Project / Published on March 23, 2022
Ever since the 1970s, Jocelyna Dubuc, the president and founder of Spa Eastman, has dreamt about creating environmentally-friendly accommodations. Her dream has finally become a reality, just in time for the spa’s 45th anniversary. Quebec’s wellness pioneer has partnered with Solution Era and entrepreneur Benoît Lavigueur – specialists in the field of “green” buildings – to create healthy, self-sustaining and energy-efficient pavilions, a first for Canada’s tourism industry. Designed and constructed by a multidisciplinary team, these “oases” represent a major step towards leaving a legacy for future generations, by creating a health-giving venue for rejuvenation that does not harm the environment.
A core company value
Back in 1977, Spa Eastman’s approach was considered to be outside the norm – indeed revolutionary – but the company was simply well ahead of its time. Its environmentally friendly practises already involved saving energy and water, researching “natural” foods, growing organic gardens (without the use of herbicides and pesticides), creating compost and so on. Respect for the land and for nature has always been key. Down the years, the Spa Eastman team has continued to implement sustainable development and eco-friendly practises – a strategy that has won the company many prestigious awards and recognitions.
Les Oasis Eastman:
A practical vision for the future
These new pavilions will be designed, constructed, and maintained in such a way as to rank them among the most innovative and eco-friendly buildings in Canada. The high quality of this new, green construction project builds on the lifestyle that Spa Eastman has been promoting for 45 years, namely, one that promotes healthy, life-giving practises for both people and the environment. Due to their bioclimatic designs and solar-panelled roofs, Les Oasis Eastman offer not just protection from the elements, but also provide self-sustaining thermal energy and power.
The clean, timeless design of the healthy, natural materials (sourced locally) used in the construction of the units will offer guests a setting that is both beautiful and very comfortable. As well, they will be easy to maintain for years into the future. The exterior, taking a cue from permaculture, will be landscaped with edible and medicinal plants and fruit trees and there will be a swimming pond – all nestled in the heart of a wooded area.
“We want these Oasis units to become the prototype for healthy, eco-friendly and self-sustaining tourist accommodations. To that end, we’re aiming for the highest LEED ratings in Canada – Platinum and Carbon Neutral, as well as for a Net Zero rating, which certifies that a building produces more energy than it consumes.”
– Daniel Duquette, General Manager, Spa Eastman
Boosting our belief in
As well as creating these new pavilions, the company decided to take advantage of commemorating its 45th anniversary by examining ways in which to strengthen its core values. Looking ahead at the planning for the years 2022-2025, three priorities were identified: respect for the environment, ethical sourcing of materials/supplies and social responsibility.
“Nowadays, it’s clear that visitors are opting more and more for destinations that respond to their own values regarding social responsibility and sustainable development. Here, at Spa Eastman, we are in an ideal position to fulfill those expectations.”
– Daniel Duquette, General Manager, Spa Eastman
Three strategies that will also benefit future generations
Spa Eastman is very well aware that nature is (and will increasingly become) the principal feature of Quebec’s tourism industry. The company already possesses all the assets that help nature to flourish – fresh air, a protected environment, a forested setting, all of which provide a habitat for a biodiversity of flora and fauna. To safeguard these precious natural resources, Spa Eastman is designing an action plan to ensure they are protected until well into the future.
The second strategy is to use our voice to influence how (and where) materials and supplies are sourced. As Professor Laure Waridel of UQAM, a social activist and environment advocate has observed, “Every dollar represents a vote.” Spa Eastman is therefore amplifying the importance of investing in sustainable practises. One example is our cuisine. In 2022, we are still using organic products and local suppliers – quite a challenge given Quebec’s harsh winters and the limited supplies of organic ingredients from one season to the next. All the more reason, however, to use our influence to continue supporting sustainable agriculture, “Although Spa Eastman has achieved many of its goals, I continue to pursue new dreams, one of the main ones being that Quebec will become THE destination for organic products! Admittedly, it’s an ambitious dream, but why not? Can you imagine the message that would send out to the entire world? I fantasize that the government will finally come around to supporting all of our organic food producers, to the point where the production and consumption of organic products would increase, thereby making them more affordable to the average consumer. The result? Our wonderful world would be so much healthier! And what about the long-term savings? Fewer sick people would mean less pressure on our costly healthcare system.”
– Jocelyna Dubuc, founder and president of Spa Eastman
The third strategy is for Spa Eastman to broaden its outreach to a greater number of community projects. The company is forging new partnerships with entities involved in wellness, health, and education, with the goal of creating a foundation to benefit society’s less fortunate members.