SINGAPORE—Marina Bay Sands has been certified to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Industry Criteria for Hotels and Accommodations, becoming the largest hotel in Singapore to earn the accolade.
It also sees Marina Bay Sands join a leading group of hotels globally to achieve this certification. The conferment of the certification bears testament to the integrated resort’s continued efforts in implementing innovative sustainable solutions that effectively marry world-class hospitality with sustainability.
The GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels aims to promote the best sustainable tourism practices around four main themes: effective sustainability management, minimizing environmental impact, maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community, and enhancing cultural heritage.
Marina Bay Sands’ achievement of the GSTC certification is in line with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Singapore Hotel Association’s (SHA) announcement of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap in March 2022. The roadmap aims for 60 percent of the hotel room stock in Singapore to attain internationally recognized hotel sustainability certification by 2025.
Jeannie Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Policy and Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We congratulate Marina Bay Sands on this significant achievement. Their efforts support our goal to become one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations, guided by the Singapore Green Plan 2030. We also hope that their example will inspire other hotels to strive toward similar goals in line with the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap. STB will continue to support hotels on their sustainability journey, working together to reduce impact on the environment, maximize the social and economic benefits of tourism, while enhancing cultural heritage and meeting the needs of travelers.”
Way Ahead of Singapore Expectations
Having reduced its carbon footprint by over 50 percent since 2012, Marina Bay Sands also surpasses the roadmap’s ambition for hotels in Singapore to commence tracking of emissions by 2023 and reduce emissions by 2030.
“The GSTC certification is a testament to Marina Bay Sands’ ongoing commitment to minimize our environmental impact while providing our guests with a luxurious experience. Being the largest hotel in Singapore to be GSTC-certified shows our commitment in raising the bar for the industry and inspiring other players to adopt more sustainable practices,” said Meridith Beaujean, Executive Director of Sustainability, Marina Bay Sands.
“Congratulations to the team at Marina Bay Sands on becoming certified to the GSTC Industry Criteria. We commend their continued efforts in reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact, prioritizing sustainable management, and for their overall commitment to innovative sustainable solutions,” said Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.
With the goal of creating and overseeing international standards for environmentally friendly travel and tourism, the GSTC is an independent organization that manages global sustainable standards (the GSTC Criteria) and represents a diverse and global membership, including governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and communities.
The GSTC certification comes in succession to Marina Bay Sands’ Special Award for Sustainability at the Singapore Tourism Board’s annual Singapore Tourism Awards (STA) in 2022. The integrated resort is focused on annual performance goals in Energy, Waste, Water, Resource Management, Sustainable Procurement, Biodiversity and has an ambitious global commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), pledging to reduce Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s greenhouse gas emissions 17.5 percent by 2025.
Effective Sustainability Management
- A strong governance structure is in place, with top leadership actively driving the company’s sustainability program.
- A comprehensive learning and development framework guides activities designed to deepen the sustainability knowledge of Marina Bay Sands’ over 10,000-strong workforce.
- Strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations help amplify the integrated resort’s outreach efforts. They include WWF Singapore to shape the future of responsible seafood in Asia Pacific and Conservation International Singapore to empower local youths to protect the environment.
Minimizing Environmental Impact
- Marina Bay Sands has decoupled its environmental impact from business growth, reducing its carbon footprint and water consumption by over 50 percent and 13 percent respectively from 2012.
- Since 2012, the integrated resort has saved over 9.5 million kWh of energy annually through investments in an intelligent Building Management System, building artificial intelligence data analytics, and other carbon-tech efficiency measures.
- Marina Bay Sands uses several technologies including tracking solutions to help chefs measure, monitor, and reduce food waste. In addition to its five aerobic digesters, the integrated resort is piloting a fully circular processing technology converting food waste into a high-calorific substrate that may be used as insect feed, while continuing to work with local food charities to donate unserved food to underprivileged communities. Over 1.5 million kgs of food waste was diverted from the landfill in 2022.
- Adoption of the E3R strategy—Eliminate, Reuse, Replace, and Recycle, guides the integrated resort’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions arising from the use of single use disposables.
Maximizing Social & Economic Benefits for the Local Community
- Through well-established policies, procedures, hiring and procurement practices, and support systems, the integrated resort promotes and integrates inclusion into every facet of the company and works to remove societal barriers that prevent advancement and opportunity.
- Actively hires and assimilates persons with disabilities into its workforce, providing them with meaningful work opportunities. The integrated resort has hired close to 50 persons with disabilities since 2010.
- The Sands for Singapore Charity Festival raised over $4 million in 2022 for the local community, with employees contributing nearly 92,000 volunteer hours towards meaningful causes since 2012.
- Marina Bay Sands supports local businesses and the nation’s 30 x 30 food resilience goal by sourcing local produce wherever possible, including locally farmed barramundi, microcress, edible flowers and herbs.
Enhancing Cultural Heritage
The IR brings local culture and heritage to life by supporting experiences such as I Light Singapore, paying homage to Singapore’s rich and diverse food culture at its restaurants, and providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talent.