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Hospitality ON Event - Awards

Worldwide Hospitality Awards

Tuesday 30 November 2021 à 18:00

En cours - Best Initiative in Sustainable Development

The Indian Hotels Company Limited

Campaign - Towards shaping our common future

Cette candidature n'est disponible qu'en anglais / This application is only available in English.

This project describes how deeply we are rooted in our legacy, while also exploring new frontiers in sustainability, not only in our operations but across value chain as well.

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“With culture of collaboration, inclusion and commitment to create shared value for all stakeholders, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans is leading Sustainability goals for people and planet”

From identification of the location to the designing of project, from engagement to inclusion, from pre-opening to commercial operations, environment and community have been integrated as a soul and heart of the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans.

Andamans is poised to be one of the top places to travel to in 2018. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans is striving to set the benchmark for responsible tourism in the Andaman Islands. Being strong advocates of the overall positive impact of tourism and the key role it plays in conservation, the hotel has a strong focus on sustainability to create minimal footprint on the natural ecosystem.

IHCL’s commitment to conservation and sustainable luxury in the archipelago is at the core of the resort’s impeccable facilities and services. Not a single tree was felled during the construction of the 72 beach villas that pay homage to the style of the indigenous Jarawa tribe’s pitch-roof stilted huts.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans, has set an example in pioneering a real commitment to eco- friendly practices and wants to lead by example. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans has set up an onsite bottling plant eliminating the use of plastic bottles, a waste disposal system- converting wet waste to gas and compost and a sanitation treatment plant to limit its carbon footprint. The hotel also has a resident naturalist who helps guests in identifying different species and charting personalized trails for both adults and children keen on exploring the island’s rich life forms. The hotel has a robust natural resource monitoring plan & has partnered with Earth check for benchmarking Environment & Social data. The hotel has completed one cycle of Benchmarking assessment & has qualified as Earth check Benchmark Bronze within the first year of operations & first year of Earth check Benchmarking assessment.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans was acknowledged as one of the Best New Hotel Openings in the World in Conde Nast Travellers Hot List.

Sustainability Policy

IHCL has a well-defined Sustainability Strategy. The strategy is grounded in the IHCL Sustainability Policy, which emphasizes creating long-term stakeholder value. The policy requires the company to integrate sustainability considerations into all business decisions and key work processes, with the aim of creating value, mitigating future risks and maximizing opportunities. We work towards this through specific commitments including a dedicated governance structure to oversee sustainability, action plans for each material area, and transparency in reporting and communication. Our material topics in economic, environmental and social spheres have been identified through internal and external stakeholder consultations, and the sustainability programmes address each of these core topics.

The full text of the Sustainability Policy is available on our website at https://www.tajhotels.com/content/dam/thrp/investors/IHCL-SUSTAINABILITY-POLICY.pdf

Sustainability Programmes at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans

Data Benchmarking & Certification with Earthcheck & internal Sustainability KPI portal

IHCL has partnered with Earthcheck since 2008 for benchmarking its environment & social performance. Earthcheck Certification is the world’s leading environmental certification and benchmarking program for the travel and tourism industry. There are two phases in Earthcheck programme, i.e. Benchmarking & certification.

There are four levels of certification done by Earthcheck. Upon successful completion of benchmarking assessment a property becomes silver certified between Year 1-4, gold certified within year 5-9, platinum certified within year 10-14 & master certification from 15th year.

Since 2008, a total of 78 IHCL hotels have achieved Earth Check Certification and generated significant savings. This year 47hotels of IHCL have received platinum certification, which has confirmed its position as a worldwide leader in responsible tourism and a genuine source of inspiration to the international tourism community.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans has been certified as Benchmark Bronze in the first year of assessment.
IHCL also has an internal Environment KPI monitoring portal for measuring & monitoring Environment parameters of the Hotel.

Solid waste Management: Inception since June 2019
Conception: Responsible disposal of Solid waste produced at the resort and adopting initiatives minimizing production of Solid waste.
Implemented By: General Manger & Hotel team
Involved: All Departments. Partnership: Local government

The solid waste management plan for the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans encompasses the storing, collection and disposal of the waste that is generated on site. This plan intends to develop and implement waste minimization strategies aimed at reducing the overall solid waste volume as well as to educate the staff and guests on the importance.

With this in mind, the project addresses all the relevant issues regarding solid waste management and implement these into their daily routine. It is the intention of the project to keep their environment free of solid waste as much as possible.

