Sustainable Development


Tourism is often founded on areas of natural or cultural heritage and protecting these areas during development is fundamental to long term sustainability. As a company striving for socio-cultural and environmental sustainability, Banyan Tree is sustainable by design.

Development 07

1. Concept

Vision for adding income to destination, maximizing cultural and physical beauty of destination

Banyan Tree is one of the few, if not the only, vertically integrated Asian hospitality companies capable of taking developments from initial tourism concept through to ongoing sustainable operations year after year.

Our teams have established track records of delivering on every step of the development process, not just for individual hotels, but also for precinct level integrated developments and resorts.

Through careful design, disturbance is minimised and natural landscape protected by retaining open space. As best practice, the natural environment is incorporated into the development and traditional material used in construction supports local livelihoods.

Discover more about our Build For Good philosophy...

Discover more about our Build For Good philosophy...

1. Concept

Vision for adding income to destination, maximizing cultural and physical beauty of destination

2. Design

Embed operational efficiency, safeguard ecology and empower communities

3. Sustainable building certification

Third party certification validates approach e.g. EC3 Global, LEED, BREAM

4. Construction

Experts translate sustainable design mindset to operations

5. Pre-opening

Upskill local labour, build local capacity, direct tourism dollars to local communities

6. Hospitality operations

Embed core founding value of sustainability in all operations

7. Benchmark & Certify

Against location-specific expectation (baseline) and possibility (best practice)

“Businesses cannot succeed in societies that fail”

Better business, better world; 2017

Aligning with SDGs

Our planet is undergoing unprecedented global societal and environmental change. To address and combat this, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define priorities and set ambitious global targets for 2030 to combat poverty, inequality and tackle climate change.


No single goal is forecast to be met worldwide, and not even half will be achieved within a single region. The private sector has a key role to play, with collective action necessary to achieve success.

Aligning our efforts with the SDGs helps us contribute towards supporting social and environmental challenges that cannot succeed without each other. Through our new materiality analysis, we have identified areas of impact on which to focus our efforts, scale up positive impacts, and reduce or avoid negative impacts.

UN Global Compact

Banyan Tree’s approach includes engagement with global frameworks for social justice, demonstrating leadership in sustainability as a founding member and signatory of the UN Global Compact in Singapore.

Through the power of collective action, the global compact seeks to advance responsible business citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalisation. Banyan Tree is committed to upholding the Global Compact’s Ten Universal Principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Responsible Travel

Sustainable tourism development requires more than a philosophy of minimising disturbance. Tourism relies on peace, but it also has transformative power to promote change. Providing opportunities to engage in social and environmental sustainability activities lowers barriers to behavioural change and promotes responsible travel.

Engaging travellers actively and passively in environmental [link – stay for good ‘our environment’] and social projects [link – stay for good ‘our community’], benefits the individual and the destination. Connecting on a personal level increases awareness, promoting engagement and long term stewardship.

Our KPI is to provide a minimum of five opportunities per property for guests to engage with social and environmental sustainability and to connect with a destinations’ cultural and natural heritage.

27 properties (67%)

conducted 5 or more activities in 2017

39,274 guests

participated in social and environmental sustainability initiatives

Buy For Good


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. A sustainable supply chain is critical, particularly with the potential impact of hospitality supply chains up to ten times the direct impact of operations.

Where possible we champion local procurement which represents compound value to society (supporting small local and women-owned businesses) and the environment (reduced transportation impacts and carbon footprint). We promote sustainably sourced food (e.g. MSC certified) with no endangered species or products following international (e.g. CITES) or local laws.

In 2015 we joined forces with EarthCheck to create a sustainable supply chain tool that was process efficient, scalable and not cost prohibitive, with in-built functionality for third party certification. An online tool currently available in English and Chinese provides a manageable means for monitoring vendors’ commitment to sustainability, managing risk and encouraging year on year progress, while evangelizing our sustainability ethos to the supply chain.


Suppliers Invited




Submitted Data

Vendors are graded by a 45 question survey across 5 key areas of International Standards, Environment, Human Rights, Labor and Governance.

Implemented in September 2016, the initial goal was to focus on larger and international suppliers. Uptake in 2017 was not as high as we hoped and following consultation with EarthCheck, the participation cost was reduced from AUD$300/year to AUD$30/year to minimise adoption barriers for 2018.