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Marina Bay Sands rolls out green carpet of sustainable firsts at Responsible Business Forum

Integrated resort joins hands with forum organiser to reduce carbon footprint and benefit communities

In its continued commitment to drive home the messages of sustainability and environmental protection, Marina Bay Sands is championing sustainable event planning in a bigger way. Together with the organiser of Responsible Business Forum (RBF), Global Initiatives, the goal is to create a 100 per cent carbon-offset event.

Detailed and careful planning has been invested in every single aspect of the forum to ensure that the organisers meet their green goals and standards. This includes the setup, menu planning, waste management and engaging suppliers and delegates to give back to the community.

“Marina Bay Sands is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and protecting the environment in line with our Sands ECO360° programme. These values are built into the core values of our business as well as the services we offer to our guests. The meeting industry is an important and influential industry that can inspire others and lead the way in responsible environment and social practices. We hope the sustainable event planning solutions that we offer will drive the industry in that direction in the long run,” said Mr George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Bay Sands.

"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. The sustainability approach undertaken by Marina Bay Sands has provided us with a perfect event partner and host destination for the forum,” said Mr Tony Gourlay, Chief Executive Officer of Global Initiatives.

As the first event and conference venue outside of U.S.A. to achieve Level One Certification to the ASTM Sustainable Event Planning Standard in July 2013, Marina Bay Sands has further enhanced its sustainable meeting offerings by using advanced in-room movement sensors for the forum that help integrate with the building management system to control lighting when no one is in the room. This project is estimated to drive energy savings of 6-7 per cent across all of its MICE facilities upon completion.

The venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. Marina Bay Sands will be providing its Sands ECO360° standards in meeting rooms used by organisers of RBF. This means there will be no pre-setting of paper, mints and water at tables. Water dispensers and glasses are provided for delegates in each room to reduce wastage. Consumption of resources and energy will also be reduced as no chair covers will be used and air-conditioning in all meeting rooms will be at 25 degrees Celsius at the organiser’s request.

For the first time, delegates attending an event at Marina Bay Sands will also be able to join in the integrated resort’s green movement by participating in its ‘Soap for Hope’ activity. Leftover liquid soaps and shampoo from Marina Bay Sands’ hotel rooms are collected and consolidated on regular basis and to those in need. ‘Soap for Hope” stations will be set up at the forum and delegates can lend a hand to help pour leftover soaps into containers which are then given to the integrated resort’s charity partner Food from the Heart.

Going the extra mile in the area of food and beverage, Marina Bay Sands is offering for the first time a customised vegetarian Harvest Menu to delegates at the request of the organiser. Fresh produce and ingredients on the Harvest Menu are locally sourced from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, reducing the carbon footprint created by long-distance imports from further countries. To further reduce wastage, there will be no pre-pouring of beverages during food service and most condiments will be served in bulk. Cooking oil used in the menus will also be recycled. Leftover bread from the forum will also be collected and donated to Food from the Heart for a bread distribution programme they run to benefit communities including children, the elderly and needy families in Singapore.

While Marina Bay Sands practises sorting of general waste for recycling offsite and digesting food waste onsite, this is the first time the integrated resort will measure all food waste generated from a single event with the goal of ensuring that all of it is sustainably disposed of.

This statistic will go toward a Sands ECO360° Event Impact Statement which will conclude the Responsible Business Forum. This statement will consolidate the sustainable event metrics such as energy and water consumption, recycling rate, carbon emissions and highlights of sustainable initiatives – all conforming to both global sustainability reporting standards required by the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) sustainability guidelines.

As the venue host of Responsible Business Forum, Marina Bay Sands is also the first MICE facility in Singapore to adopt the STB’s new sustainability guidelines for the MICE industry.

“In our pursuit of quality tourism, the Singapore Tourism Board recently released a set of Sustainability Guidelines to work with our MICE industry stakeholders towards adopting sustainable practices,” said Mr Chew Tiong Heng, Executive Director, Business Tourism Development at the Singapore Tourism Board. “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. 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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