Where the usp is sustainability

Written by Sukalp Sharma | Sukalp Sharma | Updated: Mar 31 2013, 09:23am hrs
Chennais Raintree Hotels not only have their own aerobic decomposing unit, they are also in the active process of converting food waste into biogas

Chennai's Raintree Hotels, though not a major hotel chain, have been appreciated nationally and internationally, and have received various awards and accolades for their eco-friendly practices. The hotels boast of effective zero waste management. Apart from having their own aerobic decomposing unit, wherein the food waste generated is decomposed, the hotels are in the active process of converting food waste into biogas.

Raintree also urges guests to contribute to the hotels efforts to practice sustainability. The eco button in the rooms allows guests to participate in energy-saving measures by drastically reducing the load on the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.

Internal data shows that approximately 10 KWH of energy is saved every month. With the use of de-super heater (a heat exchanger), heat generated from the air conditioner is used as steam, resulting in savings of approximately 6,000 kilocalories of heat, or 110 kg of steam per hour.

Only materials that are 100% free of polythene, CFCs and VOCs are used. CFL lamps, ozonated water, recycled paper, rooftop swimming pool and garden, aerators/flow restrictors, cisterns and flushes, sewage treatment plant, fuzzy logic system, etc, are just some of the other tools that Raintree employs to this end.

As for energy, we are 100% self-sufficient. We have two windmills of our own in Tirunelveli. About 80% of the energy generated by these windmills is enough to power both our properties, says Syed Amjad Hussain, environment officer at Raintree.

According to Hussain, it makes a lot of business sense for Raintree to work effectively in the area of sustainability, keeping in mind its target consumers as a five-star business hotel. Around 45% of our guests are foreigners and almost 30% are from the US and Europe. These guests, in particular, are extremely environmentally conscious and that gives us an upper hand over other properties in the region. Sustainability is not just a side activity for us, but an extremely pertinent part of our business. Its our USP. Even MNCs are increasingly opting to engage with only those hotels which are environment-friendly, he says.