S Hotels & Resorts Public Company Limited (SHR), the flagship hospitality arm of Thailand’s Singha Estate Plc, was named the region’s leading company the Green Leadership category for Sustainable Hospitality with an Edutainment Approach at the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2020 virtual awards ceremony held on 23 September.
Now in its milestone 10th year, the event recognises and rewards businesses and leaders that advocate sustainable and socially responsible business practices throughout multiple industries within Asia. The 2020 event marks the first time SHR has been recognised by the event, organised by Enterprise Asia, a leading non-governmental organisation for responsible entrepreneurship in Asia.
SHR is a fast-growing holding company that engages in the management of hotels and resorts and investments in international locations with a dedicated focus on sustainable initiatives. Since its inception in 2014, the company, which prides itself on promoting a sustainable development philosophy, has carried out various award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects and initiatives at oceanside properties in Thailand and the Maldives, including the development of its flagship Marine Discovery Centres.
“SHR’s commitment to sustainability is woven into the fabric of our company,” Dirk De Cuyper, CEO of SHR said. “We understand that we are the custodians of our destinations and have a duty to protect and preserve them for future generations, which is why we operate all our resorts in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially with regard to SDG14, ‘Life Below Water’.”
Staffed by a resident expert, the centres organise specific activities, such as coral propagation and clownfish breeding programmes, while the SHR management and resort operation teams collaborate with Singha Estate’s sustainable development experts on campaigns to raise awareness amongst of the importance of preserving and rehabilitating local and marine ecosystems. It is this commitment to sustainability with a focus on educating guests, staff and local communities in an entertaining manner that encouraged the AREA’s independent panel of judges to single out SHR for the coveted award.
Other sustainability milestones for the company include its ongoing collaboration with Singha Estate Plc and the Thai National Parks Department on numerous conservation projects under the “Phi Phi Model” through the team at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. This includes provided mooring buoys at the resort to prevent boat operators anchoring and damaging coral reefs, as well as providing patrol boats for park officers that enable them to assist visitors and protect the corals. The property also in January 2020 became the first in Thailand’s Krabi province to receive the Gold Level Green Hotel Award, certified by the country’s Department of Environmental Quality Promotion Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, for its commitment to waste management, recycling and community-orientated programmes, as well as being designated a ‘plastic-free resort’ by the Thai Hotels Association in 2019.
“We are delighted to have our efforts in recent years recognised by this highly-respected awards body,” De Cuyper added.
AREA has recognised more than 600 CSR projects in the last decade, with over 200 submissions from across 19 countries showcased in 2020. The independent panel of AREA judges, led by Dr Eugen Chien, former Minister of Environment of the Republic of Taipei, deliberated submission over a three-month period with the final winners being announced at the virtual awards ceremony this month.
SHR’s Marine Discovery Centres are free-to-enter facilities that feature a wide range of interactive exhibits and educational displays explaining the lifecycles and habits of the unique marine species endemic to each region. The first centre opened at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort in 2018, and the second was launched in 2019 at CROSSROADS Maldives. A third Marine Discovery Centre has been planned at Santiburi, the carbon-neutral resort in Koh Samui certified in 2019.