Not everyday you get an opportunity to spend a day with the representatives of the brand such as ITC Hotels and actually hear from them about their practices that make them the Greenest Luxury Hotel Chain in the World. I was really upbeat about the day because it was supposed to be my orientation day of the ‘Responsible Luxury Fellowship’ with them. As a travel blogger, (influencer) this was my first association with them and I was keen to understand what ‘Responsible Luxury’ was all about. Honestly, it sounded a fancy term to me and I wasn’t much impressed because when we discuss luxury, its difficult to place it anywhere close to responsible. To the naive in me, luxury is defined by the terms like indulgence, extravagance and pompous and these words overpower ‘responsibility’ any day. But ITC Hotel group changed my views and I am glad they are living this ambitious and revolutionary project each day.
Luxury can be responsible too!
Well, we all know that its important to protect our environment, save our resources, adopt green and sustainable practices and keep our environment clean but do we really practice it as much as we should. No, we don’t. In fact, there is a new trend where we believe in reminding each other more than doing it ourselves. I was glad to learn that ITC hotel has made it a bigger aim of their business to give us luxury but not at the cost of the environment. Some of the efforts that they are making to lower the carbon footprint are commendable.
ITC hotels is the only hotel in India who have won LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for their performance to the highest standards of energy, water and waste efficiency. They have adopted some of these very important terms like green, luxury, responsible, environment, energy in their model, their structural design, the systems and the processes. And trust me, it may be easily said but its not easily done. Green building, switching off the lights, not wasting the water, re-using the towels are some of things that some people love to care for but if you think deeper, there is lots to contribute. Here is an example, next time when you see pipes or concetrators or some feeding machine as a view from your hotel room, don’t crib because you never know it could be one of the mechanisms helping to save energy. We travel, holiday, relax, rejuvenate and return but we hardly notice the significant amount of waste and pollution that we leave behind. As a whole, hospitality sector wastes a lot of energy and therefore its time we join hands to help them gain good karma.
ITC Hotels is leading the way both by big and small steps. Read to know what all I learnt about ITC Maurya and their contributions towards Responsible Luxury.
Well, we all know the globally acclaimed restaurants, Bukhara and Dum Pukht, what we don’t know is about their STP Plant or the Solar Concentrators (the largest and first in solar industry) at the same ITC Maurya. These energy saving and recycling efforts are very valuable because its for our planet, for our generation as well as for future. I wouldn’t have said it so confidently if I had not done the walk around the premises of ITC Maurya and seen for myself. I appreciate the fact that we were made to walk through the engineering section and introduced to the processes closely.
From my notes at the orientation session
1.58% of its electrical energy demand is met through renewable sources. The solar concentrators deployed in the premises saves 143 SCM PNG everyday.
2.All the ITC Hotels have worked towards reduction in water consumption by 50 %.
3.Apart from water, they work on solid recycling(Composting) too. All the vegetable, fruits peels are decomposed to make fertilizers out of it.
4. The STP Plant recycles gallons of water everyday and is used for the flush for certain areas of the Hotel.
5. 65000 trees are irrigated through the recycled water.
6.SunyaAqua enhances the wellness quotient of the drinking water. It falls under the Responsible Luxury umbrella because the sourcing and bottling of the water takes place within the premises so no energy is wasted in the transportation.
Alert Meets One Bite Wonders, Luxury of Sleep and Local Love
If one is at ITC Maurya, its tough to not talk about food. Well ofcourse we are not talking about Bukhara for now but let me talk about all that I experienced.
1.Alert Meets- They were placed right in front of us where we were seated. They are a combination of sweet and small bites which were quick source of energy. So all those people who wake up late and miss their breakfast and then directly rush to the business meetings, here is good news if you Alert meets right in front of you, you will be able to concentrate better and not just have lunch break on your mind.
2.Local Love– Not everyone who comes to Delhi can go around the local streets to savor the raam laddus or dahi balle, thus its important to have the flavors in the luxury hotels too. They are definitely more hygienic here.
3.One Bite wonders- This is a super cool idea. First thing, it helps to taste more than one thing. It avoids unnecessary wastage of food. And best of all, it is a great source of energy. Pick these quick bites and be back to work. Just like we took a small break in between the orientation.
And last of all the ART WALK…
All the more I was gladdened to learn that they have been practicing more and preaching less. As the session progressed and I heard the people in the room, there were realizations which took me closer to the cause.
This mural by Krishen Khanna makes my favorite at ITC Maurya, New Delhi. Whenever I have visited the hotel, my eyes have always be captivated by this colorful procession of life. We started the Art Walk right from here. One of the hotel employees helped us with the meanings of the paintings. And trust me, for someone who loves to paint and create, this was the most refreshing and vibrant part of the session. Every hotel stands by a theme and sends out a message through its art and paintings. We often notice, stand and stare but rarely someone explains the concept behind them. Today, it was fun to walk around and learn about the little known facts.
It was a well spent day. Keep watching this space because there will be lots happening through this Responsible Luxury Fellowship and I will be sharing my experiences regularly.
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