THE Shangri-La Group has partnered with leading global hygiene and cleaning company Diversey and the Cordova Municipal Government in providing reusable masks to vulnerable residents in Cebu.
Wearing a mask is now mandatory when one is out in public in the Philippines, which is still seeing an increase in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases. Health authorities and government officials have been urging Filipinos to wear masks and observe social distancing when they go out of their houses to carry out errands.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa recently joined Shangri-La hotels in Southeast Asia—Manila, Colombo, Hambantota, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok and Yangon—to collectively donate 12,500 kilos of used, clean bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases to local communities and non-government organizations (NGOs) to be repurposed into half-a-million reusable fabric masks.
In some cities such as Yangon, Johor Bahru, Colombo, Jakarta, Surabaya and Bangkok, the upcycling of masks also generated employment opportunities for members in low socio-economic community groups.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa donated enough linen to make 10,000 reusable masks for Cebu residents.
Teachers, parents and individuals belonging to the barangay community on Gilutongan Island have volunteered to kickstart the program. They already made 3,000 of the reusable fabric masks and these will be distributed to the residents on the island, as well as those in need in mainland Cebu.
The upcycling of clean, used linen into masks also provides Shangri-La a meaningful way to help reduce environmental wastage. If new linen was produced to manufacture half-a-million fabric masks, the hotel would have incurred 60 million liters of water (the equivalent of 23 Olympic-size swimming pools) and a carbon footprint of 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide—equivalent to 63,000 liters of petrol being combusted.
John Rice, Shangri-La’s vice-president for operations in the Philippines, said: “We’re deeply committed to helping our local communities in as many ways as we can. The pandemic has affected each and every one of us, and this initiative not only offers some protection from Covid-19 to those most vulnerable.”
For her part, Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho said: “We are very glad to be working with Shangri-La Group and Diversey on the Linens for Life Face Mask (L4LFM) project. Through this initiative, we can extend our support to local communities in need during the pandemic. This program will not only provide community members with their own face masks but will also help generate a source of income for some.”
Diversey Philippines country business director Teri Betito said: “One of Diversey’s global priorities is to support local communities, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Linens for Life Face Masks program is a great example of how Diversey, together with our customer hotels and partner NGOs, is providing simple hygiene items to those who really need them and helping prevent the spread of infection.”
With hygiene and safety being top-of-mind for many, the Shangri-La Group has recently introduced its “Shangri-La Cares” commitment, reinforcing the Group’s efforts to caring for people as it begins welcoming guests back to its hotels and resorts. As part of its ongoing efforts to create a trusted and nurturing environment for guests, Shangri-La Group has partnered with Diversey to implement a series of safety standards and precautionary measures across its hotels.
Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Shangri-La’s hotels in the Philippines have been seeking out opportunities to help their local communities and to uplift spirits. The hotels and resorts have so far delivered over 32,000 packed meals to frontline workers in hospitals in Taguig, Makati, Ortigas, Manila, Mactan and Boracay, barangays and police checkpoints during the enhanced community quarantine in these areas.
Shangri-La’s partnership with Diversey on the L4LFM program is an offshoot of the successful Soap For Hope collaboration between the two entities globally. The Soap For Hope project has seen 427 tonnes of hotel soap slivers recycled into 3.5 million new soap bars for at-risk communities over the past three years. For more information on how Shangri-La Group is caring for local communities, visit its corporate social responsibility blog: https://www.shangri-la-sustainability.com.