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Press Release

Banyan Tree and Angsana Resorts celebrate Earth Day groupwide on 22 April 2010

Category: Corporate Social Responsibility

26 Feb 2010

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Singapore– As a company founded on the core value of sustainability, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts is pleased to celebrate Earth Day on 22 April 2010 for the fifth year running. This year, Banyan Tree’s enhanced schedule of programmes incorporates complimentary activities at each of its locations, which will welcome guests, local community stakeholders and the company’s associates to partake in engaging activities that help raise awareness of sustainable tourism and environmental conservation. 2010 also marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day since it was first mooted in 1970, first as a national U.S. environmental movement, and later as a global event.

Banyan Tree’s activities planned in conjunction with Earth Day are based on the company’s philosophy of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering the People”. Each property continually works towards creating a positive impact upon its local community through protection and enhancement of the natural environment, along with sustainable social development, via dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives specific to each location.

This year, many hotels have chosen to link their Earth Day celebrations with Banyan Tree’s group-wide CSR initiatives launched in 2007:

  • Greening Communities, an initiative to plant 2000 trees per Banyan Tree Group property, over 10 years from 2007 to 2016, to promote the company's efforts in raising awareness for climate change;
  • Seedlings, a three-phase community support initiative which enhances the Group's ability to be an agent of social and economic development through its associates, engagement, and operations; and
  • Resource conservation, to explore efficiency initiatives with the aim of reducing consumption of energy and water as well as waste production at Banyan Tree Group properties.

Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, Ms Claire Chiang, shares, “Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect upon and review our actions throughout the year. On a personal level, each of us can play a role to make ecologically sustainable choices, such as modifying habits to reduce the use of energy at home and at work, helping our planet to be cleaner and safer. For a sustainable philosophy to take root in the business world, more companies must be convinced of the business virtue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – the challenge is to do better as you grow. CSR is an ongoing journey for Banyan Tree and we continually seek to enhance our ability to find beneficial solutions for all stakeholders in the conduct of our business.”

Circling the Earth with Banyan Tree 
A range of activities will be taking place across Banyan Tree and Angsana properties around the world, and these will be open to any interested participants at the location. Two of the Group’s newest properties are highlighted here, while activities at other destinations can be browsed online at www.banyantreeglobalfoundation.com/earthday.

* Indonesia
Opened in December 2009 on the famed island of Bali, Indonesia, Banyan Tree Ungasan offers a surrounding environment of pristine beauty in the southernmost peninsula of the island. As a new member to its local community and an employer of over 300 associates, the resort is committed to creating greater awareness of the environment amongst its local partners in its inaugural year of operations.

As part of Earth Day celebrations, it will be organising two events within the week. First is a whale and dolphin watch on 15 April in collaboration with Mr Benjamin Kahn, during which the regional cetacean expert to the International Union for Conservation of Nature will speak on cetacean creatures in Bali. This event will be the inaugural event in the resort’s ongoing cetacean programme. The following day, guests can then view the oceans from Banyan Tree Ungasan’s watch deck to spot whales and dolphins in the ocean. On 22 April, Mr. Fassa Faisal, the resort’s Environmental Officer, will conduct the resort’s first Greening Communities tree planting programme by guiding the planting of disappearing indigenous species such as the Bali frangipani, yellow bamboo, and Indian sandalwood. Carefully chosen for their cultural role, these plants will benefit local villagers who regularly utilise such flowers and fruits for their upakara (religious) ceremonies. 

* Mexico
Opened in March 2009, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is part of a groundbreaking environmental project to conserve and protect a stretch of pristine tropical mangrove, teeming with wildlife and birds, located along the Mexican Riviera Maya. By preserving the natural balance of flora and fauna through a Mayan forestry technique called socoleo, Mayakoba’s far-sighted developers have created an environmental haven for appreciative guests.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba has based its Earth Day appreciation on the Mayan principle of sacbe (white road), which historically connected temples, cities and other sacred sites. Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s Earth Day sacbe will take guests through an ecological-cultural tour that includes the Mayan gum tree legacy, indigenous handicrafts, and the redeveloped art of xunan kab (Mayan beekeeping). During this interactive sampling tour, guests can observe first-hand the making of traditional gum and sweet melipona honey direct from bees, whilst learning the techniques of sustainable hotel operations and receiving a Mayan handicraft souvenir of their Earth Day journey.

A list of Earth Day activities at each property will be available from 15 March 2010. Further information on Banyan Tree’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives can be found online at www.banyantreeglobalfoundation.com.

About Banyan Tree Global Foundation
Established in 2009, Banyan Tree Global Foundation is an associate of Banyan Tree Holdings Limited. As the Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the group, Banyan Tree Global Foundation provides in-house CSR consultancy services to Banyan Tree Holdings. By promoting as well as enacting strategies and efforts which consider and seek to enhance the social, environmental and economic well-being of all stakeholders, Banyan Tree Global Foundation seeks to direct and guide the continual process of Banyan Tree Holdings’ overall commitment to the CSR journey.

As its long-term goal, Banyan Tree Global Foundation seeks to continue supporting Banyan Tree’s overall ability to “Embrace the Environment, Empower People”.

The formation of a separate entity to house, manage, and administer the funds raised by Banyan Tree’s Green Imperative Fund mechanism, Banyan Tree Global Foundation provides an even greater level of assurance to contributing guests that such funds will create social and/or environmental benefits for the communities in which Banyan Tree has a presence. Established in 2001, the Green Imperative Fund comprises opt-out contributions from guests staying at Banyan Tree and Angsana branded properties, with each guest contribution matched dollar for dollar by Banyan Tree.