Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving long-term sustainable development. We employ an integrated and participatory approach to minimise our impact while safeguarding and enhancing human and physical environments for present and future generations.
As stewards of natural and cultural heritage, we have conceptualised our “Brand for Good” framework to embed our core values in operations and inspire exceptional experiences among our guests in the spirit of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People” at each of our locations.
EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking and certification group for sustainable tourism, awarded Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru a Gold Certification in 2022. Since 2012, we have received continuous certification which incorporates annual measurement of operational indicators such as energy; emissions, water, waste, and paper use; chemical and pesticide use; and community involvement.
At Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, we take care of the natural and social environment around us. We create programmes to reduce waste, limit energy use, and continuously raise awareness of climate change and marine conservation by engaging guests and associates in marine talks and other fun and educational activities
Reefs in the Maldives with high numbers of coral-eating Crown of Thorn Starfish (COTS) are severely threatened and need our help. Every week, guests and Banyan Tree associates snorkel and search the reefs together, removing any COTS encountered. These control efforts have been ongoing since 2001, and contribute significantly to live coral cover.
In 2016, coral reefs were damaged on a global scale due to a coral bleaching event. To assist the natural reef recovery process and increase resilience, we transplant fragments onto the reef and different structures such as electric reefs. The latter is a metal frame structure that carries a low-voltage electric current, which increases the growth rate of corals.
The first electric reef in the Maldives was built in 1996 at Dhawa Ihuru with the second following shortly after in 1998. In 2001, a third electric reef was created on the house reef of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. In 2016, 1,000 coral fragments were transplanted onto each of our coral rope nurseries, with promising results.
On Earth Day 2018, Banyan Tree as a Group embarked on a journey to reduce single-use plastic to ultimately become plastic-free. While this will contributes to reducing global plastic consumption, it is by no means a small feat. Banyan Tree's properties in the Maldives have achieved the most significant reductions across the Group, with both Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Dhawa Ihuru in North Male Atoll reducing their total single-use plastic usage by 75%.
Showcasing the Maldives' local culture at our properties is a great way to give guests a memorable and unique holiday experience through a combination of luxury and cultural authenticity.
Maldivian culture and traditional activities are spotlighted within our property through displays of traditional music, dresses, and cuisines. One day per week, our associates wear Maldivian cultural dresses, locally themed dinners are served at our restaurants, and Bodu Beru performances take place late in the evenings at the bar.
Education is critical to the ongoing protection and conservation of our natural environment. By engaging with guests and local communities, we raise awareness and promote responsible travel. The Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Marine Lab team works closely with guests to enhance their reef experience through complimentary marine biology classes, stingray feeding sessions, and guided educational snorkelling.