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Touching Lives, People And Beyond
Touching Lives, People And Beyond
For IHCL, sustainability straddles environment and habitat preservation, wildlife species, creation of livelihood opportunities, besides the adoption of zero-plastic, water conservation and renewable energy policies. The group has touched over 25 million lives by now.
Deepali Nandwani

We live in an era of transformations. Our world is changing rapidly with the rise of new technologies, growing environmental concerns and a renewed, collaborative understanding of economic and social value. We remain deeply rooted in history, with the great legacy of the 150-year old Tata Group keeping us anchored to our core values of integrity, excellence, unity, responsibility and pioneering spirit.”

This is how Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO, IHCL defines the hospitality conglomerate’s take on CSR and sustainability. Under Aspiration 2022 strategy, IHCL has reimagined its brandscape, augmented the development pipeline significantly, and ensured proactive asset management with all-round efforts to improve efficiencies.

The group has also set upon itself a target to create sustainable and responsible hotels that give back to the society in a myriad different ways. Alok Vijayvergiya, Corporate Director, Sustainability, says, “IHCL always had an active CSR policy and in 2016, we implemented a sustainability policy. We have a multi-pronged approach to CSR and sustainability, which straddles the environment, the community, wildlife and heritage. We are enablers for community development and environment preservation. We have touched over 25 million lives through our social projects.”

Interestingly, IHCL has an employee volunteering programme in which the team is expected to chip in their bit in the ongoing CSR and sustainability projects; thus, creating not just bonhomie and bonds that go beyond merely the workplace, but also ensuring the projects run in the most efficient manner, due to the contributions of the team. As Chhatwal says, “We focus on skill-building programmes in the hospitality and tourism industry for underprivileged and school dropout youths; thus, catering to livelihood generation for the underprivileged sections of the society. Our initiatives are also aligned towards preserving our heritage properties and promoting the indigenous culture of our regions, including its natural, cultural & culinary heritage.”

With 149 hotels spread largely across the swathe of this country, and a few internationally and 32,670 employees, IHCL has the immense capability of creating a serious difference at the ground level. Here are some projects that help them do so.

Green initiatives: renewable energy, water conservation and plastic

From renewable energy to plastic elimination, from sourcing to construction of hotels, IHCL’s policies veer towards creating as sustainable an environment as is possible.

There has been considerable growth in the use of renewable energy, waste treatment and reduction in water consumption in the hotels. Vijayvergiya says, “We have partnered with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, for performance monitoring and verification. Around 24% of IHCL’s energy is procured from renewable energy sources, wind and solar, offering a four-fold increase in the past four years. Our carbon footprint has reduced by 18%.”

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December 2019