Using environmentally sustainable design, and a client-centered approach, we create properties that consume less energy, water, and waste for long term financial savings while reducing the ecological impact and strengthening communities.
Our integrated approach involves more than optimizing systems. Mantra inspires leaders to rethink their design philosophy, incorporating sustainability into their brand legacy.
Our clients find that adopting sustainability into their corporate values and the destinations they develop, reduces operating costs, increases profits and resilience of their portfolio, helps them win new customers and increase brand loyalty among existing ones.
We understand that our clients must make sound financial investments, which is why our design and engineering approach has a strong financial element to it. Our systems are designed to provide ROIs in two to five years and we commit to providing clear, accurate financial assessments and environmental impact studies for our clients.
We believe that developments can have positive social and environmental impact. Progress shouldn’t come at the continuous cost of the environment. With Mantra as your sustainability partner, a future of sustainable development is achievable.
The pillars of our
The natural environment has a carrying capacity, an ability to support life sustainably considering the resources available in the ecosystem in which they reside. We define zones of influence that people have on different ecological habitats and physical environments as “ecosystem boundaries”.
Development and tourism often exert a negative influence on natural habitats and may have a profound impact on local cultures and socioeconomic systems. Ecosystems are connected through flows of energy, water, material, and organisms across ecosystem boundaries. These flows can exert strong influences on the fertility, productivity and hence the carrying capacity of ecosystems.
In our work, we focus on understanding relevant environmental systems to develop properties with low ecological impact that are well integrated into the natural environment. Through sensitive design and skillful engineering, we design resilient buildings that operate efficiently while improving indoor comfort and health for the building users.
In our initial start-up phase, we identified energy, carbon, water, waste, and biodiversity as the five most important topics to focus on in sustainable development and to restore nature.
Energy & Carbon
Energy and carbon are intrinsically linked and there is no doubt that Green House Gas (GHG) emissions have cause global climate change which will have profound implications for the current generation and life on earth as we know it.
Globally, 39% of GHG emissions come from the construction and operation of buildings. The World Green Building Council has declared that to achieve the IPCC 1.5℃ scenario, all buildings should achieve 40% less embodied carbon and have net-zero operational carbon by 2030. Indonesia’s electricity is very dirty, its generation comes primarily from coal fired power plants which emits a high amount of greenhouse gasses, with an average emission factor of 0.88 kg CO2e/kWh.
We have successfully reduce energy consumption of properties by 40% and we are designing new hotels and resorts to be net carbon neutral today.
In Bali and other mass tourism destinations, it is estimated that up to 65% of water resources are used by the tourism sector (directly and indirectly). This has a significant impact on water availability and distribution, disproportionately affecting local communities, agriculture, and the natural ecology.
In some areas, water tables have dropped by over 50 meters (IDEP) and saltwater intrusion is moving up to 1km inland along the south coast. During the dry season, 60% of Bali’s rivers run dry, with many rivers only flowing after rains or during the rainy season (BLH, 2011). Low water tables and saltwater intrusion also has an effect on a business’ operational costs and the competition for freshwater resources will invariably cause friction between the tourism industry and local communities.
We have designed systems that drastically reduce water consumption of businesses by up to 40%, saving a resort 4,100,000 litres/year and a beach club 17,800,000 litres/year. This was achieved through efficiency audits found under our Operate Sustainably Services.
Bali generates up to 1.6 million tons of waste per year (DLHK, 2021). Over 50% of our waste in Bali, and more on neighboring islands, is not disposed of properly – finding its way into unofficial dumps, rivers, mangroves and ultimately, the sea. Only 11% of our waste is recycled.
Marine plastics, methane emission, habitat damage and wasted resources are just some of the impacts of poor waste management. With landfills and official facilities overcapacity, solutions must be implemented at the source.
Mantra has demonstrated that through responsible sourcing practices, separation at source, recycling and composting businesses can achieve up to 92% recycling rates, vastly reducing their impact on the environment and securing a position of ethical business practice.
Development and biodiversity are seemingly at opposing ends of progress, with new built environments replacing the natural environment. However, construction does not have to come at the cost of local ecology. Building in nature and with nature, leveraging biomimicry and conservation can not only restore the environment but also improve building performance and the building user experience and health.
Done in the right way, with an understanding of environmental boundaries and our impact on the natural world, development and environment can go hand-in-hand, creating sustainable, future-focused destinations.
Why work with us?
