands on efforts in the project, Zeavola pledged to focus on educating staff, guests and the local community about sustainable marine practices.

“The seminar [we have put together] will be given to all our staff members in Thai and it will be given to all my long-tail captains because we actively live from the coral reef and we are actively out their with our guests,” Mr Hallermann said. “Additionally, we will be going to local elementary schools to teach the kids.”

“I would be happy to supply the seminar to other hotels if anyone else is interested. But we first need to clean our house, before enticing other people to follow us,” he said.

The last major goal outlined for 2013 was the establishment of mooring buoys for visiting yachts in Laem Thong.

“The earth does not care about us, the only things who care about us are ourselves, and usually in the terms of what is in our bank accounts. We don’t see below the low tide mark – I don’t know if we will make much of an impact, but for the little area in which we live and are successful, I want to give something back. I want to do something about it,” Mr Hallermann said.

Keep checking the Gazette’s business pages for the latest local and national business news updates affecting Phuket and Thailand. Alternatively, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)31 mins ago

Sunday Covid Update: 15,335 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)50 mins ago

Covid UPDATE: 15,335 new infections, provincial numbers

Coronavirus Infections55 mins ago

DDC says infections still rising, possibly falling in Bangkok

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

DDC says use the QueQ app to book appointment at sports stadium in Pathum Thani

Business3 hours ago

Inside story behind the Thailand property seachange

Thailand3 hours ago

Domestic flights added to Phuket/Samui, CAAT says be careful

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

4th body found on a Bangkok street

Events5 hours ago

Where have all of Thailand’s boat shows gone?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 15,335 new infections, news briefs

Indonesia13 hours ago

Man with Covid-19 disguised as his wife to board flight

Hua Hin14 hours ago

Kitchen raiding elephant breaks same wall in house for more food

Thailand15 hours ago

1st Taekwondo Olympic gold as Panipak wins for Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

AstraZeneca Thailand writes open letter to people of Thailand

Koh Samui20 hours ago

Surat Thani announces new Covid-19 measures for Samui Plus

Thailand23 hours ago

His Majesty the King donates 2.8 billion baht in Covid-19 aid

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8