In celebration of its 25th Anniversary and the recent World Environment Day, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has introduced a slew of groupwide sustainability initiatives to raise awareness and make a positive impact on the environment and surrounding communities. Supporting World Environment Day 2019’s theme of Air Pollution, the Group aims to plant more than 25,000 trees by year-end around participating resorts worldwide under its Stay for Good Greening Communities programme.
Air pollution is a global crisis – according to the World Health Organization, 92% of the world’s population is exposed to poor air quality, which is linked to seven million deaths annually. Planting trees is an effective way to reduce pollution and helps to offset carbon emissions by storing carbon that otherwise would be released. By end 2019, Banyan Tree will have planted over half a million trees since Greening Communities first began in 2007 and will announce a new tree-planting target for 2030.
The initiatives are driven by Banyan Tree Global Foundation, the non-profit arm and integral part of Banyan Tree’s management framework, which focuses on directing social and environmental responsibility across the Group. Championing 25 years of sustainable development since its inception in 1994, Banyan Tree has pioneered the journey of stewardship in its commitment towards the environment and communities through its corporate ethos of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”.
Recognising the power of education, Banyan Tree Global Foundation will support 4,000 children at 25 schools around the world by committing more than USD$100,000 towards improving students’ learning environments, school infrastructure and hygiene. In addition, Banyan Tree’s ongoing Seedlings programme nurtures youths at risk by providing mentorship and internships to help them develop vocational and life skills. Leveraging the Group’s food and beverage expertise, training for youths includes an internship within hotel outlets followed by employment at its Seedlings Café or restaurants at its properties.
In line with its corporate ethos, Banyan Tree’s associates will collectively contribute 25,000 volunteer hours to participate in groupwide sustainability activities, such as community home visits and environmental clean-ups. Each Banyan Tree property organises four events a year to remediate and cleanse natural surroundings.
Dr Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President/Group Sustainability Director, says: “With World Environment Day 2019 putting a spotlight on fighting air pollution, we are committed to achieving our goal of planting over 25,000 trees to #BeatAirPollution. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has always believed that sustainability should be at the heart of a responsible business. In celebration of the Group’s 25th Anniversary, we invite every guest who stays with us to partake in our groupwide sustainability activities and devote a portion of their time and energy towards protecting the planet. As a pioneer with ongoing stewardship in sustainability, Banyan Tree remains dedicated to preserving natural and cultural heritage as we grow to ensure long-term sustainability.”
Banyan Tree will also launch a Commemorative Sustainability Book in September. It will feature the Group’s illustrious environmental history including the transformation of an abandoned tin mine site into Asia’s first destination integrated resort – Laguna Phuket, its first steps towards pioneering conservation efforts and innovation, and partnering regional and international organisations to benefit communities.
Highlighting responsible tourism to promote positive change, Banyan Tree continually educates and engages associates, guests and the communities. This is achieved by driving activities such as plastic reduction, clean-ups, sustainability talks, practice of 5Rs for responsible consumption and supporting international events such as Earth Day, World Environment Day and World Tourism Day.
Designed for travellers who champion sustainable development, Banyan Tree’s 25th Anniversary ‘Exceptional Experiences’ Celebratory Offerincludes the choice of a complimentary ‘Exceptional Experience’ to celebrate the community with a sustainable activity. It comes with 25% savings on room rates (best available rate), food and beverage, Spa and Gallery retail and the Group’s signature 25th Anniversary Cocktail – The Botanical.