Reducing carbon footprint

Written by Sukalp Sharma | Sukalp Sharma | Updated: Mar 31 2013, 09:18am hrs
Pune Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre is especially paying attention to the consumption and use of energy

With Leed Gold certification, the Pune Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre is representative of the countrys newer hotels that are putting substantial emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable structure and operations. It has been built in a manner ensuring 75% of it gets natural lighting, thereby saving energy consumption that comes with artificial lighting. It also uses 100% chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)-free refrigerant materials for air conditioning (CFCs contribute to ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere). Further, 80% of the ingredients that go into the hotels kitchen are procured locally.

We are one of the first hotels in Asia with a LEED Gold certification. The hotel commenced operations in 2010 and the LEED certification came in 2011. For us, the whole idea was to reduce the carbon footprint, says Jatin Khanna, general manager, Pune Marriott. The hotel has incorporated and adapted low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials, reduced landscape water usage by using indigenous plants, employed the use of rapidly renewable materials, 42% energy savings for operations, alternative refuelling stations for electric cars and vegetated green roofs, among other features. Further, 100% waste from the ongoing operations is segregated for recycling and diverted from landfills. All the grey (sewage) water is treated by using the latest MBR (membrane bioreactors) technology. The treated sewage water is used for all HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) applications and guestroom flush cisterns. The BAC-Comber system is used for the treatment of cooling tower water. This system utilises the electromagnetism and ionisation processes to treat water, thus doing away with the use of chemicals. And wherever chemical use is necessary, only Green Seal-certified chemicals are used.

Marriott Pune is also contributing to electricity generation through renewable sources in association with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB). We have invested in windmills as well. We have partnered with the MSEB, wherein we get rebate and credit on the electricity we draw from the grid based on the compensatory electricity which the windmills, that we have invested in, feed into the grid, says Khanna. He adds that the one key area the hotel is looking at in terms of furthering its sustainability practices is increasing automation in operations, particularly to save energy.

A green rating also helps position it as a responsible business and pushes the brand value a notch higher, says Khanna. Todays consumers, particularly business consumers, want to stay at eco-friendly hotels. Our corporate clients take note of it the most. Some of them categorically ask us our green practices. While initial costs of building a green building might be more than a regular conventional building, it all evens out in the long run and, in fact, leads to future savings and returns, he says.