The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group promotes biodiversity protection

Case study: How Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group promotes biodiversity protection

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is an international hotel investment and management group, with deluxe and first-class hotels, resorts and residences in sought-after destinations around the globe. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has set as its goal to promote biodiversity protection, and prevent any potential adverse impacts to protected areas, within its sphere of influence.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Recognising that biodiversity enables the continuous flow of ecosystem services such as food production, clean water and climate regulation, which are critical to local economies and experienced throughout its hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has engaged in a formal process to assess biodiversity risk and sponsor local initiatives to support biodiversity. In order to promote biodiversity protection Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group took action to:

  • assess biodiversity risks
  • incorporate biodiversity into planning and operations
  • care for river basins and coasts
  • promote education and awareness

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group identified a range of material issues, such as guest health and safety, supply chain management, human rights and diversity, anti-corruption, local community impacts. Among these, promoting biodiversity protection stands out as a key material issue for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group engages with:  

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement (in 2016)


·      Guest Satisfaction Survey

·      Solicitation of Direct and Target Feedback to Inform Quality Programmes



·      Colleague Engagement Survey

·      Career Development Plans and Performance Reviews

·      Hotel Corporate Responsibility Committees

·      Safe, Sound and Sustainable Programme

Owners and developers


·      Close Partnerships and Regular Communications Throughout Design, Development, Construction and Management of Properties
Local communities ·      Participation in Local Stakeholder Groups Including:

– Hotel Associations

– Chambers of Commerce

– Business Development Councils

– Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus and Promotion      Organisations

– Travel and Tourism Associations

– Community Benefit Organisations

– Local Heritage Preservation Initiatives

– Training and Local Talent Retention Organisations

– Local Collectives for Recycling

– Employer Organisations and Professional Associations

Shareholders ·      Ongoing and Routine Discussions With the Controlling Shareholder Jardine Matheson Group on Financial Performance, Risk Management and other current issues

·      Financial and Sustainability Reporting

·      Shareholder Feedback Mechanisms

Vendors, suppliers and contractors ·      Supplier Meetings to Discuss Sustainable Sourcing Opportunities

·      Food and Beverage Conference

·      Partnerships with Local Farmers, Ranchers and Fisheries

Industry peers and trade associations ·      Participation in World Travel and Tourism Council’s Task Force on Industry Strategies for Climate Change

·      Participation in Industry Hotel Carbon and Water Measurement Initiatives

·      Monitoring and Evaluating Industry Corporate Responsibility Initiatives

NGOs and outside advisors ·      Interviews and Panel Discussion to Discuss Opportunities to Improve Corporate Responsibility Programmes and Reports

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group organised a stakeholder panel which incorporated perspectives from various organisations that included Conservation International, the International Tourism Partnership, National Geographic Traveler, the United States Green Building Council and the World Wildlife Fund.

What actions were taken by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to promote biodiversity protection?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting biodiversity protection:

  • Assessing biodiversity risks
  • To better understand potential negative natural and cultural impacts from a loss in biodiversity, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group carried out a Group-wide biodiversity risk assessment for its current properties, in addition to those that are planned or in development. The assessment considered the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Protected Areas, Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves recognised within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme and Natura 2000 sites. The biodiversity risk assessment confirmed that no properties were located in internationally-determined protected areas. However, three properties were located near IUCN protected areas and Mandarin Oriental, Milan was located near Valle del Ticino, an ecologically important ecosystem where two key rivers meet, recognised as a biosphere reserve within UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme. Based on the findings, these four properties will be subject to future evaluation, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group plans to engage with these properties’ Corporate Responsibility Committees to determine future actions and opportunities.
  • Incorporating biodiversity into planning and operations
  • During the planning stage for new projects, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s Technical Services department identifies whether planned projects are located in sensitive areas and carries out detailed assessments, as required. Any potential risks and considerations are reviewed to inform execution during the construction stage and, once hotels are open and operational, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group utilises its Safe, Sound and Sustainable Programme to audit environmental practices. The Group’s hotels have also been working on local opportunities to support the protection of biodiversity, with a focus on ecosystem protection and educational initiatives.
  • Caring for river basins and coasts
  • Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo partners with the local community to help keep the Nihonbashi River clean. This river runs behind the hotel, and many tourists enjoy boat trips on the river. Employees take pride in doing their part to keep the river clean and healthy, particularly when fish can be seen in small shoals, indicating the health of the river system. In addition, Mandarin Oriental, Boston has been participating, for several years, in the International Coastal Clean Up event at a nearby beach. Mandarin Oriental, Miami also participated in the International Coastal Clean Up Event in 2016, collecting approximately 70 pounds of waste.
  • Promoting education and awareness
  • Mandarin Oriental, Sanya engages guests on coral conservation through its Kid’s Resort Passport programme. In 2016, a coral painting activity was introduced at its MO Kids Camp, to educate children on the importance of coral reef protection. Additionally, employees at the hotel helped coordinate the release of turtles with Sea Turtle 911, a non-profit organisation focused on protecting turtles in the South China Sea.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 304-1 Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas


Disclosure 304-1 Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Business theme: Water-related ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Marine biodiversity
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Business theme: Mountain ecosystems, Natural habitat degradation, Terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems


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1) This case study is based on published information by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:




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