TanHoldings Corp. and its many divisions, called Strategic Business Units, joined the rest of the world in commemorating Earth Hour last Saturday from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.
Earth Hour, which originated in Sydney, Australia in 2007, is held every year since. It is TanHoldings’ way of connecting and working with everyone to take action on climate change and to find ways to protect and nurture Mother Earth. This year marks the seventh year for TanHoldings to participate in this global event.
As part of this annual practice, TanHoldings and its SBU officials and the 700-plus employees and their families turned off non-essential lights for one whole hour, whether they were in the place of work or at home.
Even at a hotel where utilities are expected to work 24/7 for its guests, Kanoa Resort director of operations Glen Policare said they cannot let this opportunity pass.
“To the best of my knowledge, Kanoa Resort has been participating ever since TanHoldings purchased the property in the mid-2000’s. For a resort, we can make a sizeable impact on energy saving while showing our guests that we are conscious of the importance of the preservation of our precious Earth,” he said.
That meant having the Isla Terrace, Barefoot Bar, and Nami Bar adorned in candlelight. The resort’s front desk was lit by lanterns and the lobby was candlelit for the weekend food fair.
Policare said this activity is not only good within TanHoldings but also a good example for other companies to follow.
“Every single year, Kanoa Resort is proud to participate in such an event. We are not only committed to serving our guests but our community as well,” Policare said. “In order for us to do so, we, both the businesses and the community, must do everything we can to preserve our precious natural resources. We live on a beautiful island of Saipan and we of all people should know how to protect our environment.”
TanHoldings also considers Earth Hour a family activity, said engineering manager Mario Mayuga.
He pointed out that TanHoldings participates by encouraging not just its affiliates but all employees with their families to participate in Earth Hour.
Mayuga’s department plays a very important role in the monitoring of turning off non-essential electric lights for one hour for the different apartment locations and commercial buildings like TSL Plaza and JP Center.
“Although we do not measure the number of [kilowatt-hours] saved, we believe we share in our little way,” he said. “We start our preparations at least a day before the event on March 24 as we reprogram all non-essential lights to go off by 8:30pm and back on by 9:30pm. The impact is big, even by turning off lights for just a short one hour.”
For Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, this is the hotel’s way of being a part of the world’s effort to conserve resources and be aware of climate change.
The hotel did its share by turning off lights at the lobby and common areas. Some guests at the hotel voluntarily participated the event by also turning off the lights in their rooms for one hour, said public and employees relations manager Elena Sol.
Lina Dimaano, TanHoldings vice president for Finance, marked the event with her family at home.
“We joined Earth Hour by setting up a table at the garden outside our apartment. Turning the light off for an hour not only helps the planet but it was also a way for us to be together, stripped of any gadgets and distractions and just be one whole family trying to do our share to take care of the environment,” she said.
“Everything was simple and meaningful. …With only candles lighting our sight, we played Mexican Train. In fact, we connected with a new neighbor, Fagan Mattys, who arrived on island barely a month [ago] and he joined in our game during the switch off and even after Earth Hour,” she added.
Aside from observing Earth Hour, TanHoldings employees and officials also organize and participate in beach cleanups, tree planting and recycling.
Policare said that Earth Hour is symbol of the company’s commitment to the planet.
“While it is only an hourlong [event], the large scale impact of energy conservation is priceless,” he added.