IUCN Asia Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Six Senses Resorts and Spas
28 April 2009 | News story
IUCN and Six Senses will raise sector-wide biodiversity performance standards in the ecotourism industry
IUCN is seeking to engage the business sector in working towards a sustainable global economy in which the private sector and the conservation community are committed and effective partners in achieving a just world that values and conserves nature. This partnership is a step towards building a lasting relationship to enhance biodiversity conservation performance in the hospitality sector and its supply chains, as well as to strengthen IUCN’s capacity for leadership in integrating biodiversity into businesses.
Six Senses is a leading tourism company, and one of the world's leading providers of high-quality leisure, with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. The Six Senses Social and Environment Sustainability Policy commits to sustainable development, with environmental responsibility being a core value fundamental to the business. “We do not exercise environmental sustainability as a marketing tool, this is what we do….” says Chief Executive Sonu Shivdasani.
While many hospitality-related companies are bemoaning the downturn in travel spending, Six Senses sees the current situation as an excellent opportunity to build on its market-leading position to pursue new sustainable expansion initiatives. It also aims through this work to influence changes in biodiversity performance standards in the hotel and tourism sector and its supply chains.
The Six Senses green attitude extends to the grass roots by being part of the communities in which the group operates; adding social value from the ground up. IUCN and Six Senses in Hua Hin Thailand have been working with the adjacent Pranburi Mangrove Ecosystem Learning Centre for ways to engage the local communities in mangrove rehabilitation efforts. Six Senses and IUCN’s Asia Business and Biodiversity Programme have held discussions with a view to enhancing their opportunities for cooperation in other resorts in the region.
“I believe that this MoU will contribute substantively to influences in the policy arena, both public and corporate, such that the world’s biodiversity is better conserved and sustainably used by hotel and tourism businesses working to best practice levels and standards of conservation” says Aban Kabraji , IUCN Asia Regional Director.
The agreement signed by IUCN Asia Regional Director, Ms. Aban Kabraji and Six Senses CEO Sonu Shivdasani will provide the bases for future collaboration to strengthen institutional capacities in both organizations and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness in advancing the corporate environmental and social responsibility agenda.