Tomo Hamakawa
Managing Director - Earth Company / Mana Earthly Paradise
Tomo's Introduction

Tomo is a seasoned development professional having lived and worked in various corners of the world from the Tibetan plateau, Indian drylands, Indonesian tropics, to Japanese metropolises. He has extensive field experience working for international and local development NGOs across Asia and Africa, including Kopernik, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the World Bank. He was formerly an Assistant Professor at the Global Leadership Program at the University of Tokyo.

Tomo has a BA in Social Anthropology from Harvard College, a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and was an Asia Pacific Leadership Program Fellow (2008) and Innovation Fellow (2020) at the East-West Center. In 2014 Tomo was awarded the Dalai Lama’s Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award.

What brought you to sustainability?

My team and I started delivering educational programs focused on social innovation and sustainability based in Bali for schools and companies from 2016 onward.  After implementing dozens of programs, we decided we want to have our own facility to be able to host these programs because there aren't enough hotels and workshop venues that embody sustainability, i.e. spaces that walk the talk.  

So, my wife Aska and I decided to create our own eco hotel called Mana Earthly Paradise ( in 2019 that embodies circularity and regeneration from design to implementation.  Today, we deliver training programs and offer sustainability experiences (in addition to supporting changemakers in the Asia Pacific).

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

My hotel, Mana Earthly Paradise, aims to be as conscious and regenerative as possible, with the entire resort constructed using natural building techniques with ethically sourced materials. The villas are all earthbag walls with bamboo roofs that have natural ventilation, 100% solar-powered lighting, water-efficient toilets and showerheads, and eco-friendly toiletries in reusable containers. 

Given severe water shortages in Bali primarily caused by the tourism industry, Mana makes every effort towards responsible consumption of water: rainwater is harvested in a 60 cubic meter tank underground and filtered to serve potable water to the entire property. After usage, the wastewater goes through one of the four wetlands constructed on-site before being released to the neighboring water systems.

Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

Challenges?  What?  Just kidding. Running a sustainable business/social enterprise is an enormous challenge. Mainly, how do we balance financial sustainability and social impact? We haven't cracked that enigma by any means but we've survived thus far so that is proof that we are doing something right, I guess!?

What are you most proud of?

Changing the local people's mindset to be more sustainability conscious and social impact oriented is always a challenge.  At Mana, I feel that our ground staff - all Balinese - is slowly but surely understanding and adopting the mindset and actions associated with a sustainable business.  That's a big win!

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  1. Sustainability is a journey, not a checklist - get started wherever you are!
  2. Sustainability of sustainable actions - in order to avoid one-off and burn-out, have fun and don't take it too seriously :)
  3. Find like-minded friends and allies to accompany your journey!
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users?
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users?

My team and I deliver transformative programs to companies and schools on sustainability, especially to help open people's eyes to what is happening in the world, how we are connected to all the issues, and what we can do.

I'm also happy to share my experiences starting and managing a social enterprise as well as an eco hotel.

Tomo's 3 main sustainability skills

Training, tourism, B corp

Tomo kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send him a message.