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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Hotel Sustainability: Banyan Tree Samui Goes Platinum

Banyan Tree Samui has become the first and only hotel in Thailand to be accorded Platinum Certification by EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking organization for sustainable tourism.

The award of EarthCheck’s Platinum Certification marks 10 years of continuous excellence by the resort in 10 key performance areas: Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Energy Efficiency; Management of Freshwater Resources; Ecosystem Conservation & Management; Social & Cultural Management; Land Use Planning & Management; Air Quality Protection; Wastewater Management; Solid Waste Management; and Environmentally Harmful Substances.

Although other hotel chains have received similar accolades from EarthCheck at a group level, Banyan Tree Samui stands alone as the sole resort or hotel to be recognised with Platinum Certification at a single-property level.

“Banyan Tree Samui’s achievement in receiving the EarthCheck Platinum Certification is a landmark moment in sustainable tourism in Thailand,” said EarthCheck CEO Stewart Moore. “This certification reflects not just a decade of commitment to environmental stewardship, but also a dedication to social responsibility and economic sustainability.”

Sustainability Efforts

Banyan Tree Samui said it strives to reduce consumption rates through improved efficiency and adopting new technology or practices. Energy, carbon emissions, water use, and waste production are closely monitored, measuring progress against context-specific industry baselines and best practices, established in collaboration with EarthCheck.

Led by a marine biologist, the resort’s Sustainability team offers guests “green” activities such as a nature trail with bird-spotting, guided snorkelling tours to the resort’s very own coral reef, and the opportunity to join an on-site tree-planting activity.

Guests may also opt to join a plethora of cultural activities including Thai cookery classes, Thai boxing, Thai language lessons or a visit to an elephant sanctuary.

“Caring for the environment is in our DNA,” said Ms.Thepsuda Loyjiw, the resort’s Sustainability Manager. “Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development. We see sustainability in terms of not only the environment, but also the local communities in which we operate.”

Banyan Tree Samui recently funded the rebuilding of a local school that had been destroyed by a tropical storm, and Thepsuda, joined by several volunteers from the hotel, rolled up their sleeves to help by working on landscaping and other labour-intensive tasks. Reconstruction at the Wat Santi Wanaram Child Development Centre was completed in January 2023, providing 103 children and their teachers a safe environment for lunch, activities and play.

Other initiatives implemented successfully by Banyan Tree Samui in recent years include a blood drive campaign, and the ongoing “Seedlings Mentorship” project aimed at nurturing young Samui students between 12 and 18, providing them with vocational and life skills and education, as well as offering scholarships and financial support to enable select students to continue into higher education.

In October 2023, Banyan Tree Samui organised a recycling scheme with its coffee provider Nespresso. “We return all the capsules with the coffee grains still inside,” said Thepsuda. “Nespresso then separates the aluminium for recycling and the ground coffee to be used as compost or fertiliser.”

Award-Winning Resorts

Following in the footsteps of its elder sister resort, Banyan Tree Krabi, which opened in 2020 on the Andaman coast, is also looking at achieving recognition by EarthCheck as an eco-torchbearer in Thailand, following its latest onsite audit in September 2023.

Both Banyan Tree resorts were recognised in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards this year, with Banyan Tree Krabi voted No 4 in the Top Resorts in Thailand category, and Banyan Tree Samui claiming the No 5 title.

Opened in 2010, the 88-key Banyan Tree Samui is a luxury all-pool villa resort, with a pristine beach, blissful spa escapes, exquisite dining offerings, locally-infused experiences, a personal Villa Host concierge, and unparalleled views. The 38-acre property is rich in flora and plant life, and its private beach is flanked by coral reefs.

The resort hosts three restaurants, a spa with Banyan Tree’s signature Rainforest hydrotherapy facility, a fitness centre, a kids’ club, a meetings and events centre, and a library. Beachfront activities available to guests include paddle boarding, snorkelling, kayaking, table tennis, a pool table, and yoga classes.

To learn more about Banyan Tree Samui’s sustainability efforts, please go to: https://www.banyantree.com/thailand/samui/sustainability

Read more Travel articles from Green Living.


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