Marina Bay Sands and WWF team up for sustainability

A big step forward in efforts to lift the pressure on over-fished seafood resources has been made in a landmark partnership between Marina Bay Sands and the World Wide Fun for Nature in Singapore.

The agreement announced during ITB Asia, comes as concern heightens over evidence that the majority of fish consumed in Singapore and other Asia cities is not from sustainable sources.

WWF Singapore says that three out of four species consumed in the city are not sourced sustainably. The worrying trend has implications for the business event industry, particularly when organising banquets.

Marina Bay Sands and WWF have jointly developed measurable and achievable goals to improve responsible procurement within the integrated resort and transform its supply chain.

Under the programme, Marina Bay Sands is also supporting four aquaculture farms in Malaysia in their journeys towards sustainable farming – the first such collaboration for WWF-Singapore.

The partnership kicks off with a primary focus on seafood and ocean conservation, with Marina Bay Sands aiming to have 50 per cent of its total seafood by volume responsibly sourced by 2020.

Asia consumes two-thirds of the global fish catch, with Singapore’s per capita seafood consumption of 22 kilograms exceeding the global average of 20kg. Overfishing to meet such demands is now the single biggest threat to oceans. In Singapore, three out of four common seafood species are unsustainable.

“Marina Bay Sands procures seafood in the millions of kilograms each year. Given its sheer volume, the move to sustainability has the potential to benefit marine ecosystems and local communities in this region. Its investment in current and future supply chains through sustainable aquaculture raises the bar for how other large-scale businesses should be sourcing,” said Elaine Tan, chief executive of WWF-Singapore.

The WWF collaboration adds another layer to Marina Bay Sands’ global sustainability strategy – Sands ECO360°, which drives the stewardship of responsible business in the areas of green buildings, environmentally responsible operations, green meetings and sustainability education and outreach.

Ian Wilson, senior vice president, hotel operations, Marina Bay Sands, said: “Marina Bay Sands is committed to sustainability across every aspect of our operations, along the entire supply chain.

“As an IR home to Singapore’s largest hotel, a 1.3 million sq. ft. convention centre, a luxury shopping mall and more, we recognise the significance and impact of our sustainability actions within Asia’s hospitality industry, and down the supply chain,” he said.

“In partnership with WWF, we have the opportunity to make great strides towards ensuring all the seafood served on our property comes from sustainable stock and is sourced responsibly. We hope to elevate sustainability standards, raise awareness among our guests and inspire other industry players to follow suit.”

Subsequent campaigns will encourage Marina Bay Sands’ guests to join its sustainability initiatives. The goals of the partnership cover key areas like Responsible Seafood, Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs) and Enhanced Green Meeting Packages.

Main picture: Ian Wilson, of Marina Bay Sands, and Elaine Tan, of WWF-Singapore

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