April 2010 | tata.com

Green practices (an Indian Hotels initiative)

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has launched EARTH (Environment Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels), a movement that works to minimise the impact of its businesses on the environment

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces follows green practices that conform with Green Globe Standards and is a responsive partner in ensuring a brighter tomorrow for future generations. The organisation has launched EARTH (Environment Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels), a movement that works to minimise the impact of its businesses on the environment. The initiatives under this umbrella include environmental training for all employees, energy audits every three years, and a phased reduction of freshwater consumption.

Waste management: In hotels where land is available, kitchen waste and dry leaves are converted into compost; waste paper from printing is reused as writing pads; pipe steel waste is used as safety railings or in barricades; and old bed sheets are used to make linen bags and cotton napkins.

Conserving energy: Taj hotels use CFL lights, which consume 78 per cent less energy; Taj Coromandel, Chennai, generates energy from windmills; solar water heating systems at the Taj West End, Bangalore, have saved over 51,000 litres of fuel over the last three years; a biogas plant at Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, helps in cutting energy cost.

Ecosensitivity: Located in a sensitive ecological zone, the Taj Exotica, Maldives, focuses on waste management. The use of plastic bags is restricted and hazardous substances such as lead acid batteries are sent to Thilafushi Island, a landfill area allocated for refuse. The Taj Coral Reef, located on a tropical atoll, takes great care to protect the delicate ecosystem of the coral reefs. Trees are planted near the beach and extraction of sand from the beach is not permitted. Organic wastes are processed and converted to fish food. Non bio-degradable waste products are either incinerated or routed to Thilafushi Island.

At Lake Palace, Udaipur, which stands in the middle of the famous Pichola Lake, the Taj takes care to avoid spoiling the lake water and harming its marine life. The hotel uses battery-operated boats instead of those powered by gasoline, and wastewater is recycled and used for irrigation.

The Taj Garden Retreat at Kumarakom, is located near the Vembanad Lake and the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary that is a favourite haunt of several species of migratory birds. The hotel uses special lighting to reduce the glare so as not to disturb animal life, and wastewater is treated before being discharged.

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