How One Hospitality Brand Is Showing That Community Care Starts With Self-Care

Five-star sustainability hero Banyan Tree is channeling the power of positive thinking. By Nicky Short.

Nov 4, 2020

Part of yoga is about focusing on yourself, so you can be the best version of you for the people you love. And that’s the guiding principle of Banyan Tree Group’s strategy heading into a post-pandemic future. While looking after their own teams’ mental wellbeing, they’re looking out for the wider world through grants for positive projects.

Launched on October 28, Banyan Tree Global Foundation’s Greater Good Grants will award up to US$10,000 to impactful initiatives that align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the company’s ethos of ‘Embracing the Environment, Empowering People.’ Those core beliefs start with their own people and, with mental health issues on the rise (thanks, Covid), Banyan Tree is giving its staff a three-pronged approach to tackle them. 

The inside-out journey starts with learning, and new internal training focuses on building resilience and self-care. Then there’s free access to Project T, a tele-therapy service to help staff develop stress-management strategies—a much-needed tool in these anxious times, especially for those in the devastated hospitality industry. “We can only look after our guests when we look after our associates,” says Ho Renyung, the vice president of Brand HQ.

With staff and visitors cared for, Banyan Tree turns the energy outward with the launch of Greater Good Grants. Sustainability has always been one of their driving values, but this is the first time they’ll fund projects outside their immediate communities. Submissions are welcome worldwide until the end of the year for any initiatives tackling issues in Biodiversity and Conservation; Resource Use and Waste Management; Climate Change and Resilience; or Education and Empowerment. “In this time where hope and optimism are needed more than ever,” says the chair of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, Claire Chiang, “we hope to catalyze a positive ripple effect.” 

It’s just like in yoga: when you build a strong core, you can extend your reach. 

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