Last November, 16 delegates made up of leaders in the retail, hospitality and F&B industries in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand joined Asia Tatler on the lush island of Koh Kood, where they would spend the following three days participating in the first-ever Asia Tatler Sustainability Forum.
The aim of the forum and its ensuing editions is to initiate an exchange of ideas and solutions among highly influential and consciously action-oriented leaders in Asia, in order to spark positive social changes in the region. Co-hosted by EcoDrive Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation focused on the reduction of single-use plastics, the inaugural Sustainability Forum centred on the theme of environmental responsibility and was held at Soneva Kiri resort for a very special reason.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Soneva Kiri is part of the Soneva luxury island resort chain that champions the positive correlation of business and sustainability. Throughout their stay at Soneva Kiri, delegates were able to see firsthand how the resort prevents pollution, eliminates food waste and in practice turns “waste to wealth”.
The summit opened with an outdoor welcome dinner and screening of Start Small Start Now. This documentary short reminds us—through the eyes of two concerned travellers as they go about their lives in Hong Kong—that every single piece of plastic we’ve ever used is still out there somewhere.
Meet the delegates in pictures:
Roundtable discussions took place over the next two days. Day one topics included “Designed for Reuse”, then “Power of Influence” and “Waste to Wealth”. In between sessions, delegates also reflected individually in one-on-one video interviews about their “passions and pledges”, as well as toured Soneva’s Eco Centro, the heart of the resort’s sustainability efforts.
On day three, delegates dived into the last two topics of the forum, “Power of Storytelling” and “Voting with our Wallet”, but not before a scuba and snorkeling session in the morning during which delegates decided ad hoc to recover and collect plastic trash from the ocean that had been swept in from other places by the tides.
At the end of the forum, delegates shared a special dinner on the beach, a memorable finale before flying back to their respective countries the next morning to make good on their video pledges over the coming twelve months. The first Asia Tatler Sustainability Forum at Soneva Kiri, had lived up to its promise to be the beginning of many new friendships across the Asia-Pacific region with sustainable and responsible business practices being at the core.