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Marina Bay Sands showcases litany of sustainability approaches

Marina Bay Sands announced during a two-day Responsible Business Forum on Nov. 25 that it has unveiled a new set of sustainability guidelines both aimed at reducing its overall carbon footprint while helping to benefit local nonprofit agencies in Singapore.

Teaming up with Global Initiatives, a forum organizer, Marina Bay Sands is striving to meet specific “green goals and standards.” Examples of the new guidelines include no more pre-setting of paper, mints and water at tables, in lieu of water dispensers and glasses being provided for delegates in each room to reduce waste. Standard room temperature settings at 77 degrees, elimination of chair coverings and pre-pouring of beverages during food services and mandatory recycling of cooking oil are all additional examples of the sustainability guidelines.

Leftover soaps and bread from food services will now be donated to the resort’s charity partner, Food from the Heart, which benefits needy families in the Singapore area.

George Tanasijevich, president and CEO, Marina Bay Sands, said his facility is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen.

“The meeting industry is an important and influential industry that can inspire others and lead the way in responsible environment and social practices,” said Tanasijevich. “We hope the sustainable event planning solutions that we offer will drive the industry in that direction in the long run.”

Facility officials said they will also begin using advanced in-room movement sensors, which integrate with the building management system to control lighting when no one is in a particular room. Management will realize estimated energy savings of 6 to 7 percent facility-wide upon completion of this project.

Tony Gourlay, CEO, Global Initiatives, said The Responsible Business Forum focuses on bringing business leaders together to accelerate business solutions and policy frameworks for a more sustainable future.

“At Global Initiatives, our events are not separate from this philosophy and are designed to demonstrate how responsible event planning can lead to a positive legacy by reducing the environmental impact of the event’s operations,” said Gourlay. “The sustainability approach undertaken by Marina Bay Sands has provided us with a perfect event partner and host destination for the forum.”

In food and beverage, Global Initiatives will begin offering a new customized vegetarian Harvest Menu for the first time to delegates, which include fresh produce and ingredients locally sourced from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Officials said this will reduce the carbon footprint created by long-distance imports from further countries.

Marina Bay Sands is also the first MICE facility in Singapore to adopt the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) new sustainability guidelines for the MICE industry, according to Chew Tiong Heng, executive director of business tourism development, STB.

“We are pleased to note that the first event to adopt these guidelines – ‘Responsible Business Forum on Sustainability Development’ is held at Marina Bay Sands, a recipient of the APEX/ASTM certification for demonstrating best practices in sustainability,” said Tiong Heng. “We strongly encourage our MICE partners to integrate sustainability practices into their MICE operations, which will enhance the overall experience of our business visitors.”

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