2022 SDG Pioneer for Circular Economy

Gabriel Tan


GUAVA Amenities Pte Ltd.  


To illustrate environmental impact in the hospitality industry, consider that a single 200-room hotel can generate some 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in a month, says Gabriel Tan, director at GUAVA Amenities Pte Ltd. 

A fifth of that plastic is hotel amenities and, based on the number of hotels worldwide, the estimated amount of single-use plastic waste from those amenities is more than 10 billion pieces of plastic, he says.

“We at GUAVA, being a supplier of guest amenities and related consumables to some of the world largest hospitality chains, airlines, and cruise liners, recognised the massive problem faced by the industry,” he told the UN Global Compact.

“This is a global crisis that requires a global solution,” he said. “Given that our value-add lies in being an orchestrator of global resources and our clients reach millions of people around the world, we feel a sense of responsibility to contribute toward the betterment of communities and the environment.”

Tan, the founder and CEO of GUAVA which provides guest amenities, health care supplies and food and beverage consumables designed to minimize waste and carbon emissions, was named the 2022 SDG Pioneer for Circular Economy by the UN Global Compact. 

The yearly programme celebrates business professionals who are advancing and advocating for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Tan said being named an SDG Pioneer was “a great encouragement and recognition.”

“I look forward to collaborating with more like-minded partners towards creating scalable sustainable impact, together!”

GUAVA is working with some of the world’s largest hospitality chains, airlines and cruise liners toward a number of 2030 goals - 50% carbon emission reduction at manufacturing sites, 90% plastics reduction through design innovation and material substitution and 50% waste reduction per property served through product innovation and packaging optimization.

The Singapore-based company has pioneered an ecosystem business model that focuses on decentralizing production and distribution directly to customers, without intermediaries, helping clients reduce waste by up to 90% and reduce costs by more than 20%, he said.

“There is a common misconception that sustainability is expensive, and thus many are reluctant to embrace sustainability,” Tan said. “Having identified this challenge early, I decided to focus on developing solutions that are not just sustainable, but also scalable and affordable at the same time.

“Doing so creates a strong incentive for customers to adopt our solutions and in the process also enables us to better engage employees and motivate external stakeholders to support our efforts in advancing the SDGs.”

At GUAVA, decisions are made taking the values of sustainability, scalability and affordability as critical considerations, he said.

“We only have one earth and the home to our generations ahead,” Tan said. “We have to start now, in order to help our future generations live a better tomorrow.”

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