Embracing the environment, empowering people
Sustainability has been a core value for Banyan Tree even before the first hotel opened. With our three pillar approach to sustainability; operational efficiency, protecting biodiversity, and developing local capacity, our continuous efforts are strengthening and built with love and care for the social and environmental aspects. As a socially-responsible business, Banyan Tree’s concept of sustainability seeks to create long-term value for multiple stakeholders. Our triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental success helps direct sustainable development throughout the property which benefits our associates, guests and partners. Our aim is to create long-term benefits and create an integrated and participatory approach to minimize our impacts while safeguarding and enhancing the human and physical environment for the present and future generations to come.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has been the recipient of various industry-recognised awards for our compliance to the most stringent environmental practices and commitment to corporate social responsibility.
EarthCheck Gold Certification
EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific bench-marking and certification group for sustainable tourism, awarded our resort Gold Certification as a recognition for continuous certification since 2012 which incorporates annual measurement of operational indicators such as energy; emissions, water, waste and paper use; chemical and pesticide use; and community involvement.
President of Maldives Green Resort Award, 2004 & 2006
The Green Resort Award is an annual presidential recognition given to the best environmentally-performing tourist resort in the Maldives. The award aims to generate environment consciousness, reward good practices of resort hotels and thereby facilitate sustainable tourism development. The Green Resort Award is a visionary initiative of the President of Maldives and was first presented in 1999. Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has received this award on 2004 and 2006.
Luxury Eco-friendly Award
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has won the Luxury Eco-friendly Resort of the Year 2017 by Luxury Travel Guide Awards. The annual Luxury Travel Guide Awards are given by the Luxury Travel Guide, the leading provider of travel and lifestyle related news, reviews and features to the global business community. The awards recognize and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the affluent travel and tourism industry by presenting Luxury Hotel Awards, Luxury Awards and the most renowned Global Luxury Awards.
Plastic-Free Banyan Tree
On Earth Day 2018, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts embarked on a journey to reduce single-use plastic and ultimately become plastic-free. 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. Banyan Tree’s properties here in the Maldives (including Angsana Ihuru) have achieved the most significant reductions across the Group, with Angsana Ihuru reducing total single-use plastic usage by 76% so far. Initiatives include providing guests with glass-bottled water produced onsite (since 2008) and introducing paper straws.
Banyan Tree’s efforts connect with the issue of global climate action by conserving resources through efficient operations, with external assurance by EarthCheck, the leading benchmarking certification within the travel and tourism industry. We follow a science-based approach to the conservation of sensitive ecosystems and the threatened species. This supports positive action and engagement from our associates, guests and community members, connecting people to destinations and driving stewardship. Our goal is to implement one resource conservation initiative per year through reduction, refusing, recycling, reusing and removal. We have placed rainwater harvesting plants on the property. Also, in order to reduce energy consumption, the replacements of all lights to LEDs and AC’s to inverters are ongoing.
Greening Communities Together
Our aim is to raise awareness of climate change through initiating tree-planting events across Maldives, with a target of 2,000 trees per year. In the past, we have provided the communities with various trees such as coconut trees, mango trees, breadfruit trees and more. We also support seagrass and mangrove restoration and conservation, both highly important ecosystems in the Maldives.
Supporting Local Communities
Supporting long-term societal prosperity is central to Banyan Tree’s ability to create a value for local communities. This is achieved by empowering them through job creation, education, supporting artisanal cooperatives, community impact initiatives, humanitarian relief and connecting travellers to local culture and heritage. Occasionally, we bring in local artisans to promote their craft. For this year’s International Women’s Day, we brought one of the only women in the industry practicing the dying art of traditional embroidery; “kasabu viyun”.
By organising cleaning activities, we aim to remediate and cleanse natural resources and communities in order to maintain pristine conditions for our local surroundings. These activities are one of the main activities held with local communities which help us support and engage with locals. We aim to conduct four clean-ups per year to raise awareness about effective waste management, engaging locals, councils and schools in the initiative. In 2019, we gathered over one tonne of waste with the help of 762 people that included school students, councils, locals, associates and guests in both K. Thulusdhoo and K. Himmafushi on Earth Hour and Earth Day respectively.
Education is critical to the ongoing protection and conservation of our natural environment. By engaging with guests and local communities, we are able to raise awareness and increase stewardship of the marine environment. Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s Marine Lab opened in January 2004, the first of its kind in the Maldives, pioneering marine conservation and research for these beautiful and threatened ecosystems. The Lab team work closely with guests to enhance everyone’s reef experience through complimentary marine biology classes, stingray awareness talks and guided snorkelling. The Marine Lab is based in Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, but supports conservation and research on Angsana Ihuru as well. Additionally, the team provides education and awareness to local communities and schools.
Protecting and Promoting Cultural Heritage
Experience the true spirit of the Maldives, here at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. With all our luxury villas designed in the shape of a nautilus and named after fish species in the local Dhivehi language, you will feel a true Sense of Place. Maldivian culture and traditions permeate throughout our property, with subtle décor enhanced by traditional artwork. Each Friday we celebrate local heritage, with our associates adorned in traditional outfits, and we invite you to taste the unique flavours of Indian Ocean-inspired cuisine at our dining outlets. After further immersing yourself in Maldivian history at our Maldivian Culture Talk, join us at the bar, where you can dance the evening away to the energetic beat of the Maldives, accompanied by our local Bodu Beru (“Big Drum”) music performance.
Citizen Science and Research
Our in-house marine biologists and interns are continuously developing projects to monitor and protect coral reefs. Join our team by becoming a citizen scientist for a day, an opportunity to engage, learn, and support conservation by collecting easy and fun data. Citizen scientists help us better understand long-term changes in marine megafauna populations, supporting greater management of coral reefs and marine life across the Maldives.