From smaller cups for drinking water to big investments in green buildings, hotels begin to think, act differently

Try booking for a conference at the Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi, and you will be offered the choice of having the heavy drapes lifted, allowing natural light in.
Introducing customers to the benefits of saving water, the hotel will also request that bed linen is changed less frequently.

The cost benefits of such steps area yet to be passed on to the customer. In real terms, the benefits are many and they all add up to a common theme – reduction of carbon footprints of luxury hotels.

Hotels in India have woven in another compelling reason to go green: cost reduction and profit improvements.

Building Change
The change doesn’t end with tweaking systems and processes to reduce the usage of consumables systems and utilities. Many new hotels are revisiting the construction design itself.

Orchid Mumbai, an independent business hotel, started the trend in India. In 1997, it earned the tag of being Asia’s first five – star Ecotel. The next was ITC’s Sonar, the first hotel in the world to obtain a certified emission reductions, or climate credits issued by the clean development mechanism for emission reductions.
And that’s not all. Hotels such as the park are beginning to revisit established norms.
The hotel chain now serves drinking water in pony tumblers that are half the size of 250ml glasses.

Cost Saving
The impact of cost savings can be gauged over time.
The Maurya, in Delhi, consumed 1,100kl of water a day during the late eighties. The amount fell by at least 40% to 650kl. In 2009, this dropped further to 450kl, a 60% reduction over 20 years.
Sewage water is treated and used for horticulture, flushing and air – conditioning. Excess water is often given to the civic body.
The Chennai hotel gives its excess water to the Russian consulate for horticulture while the Hyderabad project gives its water to a bank.