Seeking Sustainable Tourism
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 organisation for travellers seeking 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.”
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 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.”
To learn more about Banyan Tree Samui’s sustainability efforts, click here.
Source: Colin Hinshelwood/ CPA Media.