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Sustainable Tourism In Banyan Tree Samui Thailand

Sustainability

Embracing the Environment, Empowering People

As a socially-responsible business, Banyan Tree’s concept of sustainability seeks to create long-term value for multiple stakeholders and our triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental success helps direct sustainable development through inspiring associates, guests and partners to take a wider consideration encompassing a long-term view when making business decisions. We employ an integrated and participatory approach to minimise our impacts while safeguarding and enhancing the human and physical environment for present and future generations.

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Sustainability at Banyan Tree Samui

Our Sustainability Manager

Thepsuda Loyjiw (Pueng) serves as our Sustainability Manager at Banyan Tree Samui. She holds a Master of Marine Biology from the Department of Marine Science at Chulalongkorn University. Prior to joining Banyan Tree Samui, she worked as a Plan and Policy Analyst at Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology, where she was primarily concerned with monitoring as well as assessing the quality control of the organization’s research and development projects.

thepsuda loyjiw

Moreover, she gained specialized knowledge in regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation while serving as the Project Assistance and Communication Officer for the Development and Implementation of the Thai Climate Change Policy, a core project under the Thai-German Climate Protection Program. At the resort, she ensures that all conservation and research activities are conducted in accordance with the law and company procedures as well as to monitor and maintain the collection of relevant data. She works closely with the local schools on the island to empower youth via mentorship and scholarship through the brand-wide Seedlings programme. Additionally, she conducts complimentary guest activities including a Sense of Nature Walk to explore the wildlife and plant life found throughout the habitat of the resort as well as a House Reef Snorkelling Class to educate guests on the marine ecosystem found amid the house reef of the resort’s private bay.

Through her ongoing commitment toward ensuring the resort operates in a sustainable manner, Banyan Tree Samui was able to significantly reduce consumption rates through improved efficiency and by adopting new technology or practices regarding key operational indicators such as energy; emissions; water, waste and paper use; as well as chemical and pesticide use. As a result, EarthCheck – the world's leading scientific benchmarking and certification group for sustainable tourism – awarded the resort Gold Certification, as recognition for 5 years of continuous certification, making Banyan Tree Samui the first and only resort in Thailand to be awarded this certification at the single-property level. Should you be interested to learn more about our commitment to sustainability, we would be delighted to share more details regarding our various initiatives. Please contact Khun Pueng at thepsuda.loyjiw@banyantree.com

Sustainability Achievements

Banyan Tree Samui has been the recipient of various industry-recognized awards for our compliance to the most stringent environmental practices.

Sustainability Achievements

EarthCheck Gold Certification

EarthCheck, the world's leading scientific benchmarking and certification group for sustainable tourism, awarded our resort Gold Certification as recognition for continuous certification since 2013 which incorporates annual measurement of operational indicators such as energy; emissions; water, waste and paper use; chemical and pesticide use; and community involvement.

Green Hotel Award - Gold Certification

Thailand’s Department of Environmental Quality Promotion awarded the ‘Green Hotel Award - Gold Certification’ to our resort as recognition for our commitment toward sustainable hotel practices. The certification – held on a biennial basis – recognizes the ongoing efforts and contributions made by hotels that efficiently manage energy, waste and natural resources. Banyan Tree Samui has achieved this distinguishable honour on three consecutive occasions since 2015!

Kinnaree Award

Recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the Thailand Tourism Awards, popularly known as the Kinnaree Awards, are held every two years, and have helped to promote the quality and high standards of Thai tourism services since 1996. Following an intensive evaluation of our operations, service, standards, hygiene and training; Banyan Tree Spa Samui was the recipient of the ‘Award of Excellence for Best Resort Spa’, the highest recognition for all nominees throughout southern Thailand!

bt samui sustainability

Our Environment

Travel and tourism operations are often intrinsically dependent on natural heritage, and Banyan Tree Group’s conservation journey started with its beginnings in 1984 by “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”. Extending beyond the precautionary approach, Banyan Tree Group conserves resources through efficient operations, employing a science-based approach and partnership creation to conserve sensitive ecosystems and threatened species, and support climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.

resource conservation

EarthCheck: Resource Conservation

EarthCheck, the world's leading scientific benchmarking and certification group for sustainable tourism, awarded our resort Gold Certification as recognition for continuous certification since 2013. Compliance incorporates annual measurement of operational indicators such as energy; emissions; water, waste and paper use; chemical and pesticide use; and community involvement.

