Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development. We employ an integrated and participatory approach, to minimise our impact while safeguarding and enhancing the human and physical environment for present and future generations.
As stewards of responsible tourism, we have conceptualised our values in our “Brand for Good” framework to go beyond the precautionary approach and inspire exceptional experiences among our guests to “embrace the environment and empower people” at each of our locations.
Angsana Velavaru has been the recipient of various industry-recognized awards for our compliance to the most stringent environmental practices and commitment to corporate social responsibility.
EarthCheck, the world's leading scientific benchmarking and certification group for sustainable tourism, awarded our resort Silver Certification as recognition for continuous certification since 2013 which incorporates annual measurement of operational indicators such as energy; emissions; water, waste and paper use; chemical and pesticide use; and community involvement.
Plastic-Free Banyan Tree
Our resort is committed to our brand-wide pledge to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics from our operations, as part of our continued effort to directly address the detrimental effect that plastic is having on the environment and marine life. In our first year, we as a Group managed to eliminate over 25% of targeted single-use plastic, meaning 1 in 4 of these items used will no longer be sent to landfill or end up polluting our environment.
Last year, Angsana Velavaru’s CSR committee traveled to local islands and gave presentations on single-use plastic, its environmental impact to our ecosystem and solutions on reduction and elimination. Angsana Velavaru also raised awareness for climate change, poverty and hunger. Each month, we gather our associates and guests and travel to neighboring islands for coastal clean-ups. In 2018, we recycled 1.5 tons of plastic waste.
Banyan Tree’s efforts connect with the issue of global climate action by conserving resources through efficient operations, with external assurance by EarthCheck, the leading benchmarking certification within the travel and tourism industry.
Since 2008, we have been providing our guests with glass-bottled water. These glass bottles are all produced onsite. Our efforts have eliminated the use of plastic straws, minimized overall plastic consumption, and reduced negative impact on the local environment. By 2021, we plan to reduce our resource consumption by 40% by installing special air-conditioning units.
Supporting Local Communities
Supporting long-term societal prosperity is central to Banyan Tree’s ability to create value for local communities and this is achieved by empowering them through job creation, education, supporting artisanal cooperatives, community impact initiatives, humanitarian relief and connecting travelers to local culture and heritage.
We aim to organise a minimum of four cleaning activities each year, to engage members of the local community, our guests and our associates with the need for effective waste management and to promote responsible consumption of resources and maintaining a healthy environment.
Embracing Marine Life
Angsana Velavaru MBT Marine lab runs a comprehensive conservation programme to create awareness for endangered marine life and reefs. The experts at the lab are always eager to share their learnings so the next generation can continue to enjoy the natural beauty of Maldives. Join us for our weekly Marine Talk to learn more about the sustainability efforts of MBT Marine Lab.
Coral Reef Conservation
Coral creates biodiversity and has a positive impact on marine life. Our marine conservation lab encourages coral planting as a way to replenish damaged reefs. Through our coral restoration programmes, both you and your family can be a part of this meaningful movement.
In addition to encouraging guest participation in reef restoration, Marine Lab also nurtures two coral rope nurseries that produce healthy size corals after 9 months of fragment attachment.
Embracing the Maldivian Culture
The resort organises guided daily trips to local islands where guests can engage with the local community, visit schools, religious centres and local restaurants. We locally source a material called Cajan, and use it for thatched roofs of all our land villas. We replace the roofs regularly and it provides income to the local ladies in the island of Meedhoo. Since local islands have been deprived of lush greenery due to deforestation, we supply them with dry palm leaves at no costs.
We fund local schools and help them refurbish the classrooms, supply new teaching materials and create a productive learning environment. We helped rebuild houses after the 2004 tsunami and provided funds and manning to build a farm on a neighboring abandoned island. Still in operation to date, the farm helped supply the community with food during the critical year.
We believe in capacity building for the local community and employ around 65% of locals. Every Friday, the main bar hosts traditional Boduberu performances filled with music and dance.