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The Art of Sustainable Hospitality: Pioneering Green Initiatives in India's Hospitality Industry

In the realm of hospitality, where luxury and comfort often take center stage, a paradigm shift towards sustainability is gaining momentum. Dr. Suborno Bose, the visionary Founder and Chief Mentor of the Kolkata-based International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), sheds light on this transformation in his groundbreaking book, "The Art of Sustainable Hospitality." This literary endeavour is the maiden of its kind in India, serving as a comprehensive guidebook for hotels and properties seeking to adopt sustainable practices, particularly emphasizing the emergence of Green Hotels and their eco-friendly initiatives to minimize environmental impact.

At its core, the book expounds upon three fundamental principles: waste reduction, energy conservation, and responsible water usage. It provides a holistic roadmap for hotels to navigate the intricate terrain of sustainability.

"The foundations of environmental sustainability," asserts the book, "entail safeguarding water, preserving energy, reducing waste, employing recyclable packaging, minimizing or eliminating plastics, adopting sustainable transport options, reusing paper, and safeguarding our precious flora and fauna."

Delving into the narrative, the book highlights several exemplary sustainable practices:

Neemrana Hotels, for instance, is lauded for its biodegradable amenities provided to guests, along with innovative installations that recycle and repurpose waste. Neemrana Fort-Palace, its flagship property, leads the charge with a pioneering compost machine that efficiently recycles food waste, leaves, and organic materials.

Meanwhile, Roseate Hotels and Resorts has embarked on a journey to cultivate its salad greens through hydroponic farming, a soil-less cultivation method that employs water-based mineral nutrient solutions.

Renowned Celebrity Chef Padmasri Sanjeev Kapoor, a vocal advocate for sustainability, underscores the critical importance of responsible resource use in the hotel and restaurant industry. "Water and electricity," he opines, "are two of the world's most crucial resources, and their judicious use is paramount."

Priya Paul, Chairperson of The Park Hotels, shares a remarkable achievement in her hotel's journey towards sustainability. The Park Hotel in Hyderabad proudly stands as India's first LEED Gold Certified hotel, symbolizing a commitment to rigorous sustainability standards. The establishment has eliminated the use of potable water for landscape irrigation and instituted an effective waste separation management system.

Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Senior Area Vice President of the South Asia-Radisson Hotel Group, offers insights into pioneering initiatives such as "Soap for Hope," "Linen for Life," and "Flush Me Not." "Soap for Hope" stands as a global soap recycling project that repurposes leftover hotel soap into sanitized bars distributed to those in need. "Linen for Life" and "Flush Me Not" are sustainable programs focused on linen and water management, respectively.

Notably, some ITC hotels are already operating on 100% renewable energy, with ambitious plans to further reduce freshwater consumption by 20% by 2025. This commitment to sustainability has earned ITC Hotels the distinction of being recognized as the "Green Luxury Hotel Chain" globally, a remarkable achievement in the hospitality industry.

As the world increasingly turns its attention to green initiatives, even the world of banqueting is following suit. The concept of "Green Banqueting" is making its presence felt in the industry, as exemplified by a poster discovered in a Hyderabad hotel.

Banquets, whether for business or celebration, have the power to transform gatherings into eco-conscious, inclusive events where ideas are shared, collaborations fostered, and joys celebrated. ITC Hotels leads the way by inviting guests to embrace their roles as responsible stewards. The "Green Banqueting Design" addresses waste reduction, energy conservation, and the judicious use of resources in event planning.

Some notable "Green Banqueting" initiatives encompass the preference for electronic invitations over paper, suggesting the hosting of e-invitations on event organizers' websites. In the event of accidental deletion, invitees can conveniently retrieve the invitation online.

Furthermore, the use of environmentally friendly conference materials, including recycled paper and Good on One Side (GOOS) paper for printing and photocopying, is encouraged. Polymer or plastic pencils replace traditional ones, reducing waste.

Name tags, thoughtfully designed without plastic coverings, are introduced, and participants are encouraged to return these tags at the end of conferences for recycling purposes.

Lastly, if giveaways are deemed necessary, the book suggests considering organic gift options, a novel approach to eco-conscious gifting.

In a world where every sector embraces green initiatives, the collective efforts of the hospitality industry illuminate a path towards a greener future for all. Dr. Suborno Bose's "The Art of Sustainable Hospitality" not only chronicles this journey but also serves as a beacon of inspiration for a more sustainable world.


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