ITC Grand Chola hosts fourth G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministers Meeting
The hotel stands tall as a shining example of how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into luxury hospitality
ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, is hosting the fourth G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministers Meeting. For over a decade ITC Hotels has pursued the path of Responsible Luxury where every action has been in harmony with the environment and society, having provided its services, products and systems a unique set of features which allows the company to demonstrate its ethos.
Among its esteemed properties, the ITC Grand Chola stands tall as a shining example of how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into luxury hospitality.
The ITC Grand Chola has earned its place in among eco-friendly hotels by garnering prestigious certifications, such as LEED Platinum and LEED Zero Carbon ratings. These recognitions are a testament to the hotel's unwavering commitment to sustainability and eco-conscious practices. Energy-efficient green buildings, renewable energy utilisation, water conservation and eco-friendly measures form the bedrock of the hotel's philosophy.
One of the noteworthy sustainable practices of the ITC Grand Chola is its investment in self-owned wind and solar farms to cater to its electrical energy demands. By generating clean energy on-site, the hotel reduces its carbon footprint significantly. Moreover, the adoption of Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) technology helps in curbing particulate matter emissions from diesel generators, leading to improved air quality in the microclimatic zone around the hotel.
"In the kitchens, conventional gas range burners were changed to a state of the art far-infrared technology based burners that work on radiant heat basis, which in turn results in even heat spread, quick cooking and energy savings," shares Zubin Songadwala, Area Manager - ITC Hotels, South and General Manager.
In a bid to reduce single-use plastic waste, the hotel has taken bold steps to eliminate plastic water bottles, straws, stirrers, on-the-go cups and take-away packaging. It has also introduced eco-friendly and planet-positive guest room amenities. The commitment to sustainability extends to the provision of 'Zero Mile' water under the brand name SunyaAqua, purified through an in-house water bottling plant. The hotel employs Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) to extract water from atmospheric moisture, which is then purified and bottled through the in-house Sunya Aqua plant, further reducing its reliance on external water sources.
“ITC Grand Chola use high grade quality of drinking water in Guest room and restaurants. The Water is packaged in Glass water bottle and thereby it has significantly reduces the plastic water bottle waste and additionally it reduces the greenhouse gases footprint since the water is produces locally. ITC Grand Chola is one of the first hotel in the city to achieve the Single use plastic free hotel status," Songadwala adds.
ITC Grand Chola's waste management system is equally laudable. With a dedicated waste segregation and collection area, biodegradable waste is converted into manure using an Organic Waste Converter machine, while wastewater is treated in-house through a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The reclaimed water from the STP is then repurposed for landscaping, flushing, and cooling towers, making the hotel's water usage more sustainable.
In line with its philosophy of Responsible Luxury, the hotel has also made significant strides in adopting energy-efficient electrical equipment, such as Electric Boilers, Heat Pumps and Electric Hot Plates, reducing the dependence on diesel and gas and maximising the utilisation of renewable energy.
The commitment to the well-being of guests extends beyond environmental initiatives. ITC Grand Chola ensures the highest standards of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) by regularly monitoring it through accredited laboratories, providing a safe and healthy environment for guests and staff alike.
The architectural splendour of the ITC Grand Chola is not just a visual treat, it reflects the hotel's deep-rooted ethos of being responsible stewards of the environment. Inspired by the Imperial Cholas and the iconic Brihadeeshwara temple of Tanjore, the hotel's design pays homage to the rich culture of Tamil Nadu. The architectural theme is evident in every aspect of the hotel, from its four entrances, reminiscent of South Indian temples, to the intricate floral motifs and carvings adorning the walls, ceilings and pillars.
Throughout the construction of the hotel, sustainable practices were meticulously followed. Transplanting existing trees during the pre-construction phase helped preserve the natural ecosystem, while the use of recycled and locally sourced materials reduced the hotel's carbon footprint. Notably, the involvement of 4,000 artisans from Mamallapuram in crafting the intricate stonework provided sustainable livelihoods to local workers.
Waste recycling and segregation at the source have proven highly effective, with over 99 per cent of solid waste being reused or recycled through innovative programmes. The hotel employs Organic Waste Converters to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich manure used for horticulture purposes.
Considering the water-stressed location of Chennai, the hotel has adopted an innovative technology to recover water from the air. By using an energy-efficient process, atmospheric moisture is condensed and collected through an atmospheric water harvesting system. The collected water undergoes a rigorous filtration process to ensure purity, and essential minerals are added back to produce healthy drinking water for the hotel's use. This technology currently has a capacity to produce around 2,000 liters of water per day.
ITC Hotels' Responsible Luxury initiative is a testament to its commitment to making luxury sustainable and environmentally friendly. The philosophy is grounded in the belief that luxury brands must incorporate sustainable practices, as true luxury should not come at the expense of the environment. Responsible Luxury embodies the ethos of embracing and preserving nature while offering guests an opulent and unforgettable experience.
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