Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising every year, and a 2018 study revealed that worldwide tourism accounted for 8% of such emissions from 2009 to 2013. To improve sustainability in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and United Nations (UN) Global Goals, the UN has been working with the travel industry to reduce its carbon footprint by 66% by 2030.
With its founding ethos of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”, Banyan Tree Group has always been cognizant of its impact on the environment, and implemented earth-friendly practices long before sustainability had caught the corporate world’s attention. Over the years, it has conserved resources through efficient operations, employing a science-based approach, and partnership creation to protect sensitive ecosystems and support climate action (see Appendix for 2020 figures).
This year, Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), the Group’s non-profit arm, seeks to increase its impact by extending its funding externally to create greater change for the planet. In line with Earth Day 2021’s theme of “Restore Our Earth” the Group is supporting EARTHDAY.ORG™ by partnering with their reforestation programme The Canopy Project – an initiative that works with groups around the world to plant trees for a greener future.
From April 22 to May 5, an Earth Day Getaway offer will be available at 39 properties globally, offering up to 35% in savings. Each night’s purchase or stay from 22 April to 5 May will contribute US$2, which will be donated to EARTHDAY.ORG and its reforestation programme, The Canopy Project – where every US$2 will see one tree being planted (see Appendix for the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve).
Doing Our Part For Our Planet
Tree-planting is not new to the Group, as this is one of the most efficient ways to tackle the climate crisis. Since 2007, the Group introduced the Greening Communities programme to raise awareness of climate change and planted over half a million trees in local communities where its hotels and resorts operate.
Dr Steve Newman, Group Sustainability Director of Banyan Tree Group and Coordinating Director of BTGF – an ecologist by training, says: “We typically plant trees within communities where we operate that provide shade and capture carbon, bind soil to reduce erosion, or support livelihoods. Now, we seek to scale up our efforts through teaming up with a transparent partner. Working with The Canopy Project will give us that boost to regenerate natural habitats, restore biodiversity and protect watersheds.”
Social Media To Connect Across Borders
Although international travel has been suspended, the Group’s Guest Engagement programme typically available during one’s stay will extend online to continue raising awareness and engagement in sustainability-related activities.
From Earth Day on April 22 till May 14, a weekly challenge will be announced on Banyan Tree Group’s Instagram channel (@banyantreehotels), inviting people to share creative efforts to be more environmentally friendly in line with the theme “Restoring Our Earth”. Participation will grant entry to lucky draws for one-night stays, and announced every week (see Appendix).
“At Banyan Tree Group, we believe that our business can be used as a vehicle for societal betterment and transformation. We encourage our guests and associates to become stewards of the land we reside in so that our earth can be enjoyed by generations to come. Every small effort counts towards a greater impact, and we hope guests can join us during this campaign,” says Dr Newman.
“We may be celebrating Earth Day with this campaign, but our mission to care for the planet is a long-term endeavour. It’s important to us to take care of the lands that have been entrusted to us, and champion the efforts to restore the natural environment we live in.”
For more information on Banyan Tree Group’s sustainability efforts, visit: https://bit.ly/2PUc0Hw
To book for Earth Day Campaign offer, visit: https://bit.ly/3dkrNZ6 from 22 April to 5 May 2021