Championing the call for planet positivity, ITC Hotels takes world-class luxuries and paints it with strokes of sustainability. By Bayar Jain
ITC Hotels and immersive luxury go hand-in-hand. Famed for their hospitality that offers authentic, indigenous Responsible Luxury experiences, these planet positive hotels imbibed and introduced sustainability over a decade ago. With several awards and accolades garnered for the same, the properties’ services and architecture reflect an inherent commitment to being ecologically sound—be it in design or the detailing. The behind-the-scenes workings, too, are painted in similar green tones.
From using renewable energy, recycling solid waste, conserving water, and mitigating usage of single use plastic, to reducing their carbon footprint at every step, ITC Hotels’ Responsible Luxury extends deep within the surfaces to dig out unparalleled, bespoke experiences for guests, too.
Design and architecture
In line with their Responsible Luxury motto, ITC Hotels has introduced sustainable practises in design. The hospitality chain boasts of being one of the first, largest, and greenest luxury hotel chains globally to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification across properties. This global rating—granted by the US Green Building Council—is widely credited as being the highest certification awarded to organisations that employ sustainable practices in their day-to-day activities. The planet positive chain was also named as the 2021 USGBC Regional Leadership Award recipient by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This global recognition celebrates organisations around the world that have been using green building and sustainable practises to improve the quality of life for those around them.
Take ITC Kohenur, for example. Here, the LEED platinum rated hotel is constructed at a specific alignment to optimise its interaction with the sun. In doing so, the luxurious hotel not only offers the ideal balance of sunshine and shade, but also enables effective cooling while conserving energy. Similarly, ITC Windsor is the world’s first hotel to receive the LEED zero carbon certification by USGBC.
ITC Maurya also trots along this green path. Home to one of the world’s first paraboloid solar concentrator in the hospitality landscape, this New Delhi-based hotel also harnesses renewable energy, recycles water, and reuses it.
ITC Hotels has saved over 50 per cent water in the last five years, with a cent per cent of the wastewater being treated and recycled or reused. This achievement has been made possible by augmenting rainwater harvesting, employing unique methods of irrigation, and expansive recycling across hotels. In fact, the chain treats and recycles enough water to irrigate one lakh trees annually; a move that has subsequently resulted in cutting down nearly 95,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Additionally, the SunyaAqua programme, which uses reusable glass bottles travelling zero kilometres, helps quench thirst without skimping out on purity. With this system, a state-of-the-art filtration technology treats drinking water inside the hotel premises, in turn rendering the water at par with stringent global standards.
A low-carbon growth strategy centring renewable energy conservation spreads across each property by ITC Hotels. The brand’s over-a-decade-long commitment to sustainability has today resulted in over 57 per cent of the total electrical energy requirements being fulfilled by windmill farms and solar panels. Major portion of the electrical energy at ITC Grand Bharat, ITC Mughal, ITC Rajputana, ITC Sonar and Royal Bengal Complex, ITC Maratha, ITC Grand Central, ITC Windsor, ITC Gardenia, and ITC Grand Chola, and others is met through renewable sources.
Waste, too, is converted into an opportunity. More than 99 per cent of the solid waste generated in the hotels is recycled and reused. In fact, at ITC Maurya, ITC Maratha, ITC Grand Bharat and Welcomhotel Sheraton New Delhi, biogas plants—complete with OWC machines—find a spot within the premises, allowing all organic wastes to be converted into manure.
At ITC Grand Chola, for instance, self-owned wind farms cater to the property’s energy needs. The waste generated by hotel operations, too, is recycled entirely. ITC Gardenia assures this planet-positivity with a wind-cooled lobby, as well as by harnessing renewable energy, recycling water and solid waste, and sourcing ingredients locally.
Cold storages, packing costs, and fuel-related expenses are minimised with ITC Hotels. This is made possible as over 40 per cent of the food consumables within these luxurious abodes are sourced locally from farmers and communities.
That’s not all—over 70 per cent of all the paper, stationery, and wood used at the properties is either FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, sourced locally or recycled. Plus, 20 per cent of all the materials used in new hotels is also sourced locally.
Mitigation of single-use plastic
Biodegradable materials with environment-friendly packaging is the norm at ITC Hotels, especially when it comes to toiletries. ITC Hotels have mitigated usage of Single Use Plastic of approximately INR 2.5 lakh per year, in turn offsetting approximately 6,25,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emission produced in their manufacturing.
Much like the planet, ITC Hotels has placed the safety and wellbeing of its guest at the paramount position, courtesy of the WeAssure Programme. Designed in collaboration with medical health professionals and disinfection experts, this programme looks after the health, wellbeing, and safety of hotels’ guests and associates. In fact, it’s credited as being the world’s first hotel chain to receive a Platinum level certification from DNV!
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