Eliminating Single Use Plastic from Supply Chain: Inception February 2018
Implementation Done By: General Manger
Departments Involved: Food & Beverage, Housekeeping, Purchase, CSR

Environmentally, disposable plastic is a growing disaster. Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas which are non-renewable resources that are extracted and processed using energy- intensive techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems. The islands currently do not have a solid waste management system for collection or recycling of plastic waste. All the plastic waste generated on the island is either burnt or sent to landfills.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans aimed at eliminating disposable plastic usage. Plastics are a small component of waste by weight but a large component by volume. An in-house glass bottling unit was set up to eliminate the plastic bottle consumption on the property. We have avoided the use of thousands of plastic water bottles consumed till date.

Bathroom amenities may be small in size, but they play a large role in contributing towards disposable plastics. We use refillable ceramic dispensers avoiding to use of plastic packaging materials for these amenities. We also use biodegradable toothbrush and earplugs for all guest bathroom amenities which reduces our environmental impact while offering a number of benefits.

We only use jute bags, cotton laundry bags and non-plastic packaging for tea and coffee amenities in all our villas. The private bar items like nuts have glass packaging, which shall be reused not thrown after consumption. Potato chips is been procured with bio degradable paper packaging.

We only use biodegradable bamboo straws and papaya stem straws which are easily biodegradable. The chop sticks used in our restaurant are made of sustainable bamboo and are completely biodegradable.

We have also been actively involving our associates and guests in understanding the fragility and beauty of the islands. We believe that encouraging and empowering individuals to take an active role in the preservation and cleaning of our surroundings is critical for conservation of our natural resources. We have made it mandatory for all our associates to participate in cleaning up the Radhanagar beach trice a week on rotational basis. Though this regular activity we are able to spread environmental awareness and share our vision of sustainable tourism.

The garbage collected is weighed and since the month of May of 2018 we have collected 8415 Kgs of garbage from the beach.

The property consumed 40,344 litres of water and prevented a total use of 60,336 disposable one litre and half litre plastic bottles in a duration of 12 months.

Glass Bottles used in the Hotel

Quantity of Single Use Plastic Prevented From Being Used: Inception February 2018Bathroom amenities: Total number of 35ml plastic bottles for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and moisturizer prevented from being used: 26,764

Approximate number of straws prevented from being used: 24,300

Dental Kit Bamboo with 1 Tooth Brush, 1 Comb, 2 Ear Buds total number: 7,250 Wet Waste Management

Biogas Unit: Since Inception

the kitchen wastes into useful bio-gas. Since the useful gas originates from biological process, it has been termed as bio-gas. Methane gas is the main constituent of biogas. A biogas plant optimizes the utilization of waste and other organic materials by converting the biomasses into energy and valuable bio-fertilizer. It mainly comprises of hydro-carbon which is combustible and can produce heat and energy when burnt.
Biogas Production Unit within the Hotel

Biogas is a renewable, as well as a clean, source of energy. Gas generated through bio digestion is non-polluting; it reduces greenhouse emissions. No combustion takes place in the process, meaning there is zero emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

All our kitchen waste and organic matter is converted to energy hence reducing the pressure on fossil fuels. The Biogas plant spent slurry is richer in nutrients than fresh cow dung and is used as manure for plantation in our 46 acre land.

100 kgs of waste produces approximately 2.5 kgs of gas. Amount of gas produced: 628kg

Biodiversity Mapping at the Resort

Flora & Fauna Diversity at the resort has been measured by the resort’s in-house naturalist. A pocket handbook on birds & a tree book has been developed for enhancing Guest Education programme & further take actions on the area within & near the property.

Planting Indigenous Flora & Fruiting Trees: Inception August 2017

The Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands are an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, consisting of 306 named islands and 206 rocks and rocky outcrops with outstanding natural beauty and ecological diversity. The A&N Islands are situated approximately 1,200km from the Indian mainland. The Andamans have bio-geographic affinities with Myanmar while the Nicobars are more closely related to Indonesia.

The Islands are very rich in biodiversity, harbouring unique endemic life forms. Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a particular geographic location, like a specific island or habitat. Endemic species are most likely to evolve in places like the Andaman Islands, due to their geographic isolation. These species are more vulnerable and can easily become endangered or extinct because of their restricted range and habitat.
Conversion of forests to agricultural fields, large scale cultivation of exotic plants for commercial purposes and monoculture of timber trees for extraction are major threats to the rich bio-diversity of the flora and fauna of these islands. The endemic species of the islands have little chance of finding alternate habitat when they are subject to habitat loss due to islands having limited geographical area.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans spreads across 46 acres, including 16.5 acres of untouched mangroves and littoral forests. The property also includes a coconut plantation of over 500 trees and an Areca nut plantation of 125 trees. To ensure long-term protection and enhancement of the environment we have been planting indigenous trees to conserve and preserve the rich bio- diversity of the islands. We have planted close to 1500 indigenous trees.

