Tackling climate change is essential for sustainable development and poverty eradication, and a critical component of Banyan Tree’s sustainability efforts. Climate change represents an important yet daunting global challenge, with potential direct and indirect costs through impact on human and natural systems that may affect destination quality, consumer demand and travel, as well as disaster frequency and severity.
While small scale efforts may suffer from economies of scale and lack of impact, they can still provide some respite and produce working models that lead to change and positive impact. As a global company, we accept our global responsibility to conserve and safeguard natural and cultural heritage, and we strive to improve resilience in the face of unprecedented global change.
The release of the IPCC report in 2018 once again highlighted the threat of climate change, and the action needed to restrict global temperature rise.
Banyan Tree’s actions on climate change are integrated throughout environmental, social and governance sustainability efforts, in alignment with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (2015) call to connect with global climate action.
In support of Singapore’s Call for Climate Action in 2018, we continue to tackle resource efficiency and use, promote responsible travel, greening and reforestation, and support local capacity development and resilience to change.
climate change and related issues into business strategy
the global transition to a low carbon economy through emission reductions
the value of cultural and natural heritage and strengthening local resilience where we operate
responsible travel through a participatory approach
stakeholders across our value chain
Banyan Tree endeavours to raise awareness of important global issues relating to the environment, particularly the effects of Climate Change, via our support of Global Events and Celebrations such as Earth Hour, Earth Day and World Environment Day, as well as establishing our own initiatives including Greening Communities.
Specific goals relating to the topics mentioned above, can be found on their individual pages on this website.
Our Greening Communities challenge
Our Greening Communities programme raises awareness of climate change and sequesters carbon by planting trees in local communities. Despite reduced operations, 14,576 trees were planted in 2020, with 523,188 trees planted to date, sequestering a maximum of 162,268 tonnes of carbon (based on 40 kg of carbon sequestered per tree per year, and assuming 100% survival), with 20,350 mangroves planted in the last three years that contribute to blue carbon ecosystem services including shoreline protection, fish nursery habitat and local livelihoods.
In partnership with Nuoc Ngot Social Protection Centre in Vietnam, 12,750 paperbark trees (Melaleuca quinquenervia) were planted to provide a new income source for the Centre. Melaleuca oil is said to protect against inflammation, and revenue from selling the leaves shall support the Centre’s operation cost and mission to help poor children and people with disabilities. Following the success of this project, a further 10,000 trees were planted by the community inside An Bang Village and Phuoc Hung Village to support livelihoods.
As we look to better value carbon, green space and greening initiatives, we conducted a rapid tree census at Laguna Phuket as a first step to formalise a valuation methodology for the Group which we shall develop in 2021.
Each year we give a voice to climate change awareness by joining the global Earth Hour movement and turning off all non-essential lights for one hour at our properties worldwide. Lockdowns and operational closures reduced engagement and impact in 2020, but 21 properties were able to participate and saved over 3,500 kWh of electricity in a single hour: equivalent to 9 months’ worth of energy to power a four-room public housing unit in Singapore (www.ema.gov.sg). Prior to temporary closure, our Maldives properties extended this initiative to each full moon, saving an additional 344 kWh.