We are passionate about the environment and are determined to use our knowledge to reduce the impact development has on the natural world. Through Environmentally Sustainable Design, we want to demonstrate that change is possible, to inspire a shift in method and mindset when it comes to shaping the world around us. This is our purpose, and we are enthusiastic about encouraging others to join this important journey into sustainability.
We are experienced environmental engineers who bring a unique combination into the world of development and design: an understanding of both natural sciences and technical engineering. Our journey began in research and operational efficiency audits, giving us a keen understanding of the technical requirements of managers, and of the needs of leaders and businesses. We are confident that our work speaks for itself and that our process is clear, concise, and transparent for partners.
A Genuine Service
We care about the success of our clients and will do what it takes to make projects successful. With a shared vision to create and develop projects that are sustainable, it is important to us that we provide excellent service and customer experience for our clients. This is why we prioritize our clients’ needs and make sure that their best interests are taken care of, even when they are not looking. We care deeply about the environment and the communities we operate in, so helping clients to navigate environmental challenges and mitigate their own impact also helps us to achieve our own ultimate goal, which is to secure a better future through sustainable development. Our clients are the celebrated leaders of sustainability.
Mantra was founded by Sean Nino, Maitri Fischer and Wayan Lam in 2014. Growing up in Bali in the 80s and 90s, we were blessed by the island’s beauty, a natural playground that swept from the fisherman-lined shores, through spanning rice terraces, up to the holy heights of Mount Agung.
After completing university studies and working in Europe, Maitri and Nino returned to Bali in 2013, back to a home that they did not entirely recognize. Mass tourism had spread across the island, with development and urbanization swallowing the quiet coastlines and rice fields that used to be cornerstones of their childhood. It was just as Joni Mitchell said, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”.
The changes affected more than just idyllic ‘paradisal’ landscapes. Development brought with it real problems and was visibly affecting the environment.
Waste management systems simply could not cope, trash was clogging rivers and washing up on beaches, en-masse, every rainy season. There were new issues arising like Bali’s water crisis, with properties draining the water table (groundwater) as they drilled ever deeper for new sources of water. Forests, rice fields and virgin land were quickly being converted into shop, restaurants and villas. Land prices skyrocketed. Traffic jams became a norm.
Between 2005 and 2010, tourism numbers in Bali had doubled (from 2,797,492 to 7,222,384 visitors), then by 2014 had tripled to 10,160,945 visitors per year. It was clear that Bali had allowed mass tourism through its doors, but local infrastructure and government policies were unprepared. Bali had surpassed its carrying capacity, the environment and local communities were under immense pressure.
Measuring the Problem
As a start up with the goal of reducing the impact of development on Bali’s environment, we sought to gain a better understanding on how exactly the tourist industry was having an effect.
We understood that statistics would help map the problem, but little to no transparent data was available from government bodies, hotel associations or online resources. It was upon inquiring directly with hotels and resorts we had our first surprise: most properties were not measuring their energy and water consumption, nor were they managing their waste.
Despite being a world-class tourism destination, Bali had no government regulations on resource efficiency, nor adhered to any sustainable tourism benchmarks.
Nevertheless, this vacuum created an opportunity for us. In the pursuit of data we offered free environmental audits to hotels and resorts; this allowed us to install equipment and measure resource consumption directly in properties. After all, businesses were also keen to understand their own consumption and environmental impact.
With the readings we collected we were able to compare hotel data and develop a performance baseline, which was then utilized to establish sustainable baselines. This made it possible to develop and apply ‘eco-indicators’ (ecological KPIs or Key Performance Indicators) to measure environmental impact according to international environmental reporting standards. This has helped us to understand the resource consumption of development.
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Identifying Key Issues
Through our research we identified the five most important factors to drive sustainable development: energy, carbon, water, waste and biodiversity.
Many properties were consuming three to four times more resources compared to the best performing hotels in their class. Our analysis allowed us to identify key problem areas and thus develop solutions to improve the efficiency of operations and drastically reduce resource consumption. Our methods included close monitoring and measurement; implementation of efficiency tools and solutions; and better maintenance SOPs. Together these resulted in a 40% reduction of energy and water consumption and a 80% reduction of waste-to-landfill, creating substantial savings to operational costs. We called this service the Eco-Toolkit.
This holistic, integrated approach to operational-efficiency is comprised of environmental audit services, environmental property management tools and efficiency solutions. With the Eco-Toolkit we have worked closely with leading hotels, resorts, beach clubs, water parks and restaurants to reduce energy consumption, water consumption and waste-to-landfill, collecting valuable data in the process.
