Working from a number of eco-sensitive areas, we strive to minimise our environmental footprint through sustainable usage of natural resources and reviving our natural habitats. There are several initiatives that are critical components of our overall commitment to environmental management. Through our overarching ‘EARTH’ (Environment Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels) program; we take a series of conscious steps involving waste minimisation, energy efficiency, water conservation and preservation of the ecosystems where we function. We also monitor and certify the environmental performance of our hotels through our partnership with world renowned tourism and hospitality industry centric certification agency – EarthCheck. Our hotels environmental and social performance is benchmarked against their peers and certified post evaluation as part of the EarthCheck certification process. Over the last 5 years, all our hotels have achieved silver certification and nine of our hotels have achieved Gold certification, the second highest EarthCheck certification standard. The year 2016 will see more than 40 hotels striving to achieve Gold certification.
The Vivanta by Taj, Fishcove in Chennai has initiated the Olive Ridley Turtle Protection Program. To enhance the survival rate of these endangered species, our associates educate and sensitize the local communities to protect the eggs and hatchlings that come ashore. From January to March every year, associates release the hatchlings safely into the sea.
In 2011, Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Maldives in partnership with Ocean Dive Maldives initiated Reef Recharge, a program aimed to increase the coral coverage near the resort and create a healthy reef ecosystem. Coral fragments are attached to specially made frames and planted near the Ocean Pavilion. Over the years, the coral gardens have grown to comprise of 190 frames. This has led to an increase of the fish population and invertebrate diversity surrounding the resort. This initiative supports the Coral Reef Monitoring component of the Wetlands Conservation and Coral Reef Monitoring for Adaptation to Climate Change (WCCM) Project implemented by the Maldivian Ministry of Environment and Energy. Guests can get involved in this initiative by sponsoring a coral frame and build their own coral reef. They can also attend the marine educational talk held every Monday by Marine Biologist or enjoy specially priced cocktails on Friday evenings at the Equator bar, which holds a fundraiser for the coral rejuvenation project.
Rambagh Palace in Jaipur used to source power through the grid of Rajasthan State Electricity Board, wherein more than 55% of the electricity was generated by thermal power stations. The hotel explored options to reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing energy from renewable sources. Towards this green endeavor, Rambagh Palace installed a 2.1 MW wind turbine generator at a wind farm at Kaladongar in Jaisalmer, which currently supplies 70% of annual electricity requirements of the Palace.
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) commonly used for making soft drink bottles, which are discarded as trash after use were used by the associates of Taj Chennai hotels to make structures. In partnership with NGO, Samarpan Foundation, the associates filled PET bottles with sand, stacked and bundled them together to make park benches within and outside the hotel premises. Additionally, the volunteers along with the NGO constructed a sanitation facility at a local government school with PET bottles.