Banyan Tree Group, a leading developer and manager of premium resorts, hotels, spas, galleries, and golf courses signed two key agreements today, reaffirming its commitment to sustainable tourism development. The commercialised arm of Banyan Tree, GPS Development Services (GPS), which provides development and technical expertise internally within the Group as well as to external parties, signed a memorandum of understanding with EC3 Global, the international environmental management and certification company that owns and manages the EarthCheck program.
As the first Singapore-based company to officially partner with EC3 Global, GPS is now able to deliver end-to-end sustainable tourism development services and expertise to external parties, overseeing the entire process. Through their successful implementation of sustainable projects for Banyan Tree’s portfolio of properties, GPS will leverage on their expertise in project planning, development management, green technical advisory and engineering technology, while EC3 Global will contribute its expertise on engaged destination management, building and precinct planning and design standards, community and destination master planning and certification.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global and EarthCheck, said, “The sustainability challenges of tomorrow will demand a new set of professional design skills and innovation. The partnership with GPS will offer our clients an integrated set of planning and design solutions.”
This partnership represents a key milestone for Banyan Tree as it enables GPS to leverage on EC3 Global’s extensive portfolio of over 1,300 hospitality and travel clients in 73 countries, bringing additional revenue streams to the Group. “With this alliance, GPS is able to ramp up its pipeline of external clients in new markets and work together with EC3 to offer a multidisciplinary team that can provide end-to-end solutions for our clients,” said Ms. Lim See Bee, Executive Director of GPS. She added, “This partnership also enables GPS to provide confidence to development approval agencies that all aspects of the project have been considered through an independent assessment of sustainability performance.”
In the second agreement signed, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts renewed their partnership with EarthCheck, confirming an ongoing commitment to the highest level of sustainable operations with year-on-year performance measurement verified by a third party and scientific reporting to an international standard. EC3 Global owns and manages the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification program that assists businesses in the travel and tourism sector to monitor and reduce their environmental impacts in the core areas of energy, water, waste, community, paper, cleaning and pesticides.
Building on its existing sustainability programme, Banyan Tree will continue extending the Group’s participation in EarthCheck, with a view to have Banyan Tree and Angsana branded resorts certified and supported by expanded capacity building frameworks. As of August 2012, 16 resorts are already part of the EarthCheck program. In April 2012, Banyan Tree Lijiang became the first resort in China to achieve EarthCheck Gold Certified status. Five resorts have achieved Bronze Benchmarked status (Banyan Tree Ungasan, Banyan Tree Ringha, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Angsana Velavaru, and Angsana Ihuru) and are pursuing Silver Certification. Seven more resorts are working towards achieving EarthCheck benchmarked status including Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico, Banyan Tree Bintan in Indonesia, Banyan Tree Madivaru in Maldives, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Angsana Bintan, and Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel in Laos. Additionally, Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, and five other elements of Laguna Phuket are pursuing EarthCheck Benchmarked status as part of the precinct of Laguna Phuket’s sustainability efforts.
Proudly commenting on the renewal of the partnership, Mr. Abid Butt, CEO, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts said, “We are encouraged by the performance of our resorts respective to industry baselines and best practice levels, and are proud of their dedication to bettering the community and environment in which each resort resides. We are enthusiastic about the market intelligence EarthCheck’s data provides which allows us to continue working to be a leader within sustainable tourism.”
“This collaboration reinforces our commitment to engage stakeholders of all levels within the development process, and deliver sustainable solutions regardless of the project’s scale or the level of local regulatory infrastructure supporting sustainable development, “ summed up Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Holdings and Chairperson for Banyan Tree Global Foundation.
Congratulating Banyan Tree on their continued commitment to sustainable development and triple bottom line reporting, Mr. Stewart Moore said, “Banyan Tree is regarded as a market leader and we are proud to maintain our partnership with the company and have more properties certified with the EarthCheck program.”