Our best practices for resource conservation include:

Energy: LED lighting in villas and public areas, magnetic door sensors in villas and the installation of an LPG vaporizer.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Reduction of both direct and indirect emissions such as fuel and electricity consumption. Additional initiatives include community tree-planting activities and carpooling for associates.


Water: Treatment of gray water for landscaping, the installation of low-flow faucet and showerhead aerators and the monitoring of consumption and leakage.


Waste: Separation of recyclables, data tracking for waste types and the implementation of a ‘reduce, reuse or recycle’ campaign for operations.

Seedlings

Our Seedlings programme was created to nurture young people at risk of societal exclusion, providing vocational and life skills and education, and preparing them for life and work. This two-phased programme supports mentorship and scholarships: Mentorship: Young people between the age of 12 and 18 are mentored by volunteering associates who’ve undergone mentor training. Scholarships: Banyan Tree provides financial support for young people who face challenges in affording to continue their education.

seedlings samui

At Banyan Tree Samui, we currently have six students in our Seedlings programme; three completing their secondary education with another three enrolled in their tertiary education.

During the programme, the students are partnered with a trained mentor from our team of associates and are welcomed to the resort on various occasions for engaging and educational activities that provide exposure to their particular interests. As part of our ongoing commitment, we sponsor our Seedlings through to their graduation from university.

green turtle samui

Green Turtle Nests at Our Private Bay

Between February and March 2020, a mother green turtle (Chelonia mydas) laid 600 eggs scattered across five separate nests on our secluded beach. During the incubation period, our Sustainability Manager worked in partnership with the the local Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to ensure the nests were protected from predators such as birds and monitor lizards, and gauging the temperature of the eggs to make sure the hatchlings would be given every chance of survival. After the hatching of the nests in April and May 2020, a total of 269 green turtles emerged and made their journey to the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Our guests and team were thrilled to witness this rare occurence on the coast of Koh Samui and we await future years to discover if the mother turtle will return to our shores.

plastic free banyan tree

Plastic-Free Banyan Tree

Our resort is committed to our brand-wide pledge to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics from our operations as part of our continued effort to directly address the detrimental effect that plastic is having on the environment and marine life.

sense of nature walk kids

Sense of Nature Walk

Trek through our tropical sanctuary as you locate the various wildlife and plant life that call our resort home. Our team will guide you through the habitat in which we have seamlessly integrated our resort. Hear the enchanting call of the wild and see the fascinating beauty of plants and flowers in the tropics!

house reef snorkelling

House Reef Snorkelling Class

Explore the marine life of our house reef on this guided journey amid our private bay. Observe a vast variety of fish including Copperband Butterflyfish, Trumpetfish and Parrotfish. Keep your eyes open for the colony of Giant Clams or a Blue-Spotted Stingray lurking along the sea floor. A world of discovery awaits beneath the surface!

Green Imperative Fund

As we have been blessed with some of the most beautiful locations on Earth, it is our resolve to safeguard the environment and uplift the communities where we can take an active role. This has been the inspiration behind Banyan Tree’s sustainability vision since our founding in the early 1990s. We took a further step in 2009 by establishing the Banyan Tree Global Foundation to extend governance measures ensuring our dedicated resources support community empowerment, educational, and ecological initiatives. Your contribution of USD 2 each night will go a long way in saving endangered marine turtles and other wildlife; preserving and regenerating coral reefs, rainforests and wetlands; providing scholarships to youths at risk; building community infrastructures globally; and up to 3% may also support education and research initiatives. For each such donation, Banyan Tree commits to match it, dollar for dollar. Ernst & Young audits our fund allocation. Our specially handcrafted keepsake provided at turndown on the first night of your stay is given as a gesture of our appreciation for your support.