Employee Engagement & Guest Engagement for plantation of Indigenous species Mangrove Restoration

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to a highly-diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The mangroves fringing these islands are the largest and most intact in India.

The Andaman Island Forests are included in the WWF Global 200 List of global priority biodiversity hotspots. Mangroves occupy an area of 644 sq.kms in Andaman Islands and 27 sq. kms in Nicobar Island. The mangroves of the Islands are one of the richest mangrove areas in the world in terms of quality of vegetation and biodiversity.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands there are 34 true mangrove species. Mangroves are part of rich ecosystems providing a variety of environmental goods and services and have high ecological, economic and cultural values. They combine productivity and diversity in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Modernization and market integration had resulted in a dramatic reduction of mangrove forests for alternative uses with negative consequences for the environment and economy. In most instances, sustainability of any ecosystem is dependent upon natural processes, morally supported by a region's natural characteristic features. Andaman and Nicobar Islands has a luxuriant richly diversified mangrove cover.

Mangrove ecosystem provides immense beneficial products to human beings. Conservation of such a complex ecosystem is inevitable due to the following significant facts that mangroves nourish the coastal fishery as they are the nursery ground for numerous fish and shellfish, sheltered bays bordered by mangroves are suitable for aquaculture practices, possess enormous medicinal properties and draw the attraction of tourists to venture in mangrove waterways and enjoy the Canopy Walk.

Within the periphery of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans we have access to 16.5 acres of mangrove forests. We have initiated a mangrove restoration project with a vision of restoring the damaged areas by regenerating the indigenous mangrove species. Our first step towards this initiative has been clearing all the debris like plastic bottles, glass bottles and other non-degradable debris that have polluted the ecosystem. We have identified locations to restore the damaged habitat and have planted 300 saplings of mangrove trees.

Tree Walk Inception since February 2018

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a tropical rainforest canopy, made of a mixed flora with elements from Indian, Myanmar, Malaysian and endemic floral strains. So far, about 2,200 varieties of plants have been recorded, out of which 200 are endemic. This tropical rain forest, despite its isolation from adjacent land masses, is rich with a diversity of plant life.

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world's wildlife. They prevent erosion of the soil, as well as provide a home for a variety of animals. Of critical importance to humans, they also play a major role in producing the oxygen we breathe and cleaning carbon dioxide out of the air. Trees also help to control pollution: They absorb carbon dioxide. They improve our environment. They cause rainfall and protect water resources under the ground. They prevent floods and droughts. They create the very air we breathe and filter air pollution. Most importantly, trees sequester carbon, helping to remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which cools the earth.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans is home to numerous majestic trees spread across our 46.5 acres. We house several endemic species on our property like the Andaman Ash, Andaman Padauk, Andaman Bullet wood tree to name a few. We also have a coconut and Areca nut plantation along with indigenous trees like the Wild Almond, Indian Butter tree, Java plums, Wild Jamun, Nutmeg, Cluster fig tree, Wild mango, Gurjan, Monkey Jack tree, Fig tree and many more.

To educate our guests and associates about the rich diversity around us we have signages with names of the trees, the habitat they are found in, fruiting and flowering seasons, and the various uses of these magnificent trees. The Tree Walk provides a first-time opportunity to observe, appreciate and learn about trees and their role in creating healthy, vibrant communities. On our property we have access to Tropical rain forests, Littoral forests and Mangrove forests. 613 guests and 86 of our associates have experienced the walk.

Tree walk Path

Organic Vegetable & Fruit Garden

Plants in an organic garden are considered in the context of the entire ecosystem surrounding them. All aspects of the farm are connected through a complex system of inputs and outputs. Everything has a purpose and an important role in the ecosystem.

In organic farming, soil provides not only a growing medium, but also a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem of life which supports the plants in the farm. The plants that grow in the soil provide food and habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and other garden critters. Some of these critters work to pollinate plants, producing food to eat. Everything works together to create a balanced ecosystem which enriches and supports the garden.

Among many advantages of organic framing the food grown is healthy and is free of synthetic chemicals. There is no use of pesticides and fertilizers which support healthy soil biodiversity, does not contaminate soil and plants with chemicals. This healthy ecosystem creates a habitat for local critters. It support pollinators by providing safe sources of food and shelter for them. Organic farming emulates nature’s processes and does not upset the balance of the ecosystem.

We at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans have developed an organic farm of vegetables, fruits and spices on our 46.5 acre of land. We believe in a sustainable future and are constantly implementing methods to reduce our carbon foot print.

By this initiative we intend to supply our kitchens with fresh organic vegetable fruits and spices, employ local farmers, create sustainable livelihoods and encourage farmers to adopt organic farming.

