As the concept of green hotels and ecotels is gaining popularity globally, leading hoteliers in India are coming up with their very own environmental friendly hotels and adopting green practices. The hotel industry has jumped on to the eco-friendly bandwagon, with most upcoming ventures aspiring to gain a green tag, and the existing ones trying to incorporate sustainable practices without rebuilding from scratch.
The first green hotel which was fully operated in India was The Park Hotel in Hyderabad, in 2009, with 280 rooms and 90 percent of the area marked as a non-smoking area.
There are two aspects of a green hotel - LEED certification confirms that the building has been made keeping green principles in mind, for example, energy conservation and everything of that nature. Ecotel certification certifies the daily practices undertaken by the staff of the hotel.
Green hotels are the new trend setters in the hospitality sector, where the guests also like to indulge in green practices.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third party verification of green buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED certified buildings are intended to use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings. LEED certified buildings often provide healthier work and living environments, which contributes to higher productivity and improved employee health and comfort.
ITC Hotels is actively committed to the environment; towards maintaining a greener and healthier environment. WelcomEnviron is their vision for a green world. It's a multi-faceted programme started in order to propagate environmental causes in the cities where ITC Hotels are located. The guiding principle is 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle'. Each hotel has its own programme, encompassing local participation, creating awareness among employees and internal conservation through energy-saving gadgets and environment-friendly material.
Committed to creating new benchmarks in responsible hoteliering, ITC Hotels has today established the world’s first and largest green luxury hotel chain, re-engineering every sinew of its signature properties to deliver a unique proposition to its discerning guests.
A philosophy of sustainable hospitality called 'Responsible Luxury' which is an ethos that integrates world-class green practices with contemporary design elements to deliver the best of luxury in the most responsible manner to guests, conscious of their responsibility to be planet positive.
They have manifested Responsible Luxury in –
Luxury Accommodation –
- All occupied spaces are provided with fresh air that is more than the LEED mandate.
- Multi glazed energy efficient windows minimize solar heat gain & reduce air conditioning load.
- LED light fixtures in guest rooms & public areas – for energy efficiency & better health.
- 100% water efficiency in air conditioning systems.
- 60% of room stationery & consumables are either sourced locally, certified or with recycled content.
- Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints & certified wood used in guest rooms & public areas
- Water flow restrictors in all water outlets.
- Treated recycled water is used for flushing through a dual flush system; for air conditioning cooling towers; landscaping and gardening via drip irrigation & sprinklers.
- Usage of solar thermal systems for hot water & steam generation.
- All health & wellness utility systems like lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and water management have been upgraded to increase performance efficiency by 20%.
These initiatives contribute towards saving as much as 40% energy when compared to International Hotel benchmarks without compromising on guest comfort & experience.
The concept of green hotels is considered to be in its infancy stage, but hoteliers still believe this concept holds a bright future and has a long way to go. However, with rapid awareness and growth, we are sure India is not so far behind in being one of the leaders in sustainable development practices.