Shangri-La Group Kicks Off Race For Hope With Running Events In Shanghai

On December 2, Shangri-La kicked off the Group’s environmental project Race for Hope, which aims to plant up to 5,000 trees in mainland China by 2021. Over 700 colleagues, guests and customers represented all 50 Shangri-La, Kerry, Traders and Hotel Jen properties during a family-friendly five kilometer race and two kilometer fun run in Century Park Shanghai.

The runners’ efforts were recorded on the Alipay Ant Forest platform, which virtually watered the Shangri-La Caring Forest. Created by Alipay and Ant Financial Services Group, the Ant Forest campaign encourages users to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives including walking, jogging, taking public transportation and more. When a user completes a sustainable practice, the user logs it in the app, which is converted to “green energy” within the user’s “forest.” When the user earns enough “green energy,” a virtual tree grows in the user’s forest. Ant Financial plants a real tree for every virtual tree.

All Race for Hope online participation will turn into tangible results of real tree planting through Alipay Ant Forest and NGO partners. Through Race for Hope, Shangri-La Group hopes to plant 5,000 trees in two years when the group celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Since Race for Hope launched in September 2019, more than 120,000 people have logged their physical activities to be converted into “green energy” on the Alipay Ant Forest platform. The “green energy” watered the Shangri-La Caring Forest over 390,000 times.

“Shangri-La has long committed to protecting our environment,” said Victor Vazquez, executive vice president of operations, East China. “Under our Race for Hope initiative, we want to instill a sense of urgency that all of us must start doing our part now to save our planet.”

“We are also excited to leverage the Alipay Ant Forest digital platform,” continued Vazquez. “The ease of the platform will drive greater participation from everyone, every day and everywhere. We believe it will also encourage our colleagues, guests and the community to start changing their behaviors once they see how they can convert a low carbon lifestyle into real tree planting.”

Thank you to our dedicated colleagues and community members who organized and facilitated the successful event, as well as the runners who participated in the races. We hope to achieve our goal by 2021 and contribute to mainland China’s green future.