Organic farming is a philosophy of gardening that supports the health of the whole system. Organic farming respects the complex relationships between living organisms in the soil and among the plants.

We have planted a variety of different plants and trees. We have a diverse selection of fruits like lemons, guava, mulberries, banana, coconut, mud apples, wood apples, jamuns, and pineapples. Among vegetables we have okra, cucumber, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, aubergine, watercress, spinach, basil, pumpkin, coriander, chillies, long beans, tomato, radish, bell peppers and many more. We have planted spices like cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, nutmeg all around the property.

Organic Fruits & vegetables harvested
Promoting awareness amongst Guests & Associates

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans is nestled within a tropical rainforest and adjacent to the beautiful Radhanagar beach. We have daily interactive talks educating our guests and associates about the indigenous tribes living in the islands, the diverse marine systems and magnificent tropical rainforests. Our naturalist has also identified all flora & fauna species available in & around the island & property.

Guest Experience Sharing

Beach Clean-up: Inception since May 2018
Conception: Conservation and sustainable development of natural habitat.
Implementation: General Manger & CSR Department

We believe that encouraging and empowering people to take an active role in the preservation and cleaning up of our surroundings is critical for conservation of our natural resources.

Environmentally, disposable plastic is a growing disaster. Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas, non-renewable resources extracted and processed using energy-intensive techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems.

The manufacture of plastic, as well as its destruction by incineration, pollutes air, land and water and exposes workers to toxic chemicals, including carcinogens.

Plastic packaging – especially the ubiquitous plastic bag and plastic bottle – is a significant source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. Synthetic plastic does not biodegrade. It just sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment. Plastics have become a municipal waste nightmare, prompting local governments all over the world to implement plastic bag, and increasingly polystyrene (Styrofoam), bans.

Plastic pollution may not even be visible to the naked eye as research is showing that microscopic plastic particles are present in the air at various locations throughout the world and in all major oceans. Plastic is now ubiquitous in our terrestrial, aquatic and airborne environments.

Radhanagar Beach on the western coast adjacent to Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans, also known as Number 7 Beach, is one of the most popular beaches on Swarajdeep. This beach is also rated as one of the best beaches in Asia by TIME Magazine. It has an overall length of two kilometres and an average width of 30 to 40 meters. The beautiful white sandy beach has a gentle gradient and continues out into the sea as a sandy bottom for over 100 meters. The gorgeous reef adjacent to Radhanagar beach is abundant with fish life from schools of fusiliers to different kinds of puffer fish, clown fish, triggerfish, sea turtles, rays, butterfly fish, giant clams, mullet and much more.

In our efforts to maintain the beauty of the beach we conduct beach clean-ups thrice a week with an 8 member team of our associates. Our 130 associates dedicate 2 hours each once a month towards cleaning up the beach. We collect all plastic and glass waste found on the beach. The garbage collected is weighed and since the month of May of 2018 we have collected 8415 Kgs of garbage from the beach.
Sustainability Disclosures

IHCL supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 12 (Resource consumption and optimization) through our environmental commitments, and Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth) through our CSR programme. This is reinforced by our voluntary participation in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since 2005. IHCL also report to the CDP every year since 2010. We publish our Sustainability Report every year on the basis of GRI standards. We have also started Integrated Reporting from FY 2018-19. Both the reports are available on our website

IHCL Integrated Report: https://www.ihcltata.com/investors/
IHCL Sustainability Report: https://www.ihcltata.com/responsibility/

Communication Internal

Every month IHCL Corporate Sustainability shares internal Sustainability Newsletter to share updates & Best practices on Sustainability Parameters with all Chief Engineers & GM’s at Hotels. Best practices are also shared in Tajness Magazine which is a half yearly internal magazine.
Internal Sustainability Newsletter External

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans projects featured in Tata Review Magazine.

“Niti Aayog CEO Mr Amitabh Kant highlighted the importance of scientific planning of islands in India being undertaken by Niti Aayog and responsible tourism by Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans.”

Stakeholder Voices
Creating Employment Opportunities for Indigenous Nicobari Tribe & Local Settlers:
Inception August 2017

Training local settlers and indigenous Nicobar tribe in the hospitality industry in departments like front office, food production, finance, engineering, housekeeping and security creating employment opportunities within the Taj Group and other leading hospitality chains.

Number of individuals trained Indigenous Nicobari Tribe: 35 Local Settlers: 32

“Our sustainability programs are oriented towards the wellbeing of the people and the environment in the locations, essential for creating a sustainable common future. We at, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andaman’s believe that our initiatives are encouraging each of our employees, partners, community members and collaborators to work with ever- greater enthusiasm towards shaping a promising common future for people and planet”

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