Celebrated annually on June 8, World Oceans Day recognizes the importance of the earth’s oceans through campaigns and initiatives, special events, outdoor excursions, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation programs, sustainable seafood events and more.
This year, World Oceans Day is growing the global movement to call on world leaders to protect 30 percent of oceans by 2030. Referred to as “30x30,” the initiative ensures a healthy home for all by safeguarding at least 30 percent of oceans through a network of highly protected areas.
As an organization that operates along the shoreline of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Shangri-La Group recognizes its duty to help preserve and protect the world’s oceans through various programs, activities and events.
Working Together To Make A Difference: Reducing Single-Use Plastic
In 2019, Shangri-La Group implemented a group-wide ban on plastic straws and stirrers, switched to glass bottled water for more venues and outlets, and introduced greener packaging for in-room slippers. The program resulted in the elimination of six million single-use straws and plastic stirrers and 11 tons of plastic packaging saved per year by switching to paper wrapping for in-room slippers. Eleven properties now serve in-room water in glass bottles.
These initiatives are part of our overall plastic reduction roadmap, under which the Group plans to tackle more items including packaging for bathroom amenities, takeaway containers, utensils and more. Shangri-La Group works closely with suppliers to achieve the right balance with the goal is to raise awareness and improve acceptance for reducing single-use plastics among our colleagues and guests, while investing in long-term alternative solutions that will not compromise the guest experience.
Protecting Marine Life Through Sanctuary
Shangri-La is proud to operate hotels in some of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse regions of the world. We are committed to conserving and protecting the biodiversity of these areas for present and future generations to enjoy. Through Sanctuary, Shangri-La’s Care for Nature project, 15 hotels have formed partnerships with local experts to leverage specialized knowledge and skills. Many of these properties support Shangri-La Eco Centres, which seek to engage with colleagues, guests and locals about conservation through interactive learning experiences and other educational activities. Several Sanctuary projects have created artificial reefs to support natural recruitment of corals. Colleagues and volunteers transplant coral fragments to aid in the recovery of specific coral species, and drop fish houses to help increase the abundance and diversity of fish species.
In 2019, the Sanctuary projects effectively reached out to 2,275 students, encouraged over 3,000 colleagues to volunteer, oversaw planting of over 1,300 mangrove saplings, released over 4,000 turtle hatchlings, planted over 1,500 coral and placed over 680 fish houses.
Shangri-La Group’s Sanctuary projects are proud to help the plight of species and fauna around the world, including:
Endangered hawksbill and green turtles at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa’s Turtle Care Project and turtles at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang;
Mangroves through sapling planting and nurturing at Shangri-La Hotel, Haikou;
Coral ecosystems at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Philippines and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu;
And horseshoe crabs at Aberdeen Marina Club.
Supporting Sustainable Seafood Through Partnerships And Policies
The health of fisheries and ocean ecosystems are increasingly being put at risk by overfishing and illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing. With this in mind, Shangri-La Group committed to sustainable menus at restaurants and bars by achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification for all Shangri-La and sister-branded properties in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Guests dining at Shangri-La and sister-brand restaurants can identify MSC-certified seafood with the blue eco-label placed next to the menu item. The label signifies that the seafood comes from a certified sustainable source and is safely tracked.
The MSC achievement aligns with Shangri-La Group’s Sustainable Seafood Policy. Launched in 2012, the policy announced the Group would cease serving shark fin in all of its operated restaurants and for banqueting events.
Protecting Our Oceans Year-Round
Along with partnerships and awards, Shangri-La Group properties and colleagues organize regular beach and ocean cleanups to keep the oceans clean and healthy. Coastal properties such as Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius arranges routine beach cleanups along the shoreline as well as on the resort’s private island Ilot Mangenie, while hotels located in urban destinations such as Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei organize beach cleanups outside the city.
Shangri-La Group is committed to hospitality from the heart within our properties as well as within our environment. Shangri-La Group understands the importance of the world’s oceans and will continue to help protect and preserve them as well as help nurture the marine life that inhabit them.