green imperative fund

Our Community

Creating shared value with the community whether they are employees, customers, communities or business partners embodies our commitment to social responsibility. Internally our approach promotes wellbeing, diversity, satisfaction, health and safety, as well as professional development to increase productivity and improve employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty. Externally we employ a stakeholder engaged approach to identify areas of aligned interest to promote responsible travel and work towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

samui sustainability community
samui sustainability

Our Community: Local Activities

For the betterment of the community, our associates participate in various locally-organised activities which include charity runs – held on a periodic basis around the island – and community clean-up efforts. Internally, we have organised a ‘Wishing Tree’ project in which associates donated items for a lucky-draw giveaway and proceeds from ticket sales were given to support the purchase of medical supplies for Koh Samui Hospital. Additionally, our team takes active measures to reduce the consumption of plastic bags and bottles in their daily life. To foster a sustainable lifestyle, we launched a plastic-free campaign on social media for associates to share photos of their actions and to encourage others to follow suit.

children's day

Our Community: Children’s Day

In celebration of Children’s Day, observed nationally in Thailand on the second Saturday of January, our associates visit a local school to host a variety of activities for the students including games, lucky-draw prizes and lunch from our chefs.

education donations

Our Community: Education Donations

Supporting long term societal prosperity is central to Banyan Tree’s ability to create value for local communities and this is achieved by empowering them through job creation, education, supporting artisanal cooperatives, community impact initiatives, humanitarian relief and connecting travelers to local culture and heritage. Some of our recent highlights include: • Repurposed amenities to Thailand’s Association for the Blind • Construction of students’ canteen at Wat Santi Wanaram Child Development Center • Sponsorship for school building at Wat Lamai School, Ban Nakhai School, Wat Klang School • Education equipment to support Wat Rat Arun in neighboring Chumporn province • Community support and donation for the Samui Special Needs Foundation • Donation of essential items for Ban Tha Khun School following a structural fire • Sponsorship for clean water filtration system at Ban Nua Nam • Donation of computers to Wat Santi Wanaram Child Development Center, Wat Saket School, Wat Praderm, and Samui College of Business Administration and Tourism

samui community donations

Our Community: Community Donations

Supporting long term societal prosperity is central to Banyan Tree’s ability to create value for local communities and this is achieved by empowering them through job creation, education, supporting artisanal cooperatives, community impact initiatives, humanitarian relief and connecting travelers to local culture and heritage. Some of our recent highlights include: • Donation of food and drink supplies to the community during Covid-19 pandemic • Donation of unused amenities to local hospitals for use by patients and their relatives during their stay • Donation of funds to support the purchase of equipment at Koh Samui Hospital and Walailuk University Hospital • Support for the Soi Dog Foundation, a non-profit animal sanctuary • Donations to victims of floods and natural disasters in various regions of Thailand • Support for road-safety campaigns including Slow Down Samui and Arrive Alive • Secondhand item sale to generate funds to support Baan Nok Kamin Foundation which supports homeless children • Donation of safe drinking water to Wat Samuttharam School

sustainability vendor the edge samui

Our Community: Local Vendor at The Edge

As part of our outreach to the community, we sponsor a local vendor with a complimentary market space during breakfast at The Edge which provides her with an opportunity to sell her locally-made handicrafts and souvenirs for our guests. Visit her shop at The Edge and show your support by purchasing a special keepsake to remind you of your travels to Samui.

Our Responsibility

As a socially responsible business, Banyan Tree Group was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development. Tourism relies on peace, but it also has transformative power to promote positive change. Our commitment to sustainable development and responsible travel is founded on prudent, ethical and accountable governance, with internal and external engagement and participation, external benchmarking and certification, and transparent reporting. We support sustainable development and responsible travel by inspiring associates, guests and partners to take a long-term view when making business decisions.

samui sustainability
samui community cleaning

Our Responsibility: Community Cleaning

By organising cleaning activities, our goal is to remediate and cleanse natural resources or communities in order to maintain pristine conditions for our local surroundings.

