Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts celebrates its 25th Anniversary and Earth Day 2019 with over 25% groupwide reduction of single-use plastic in a year. The Group announced a pledge against single-use plastic in support of Earth Day 2018 theme End Plastic Pollution. Within a year, this declaration has inspired the change across its 48 hotels worldwide and successfully eliminated 4.2 million single-use plastic items, equating to a significant 26% reduction in total usage.
Championing 25 years of sustainable development since its inception in 1994, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has pioneered the journey of stewardship in its commitment towards the environment and communities through its philosophy of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”.
Up to 80% of ocean plastic pollution originates from land. Recognising the detrimental effect of plastic on the environment and marine life, the premium hotel operator and developer implemented a plan for all its properties to phase out the use of disposable plastics.
The first year saw the strategic reduction of 31 commonly used plastic products, particularly 1 million plastic bags (-28%), 1.3 million plastic straws (-51%) replaced with paper, steel and bamboo straws, 1.28 million plastic bottles (-28% water bottles & -63% soft drink bottles), cocktail stirrers (-58%) and plastic-wrapped minibar items (-72%).
Aimed to be launched this year towards overall plastic reduction, the Group’s lifestyle retail arm - Banyan Tree Gallery is developing sustainable alternatives for its range of guests’ amenities such as cotton buds, combs and toothbrushes. Banyan Tree‘s reformulated body and aromatherapy products are made of 95% natural botanical ingredients which are sustainably sourced. The 18-month research and development extended across the value chain of both its packaging and ingredients so as to create the best possible products for people and the environment.
Dr Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President/Group Sustainability Director, says: “This is a positive first step in the right direction, considering the magnitude of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ ultimate plastic-free goal. The hospitality and tourism industry as a whole is a major consumer of this planet’s resources, often providing one-time use products on mass scales. Looking at the links between human activities, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss with environment degradation, this presents a unique opportunity for our Group to impact and drive change on global plastic consumption amongst our stakeholders especially the suppliers. As a pioneer with ongoing stewardship in sustainability, the Group remains committed to our pledge to eliminate single-use plastic and continues to embed climate change within our sustainability efforts and projects.”
The flagship Banyan Tree Phuket in Thailand was built on an abandoned tin-mine site which was transformed into Laguna Phuket, Asia’s first destination integrated resort. Banyan Tree and Angsana in Hangzhou are set in Xixi Wetlands Nature Reserve while Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou in scenic Jiuzhaigou National Park. Laguna Bintan in Indonesia, Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Angsana Ihuru and Angsana Velavaru in the Maldives are all situated near coral reef sites, turtle nesting grounds and mangrove wetland/rainforest. Dhawa and Angsana in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba are located amidst the UNESCO Buenavista Biosphere Reserve.
Driven by Banyan Tree Global Foundation, the non-profit arm (an integral part of the management’s framework) focuses on directing social and environmental responsibility across the Group. Highlighting the power of responsible tourism to promote positive change, Banyan Tree continually educates and involve guests, associates and the community to actively do their part for the environment. This is achieved by driving activities including community clean-ups, sustainability talks on environment and 5Rs for responsible consumption and supporting international events such as Earth Day and World Environment Day. The Group also marked Earth Hour 2019 by engaging close to 15,000 people in 43 properties worldwide, leading to energy savings of over 5,000 kWh – enough to power a four-bedroom public housing unit in Singapore for 13 months.