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KOTA KINABALU’S MOST VULNERABLE TO RECEIVE COMPLIMENTARY FACE MASKS DURING COVID-19

KOTA KINABALU’S MOST VULNERABLE TO RECEIVE COMPLIMENTARY FACE MASKS DURING COVID-19

Kota Kinabalu, 1 July 2020 – Shangri-La Group has partnered with Diversey, a leading global hygiene and cleaning company and Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC) in Kota Kinabalu, to provide vulnerable community members in Kota Kinabalu with face masks, an item recommended to be worn when out in public in Malaysia.

In Kota Kinabalu, the two hotels are looking to contribute up to 18,000 reusable face masks for communities in need during this period, with the support of NGOs such as the AHDC.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa and Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa are two of 21 participating Shangri-La hotels across South East Asia and Sri Lanka collectively donating 12,500kg of used, clean bedsheets, duvet covers and pillowcases to local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) to be repurposed into reusable face masks. Shangri-La’s two hotels in Kota Kinabalu join Shangri-La hotels in Colombo, Hambantota, Johor Bahru, Penang, Manila, Cebu, Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok and Yangon in this initiative. In some cities such as Yangon, Manila, Johor Bahru, Colombo and Bangkok, the upcycling of masks will also generate employment opportunities for members in low socio-economic community groups.

The upcycling of clean, used linen into face masks also provides Shangri-La a meaningful way to help reduce environmental wastage. If new linen was produced to manufacture half a million fabric face masks, it would have incurred 60 million litres of water (the equivalent of 23 Olympic-size swimming pools) and a carbon footprint of 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 63,000 litres of petrol being combusted*.

Fiona Hagan, General Manager, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa said: “We’re deeply committed to helping our local communities in Kota Kinabalu in as many ways as we can. The pandemic has affected each one of us and this initiative not only offers some protection from COVID-19 to those most vulnerable, but it is also helping provide community members in some cities with livelihoods during this difficult time.”

Sr. Anita James of AHDC said: “We are happy to be collaborating with Diversey and Shangri-La once again after the success of the Soap for Hope initiative. We have been supporting more than 1,300 vulnerable families during the Movement Control Order who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. We’re pleased we will now be able to support the safety and wellbeing of these families further with a basic form of protection made possible through the Linens For Life Face Mask programme.”

Ms. Audrey Low, Country Leader, Diversey Singapore/ Malaysia/ Pakistan said: “One of Diversey’s global priorities is to support local communities, particularly during COVID-19. The Linens for Life Face Masks Programme is a great example of how Diversey, together with our customer hotels and partner NGO’s 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 we begin welcoming guests back to our hotels and resorts. As part of its ongoing efforts to create a trusted and nurturing environment for guests, the Group has partnered 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 two hotels in Kota Kinabalu have continuously sought out opportunities to help their local communities and to uplift spirits. For example, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa provided close to 2000 packed meals to a force of over 1500 police, army and medical workers stationed at various locations within the Tuaran District during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa responded to an urgent request from the local blood bank where their staff received special permission by the authorities to orchestrate a one-day blood donation drive at the resort during the lockdown. The event collected 62 pints of blood that replenish the bank’s dwindling stock due to the pandemic.

Shangri-La’s partnership with Diversey on the L4LFM programme builds on the successful Soap For Hope collaboration between the two entities globally, which 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, please visit our Corporate Social Responsibility blog here.

*The environmental impact figures are gleaned from an independent study by Metabolic in The Netherlands - https://www.metabolic.nl/news/improving-the-environmental-performance-of-hotel-linen/. The figures are taken from the life cycle analysis of cotton and poly-cotton linen and cotton towels used in top hotel chains.

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