sustainable supply chain samui

Our Responsibility: Sustainable Supply Chain

Banyan Tree’s approach is more than risk management; it is an opportunity to make responsible choices that drive respect for human rights and the environment. We champion local procurement, sustainably sourced food (e.g. MSC certified), and actively seek and favour business relationships with those who share our values and commitment. Having a sustainable supply chain is critical to upholding the Banyan Tree vision and ethos. This is especially because the potential impact of hospitality supply chains can be up to ten times the direct impact of operations. Components of our supply chain include input providers (infrastructure, water and energy, equipment, food & beverage), trip arrangement and travel as well as tourism service delivery (accommodation, catering and attractions). HACCP Certification As recognition for our commitment to food safety and hygiene standards, our resort received HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certification. The certification follows a stringent and continuous three-year audit of the hotel’s F&B policies, and reviews of various procedures, including: kitchen hygiene; temperature control of food processing; food contamination; food purchasing; pest control; and training for all kitchen staff. HACCP certification also includes successful inspections of housekeeping, purchasing, engineering, and human resources protocols.

meat free day samui

Our Responsibility: Meat-Free Day at Associate’s Canteen

A plant-based diet isn't just good for health, it benefits the environment too! Excessive meat consumption has a hefty impact on the environment, such as extensive farming which destroys biodiversity and pollution of landscapes and waterways. In view of this, we introduced a Meat-Free Day on the 15th of each month in Romsai, our associates’ canteen. Our team is served a delicious meat-free lunch to encourage them to eat less meat and be healthier.

banyan tree essentials reef products

Our Responsibility: Banyan Tree Essentials – Reef Products

Our award-winning spa treatment-inspired bath and body line, Banyan Tree Essentials, features a coral reef-safe mineral sunscreen. The Banyan Tree Coconut & Seaweed Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ is designed to soothe and protect the skin before and after sun exposure; while minimising impact on the marine environment. As part of our efforts and commitment towards marine conservation, this reef-safe sunscreen contains 100% non-nano mineral filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide, free from chemical UV filters. The mineral filters found in the Banyan Tree Coconut & Seaweed Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ acts as a physical barrier between skin and the sun, blocking out both UVA and UVB rays without being absorbed into skin – ideal for both sensitive skin and the fragile coral reefs. In recent years, compounds in chemical sunscreens have been found to be among the key contributors to the pollution of the ocean, causing irreparable damage to coral reefs. While intended to absorb UV rays and minimise sun damage, chemical UV blockers Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have an adverse effect on corals. Once in contact with ocean water, the chemicals render coral reefs’ defenses powerless against bleaching, damaging their DNA and development in the long run.

reef protection

Our Responsibility: Reef Protection

With a long-term goal to enhance the abundance of reef-building species among the house reef of our resort, we actively cooperate with Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to report data collections and engage in proactive measures to protect our marine ecosystem. Additionally, we initiated an in-house Coral Rejuvenation Project whereby storm-generated coral fragments brought onshore are treated, before being re-planted on the reef and monitored over time.

food waste samui

Our Responsibility: Food Waste

An estimated one third of global food production is wasted resulting in annual losses worth $750bn. Controlling food waste supports climate change action by reducing waste to landfill and methane production, in addition to cost saving. Our goals are to measure the food waste footprint annually and to reduce food waste by 30% and divert 50% from landfill by 2025, and reduce food waste by 50% and divert 100% from landfill by 2030.

samui pride month

Our Responsibility: Pride Month Celebration

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our Group's culture, as we live and breathe our philosophy of "Embracing the Environment, Empowering People". We promote diversity and inclusiveness through our core values - IDEALS; where we appreciate and celebrate differences in views, perspectives, cultures and experiences. We make differences matter and respect uniqueness where we work.

Annual Celebrations

earth hour samui

Annual Celebration: Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. In recognition of this day, we invite guests to participate by turning off the lights and air conditioning in the villa, and to join our various activities at our restaurants including a traditional Thai candlelight dancing performance at Saffron as well as a fire-twirling show, live acoustic music performance and ‘Magic of Light’ photo souvenir at Sands.

earth day

Annual Celebration: Earth Day

Earth Day which is an annual event celebrated around the world on 22 April to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. In recognition of this day, we invite guests to join an education marine conservation talk led by our Sustainability Manager as well as to take part in an underwater cleaning activity amid our the house reef of our private bay.

world environment day

Annual Celebration: World Environment Day

World Environment Day which is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is the United Nation's principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. In recognition of this day, we conduct a community cleaning activity within the local area. Additionally, our Sustainability Manager creates a challenge to inspire our associates to take action by adopting best practices in their daily life that contribute toward environmental conservation.

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