World Environment Day

Every year on June 5 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) celebrates World Environment Day to raise global awareness and encourage people to protect nature and the planet. While some Shangri-La hotels and resorts will participate in CSR activities and programs on World Environment Day, most of our hotels and resorts have ongoing programs to benefit their surrounding environments year-round.

Protecting the Mangroves

Shangri-La Hotel, Beihai is located near mangrove wetlands that provide a transfer station for migrating birds and habitats for seabirds to rest and reproduce. The wetlands also protect the beach, stabilize the sea bank, help purify the seawater and the atmosphere, and prevent wind wave (waves caused by gusts of wind that often have disastrous effects on nearby communities).

Because this is an important and cherished habitat in Beihai, 11 colleagues from Shangri-La Hotel, Beihai joined a volunteer initiative to plant mangroves and to help prevent the deterioration of the wetlands. Our colleagues arrived at the habitat via bicycles to stay green throughout the day. They then helped plant mangrove trees in a deserted area of the wetlands. After about a year, we expect to see the land filled with established mangroves that will flourish for years to come.

Mangroves are also a point of pride in Haikou, where Shangri-La Hotel, Haikou launched the CARE for Mangroves program on Hainan Island. The hotel committed to a five-year cooperation with Hainan Dongzhaigang National Nature Reserve to plant and adopt seven acres of mangroves. To kick off the cooperation, hotel colleagues held a bake sale at a nearby shopping mall where they sold 1,000 pieces of cookies and cakes, selling out within an hour. Colleagues from the hotel kitchen also baked a 1.2-meter fruit cake dedicated to the mangroves. Since the start of the program, the hotel has held a donation collection at its Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a Christmas charity sale in the hotel’s lobby, and looks forward to more fundraisers and activities.

Protecting Our Animal Friends

North of Haikou in Xian, the Care for Nature project at Shangri-La Hotel, Xian and Golden Flower Hotel, Xian supports the preservation of endangered pandas’ and endangered golden monkeys’ habitats. To prevent the destruction of the animals’ resources, the hotels provide seeds to villagers so they can grow ingredients used in Chinese medicine. This allows the villagers to refrain from collecting ingredients in the wild. The hotels also upgraded patrolling facilities on a nature reserve home to giant pandas and golden monkeys. These upgrades allow rangers to better watch over and protect the endangered animals in the nature reserve.

Protecting Our Beaches

Many of our beach-front hotels and resorts conduct regular beach clean ups to help protect the surrounding environment and keep nearby wildlife safe. During these clean ups, Shangri-La colleagues and members of surrounding communities volunteer by picking up waste and debris on the beach and within the ocean. Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa also offers a meeting package, in which companies can participate in coral reef planting and beach clean-ups.

Protecting Our Resources

Along with a general global message to protect the environment, the UNEP gives World Environment Day a yearly theme. This year, the theme – “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” – focuses on sustainable consumption and production of goods. As part of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ sustainable culinary initiative, Rooted in Nature, our hotels and resorts are committed to sourcing ethically-grown, raised or traded ingredients that are used in their restaurants’ and bars’ dishes and drinks. To be considered Rooted in Nature, a prominent ingredient in a dish must meet one or more of the five guidelines: locally-grown fruits and vegetables; chemical- and pesticide-free local produce; free range livestock meat, poultry, or egg; sustainably-sourced seafood; or certified organic, Fairtrade and other local certifications.

As part of our resorts’ commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable practices, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang, Golden Sands Resort, Penang and Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives reduce their carbon footprints with their own water bottling plants. The advanced facilities work with the resorts’ desalination plant, which purifies seawater through filtration stages, to produce sparkling and pure still drinking water that is served throughout the resorts. This project is expected to save about 250,000 plastic bottles per facility every year.

Stay tuned to see what some of our hotels did to help clean and protect nature on World Environment Day 2015!