Banyan Tree Global Foundation launches Greater Good Grants programme
Banyan Tree Global Foundation is launching for the first time in its 11-year history, the Greater Good Grants that aims to support innovative and impactful projects across six areas that align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the group’s core ethos of ‘Embracing the Environment, Empowering People’.
As a socially responsible business, Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development. A global hospitality group operating in diverse locations, Banyan Tree’s concept of sustainability seeks to create long-term value for multiple stakeholders and destinations.
Since earning the 1992 Environmental Award from American Express and The International Hotel Association for the remediation of a former tin mining site into Laguna Phuket integrated resort – Asia’s first destination resort, Banyan Tree has championed sustainability stewardship as a top priority. For this commitment, Banyan Tree has received nods of approval with social and environmental awards from various organisations.
This year, the group is opening up its grant-giving foundation to external projects further afield from its immediate operating communities.
“Our usual approach has been to award project grants mainly through our operating properties and support the environment and community stakeholders in that specific vicinity,” Dr Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President, Group Sustainability Director and Coordinating Director of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, said.
“While projects should be in the same countries as where we operate, our new approach is to invite NGOs and academics to apply so we can support more impactful projects benefitting people and the planet.”
The Greater Good Grants for Year 2021 is open for submission until December 31, and invites projects across six areas:
- Biodiversity and Conservation: improve understanding, conservation and management of species and habitats.
- Resource Use and Waste Management: innovative projects that tackle cradle to grave lifecycle of resources that benefit community, business and the environment.
- Climate Change and Resilience: elucidate global change and develop resilience in natural and human systems.
- Education and Empowerment: development of education infrastructure, capacity and delivery to students of any age, with particular focus on disadvantaged members of society.
- Health and Protection: focus on health and wellbeing in local communities.
- Culture and Livelihood: development, protection, restoration and stewardship of culture and livelihoods.
Project grants are up to $10,000, open to all individuals over the age of 18, who have an organisational affiliation.
Submissions will be reviewed by the Board of Directors of Banyan Tree Global Foundation and an internal panel of stakeholders. Successful project grantees will be notified by Q1 2021.
“We have given project grants to over 150 partners in our operating locales since inception to now. This is our ecosystem of greater good, centred on our belief that our business is a vehicle for societal betterment and transformation,” Claire Chiang, Co-founder & Senior Vice President of Banyan Tree Holdings and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, said.
“In this time where hope and optimism are needed more than ever, we hope to catalyse positive ripple effects and extend our support to more partners seeking to create positive, sustainable change.”
Banyan Tree Group operates three resorts in Maldives: Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru in North Male Atoll, and Angsana Velavaru in Dhaalu atoll.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru opened its door in 1995 and is the first international chain resort in the Maldives. With just 48 pool villas dotting around the island, privacy and relaxation can easily be attained. The resort has a restaurant, bar, PADI Gold Palm five-star resort dive centre and a Banyan Tree Spa.
Vabbinfaru is also home to the Banyan Tree Maldives Marine Lab, the first of its kind to be funded and built on a private resort, where guests can learn about marine conservation and partake in the many sustainability activities on offer including coral planting, reef cleaning and daily stingray feeding sessions.
Angsana Ihuru is surrounded by one of the most vibrant and well preserved coral house reefs in the Maldives. The resort has 45 villas, a restaurant and a bar, a PADI Gold Palm five-star resort dive centre and an Angsana Spa.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru are located in North Male Atoll, just 25 minutes away by speedboat from the airport. The two resorts are just five minutes by boat away from each other.
Velavaru or ‘Turtle Island’ is located in the pristine Dhaalu atoll, and accessible by a 40-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport. This 113-villa resort offers 79 island villas and 34 InOcean Villas, revealing spectacular views and direct access to the Indian Ocean.