At a business level, we have learned to understand our clients’ needs, in that sustainable solutions must be financially viable, with short ROIs (under 2 years) and that impacts must be measurable so that the success can be celebrated — not only to bolster pride within companies, but also to create a business that appeals to the conscious consumers of today. Sustainability is becoming the new luxury in consumers’ eyes.
After three years of improving properties with our Eco-Toolkit, Mantra established itself as a leading environmental consultancy in Bali.
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With our successes in improving existing properties, clients were interested in implementing sustainable solutions into the construction of new properties. This is where positive impacts can really be made, as environmental-sensitivity and resource-consciousness can be embedded into the design, construction, and operation of developments from the ground up.
Starting new projects with sustainability at its core opens up the potential to implement innovative technologies, analyses and systems, such as: renewable energy systems, off-grid hybrid energy systems, efficient hot water systems design, rainwater harvesting, storm water recharging, green building certification, building envelope heat gain analysis, waste management systems and sustainable infrastructure design.
Learning from previous projects, when designing new sustainable developments we made sure to create clear financial analyses to support our systems, with feasibility studies that helped our clients make sound sustainable investments. We learned quickly to manage the MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) engineering design for projects in order to present comprehensive, integrated drawing packages for construction as well.
Environmentally Sustainable Design
By 2018, we at Mantra begun developing our proprietary Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) service. We realized it was essential to find an effective way to integrate sustainable solutions and systems into typical Project Design phases (Concept Design, Scheme Design, Design Development, Tender, Construction) which developers can follow through MEP design. Doing this ensures sustainability is streamlined from detail engineering design right the way through into construction.
Our ESD service is now a holistic design consulting package that brings together all of our experience and expertise, integrating our knowledge of environmental systems design, engineering, green building certification, efficiency audits and retrofitting. We believe that the approach we have created makes sustainable development accessible and achievable to leaders who wish to create projects for a better future. Our principles of ESD ensures that sustainability is prioritized, cost effective, budgeted for, properly engineered, and successfully built into any new development.
In the design, development and construction of uniquely sustainable destinations, we know the importance of effective collaboration between the many parties involved in each project phase. This is why we deliberately designed a workflow that accommodates all partners. With this, we have worked alongside some of the world’s best architects and designers such as IBUKU, Studio Jencquel, Alexis Dornier, Kengo Kuma, Andra Matin, Atelier 1, Thomas Heatherwick and many more.
We first applied our ESD framework in 2018 to a 98 room, luxury beach-front resort and by 2021 have applied sustainable design to 29 projects.
The Success of a Journey
From our humble beginnings of research and audits, to optimizing and improving systems, we have cultivated in-depth knowledge of what is needed for future-focused destinations. Our Environmentally Sustainable Design services are the culmination of our experiences over many projects, creating what we believe is an incredibly comprehensive and effective approach to environmentally-friendly development.
Our work has shown to reduce water and energy consumption by 40%, and waste-to-landfill by 90%. We are now developing net-zero energy buildings, carbon neutral construction, zero-groundwater buildings and more. We are proud that our work has been able to reduce the impacts of development of our beautiful island home, and that our clients have also become advocates for sustainable design.
Now, having proven that it is possible, we firmly believe in our ability to create a more sustainable future through development and encourage more leaders to join us in making real change.
Sean Nino Lotze
Co-founder & CEO
M.A. Sustainability Economics and Management
B.A. International Studies of Global Management
Co-founder & Principal ESD Engineer
B.Sc. Geosciences and Astrophysics
Wayan A. Lam
Co-founder & Head of Engineering Construction
B.A. Business Administration
I Komang Cahyendra Putra
Director of Legal
B.A. Economics and Information Systems
Ni Luh Budi Restiti
Head of Finance and Accounting
B.A. Economics and Accounting
Head of Operations & Green Building Consultant
B.E. Engineering Physics
Project Manager and Water Sytems Engineer
B.E. Environmental Engineering
Project Manager & HVAC Engineer
M.Sc. Environmental, Process & Energy Engineering
B.E. Environmental and Process Engineering
Building Energy Simulations & Computational Fluid Dynamics Engineer
B.E. Engineering Physics
Sena Moses Satria
Water Systems Engineer
B.E. Environmental Design
Project Manager & Building Preformance Engineer
B.E. Engineering Physics