Indian Hotels Company to “phase out” single-use plastic

by: Felicity Cousins | June 5, 2023

INDIA: Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), India’s largest hospitality company, has said it is committed to reducing single-use plastic across its portfolio.

The group is behind India’s first ever ‘zero single-use plastic hotel’, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans (pictured above), and will phase out plastic water bottles from the rest of its hotels by replacing them with reusable glass water bottles, filled with treated water. 

IHCL hotels has also stopped using plastic straws and is replacing the use of plastic wrapping of amenities such as toothbrush, shaving kit etc. with eco-friendly substitutes.

The group announced its sustainability commitments for the year 2030 under Paathya, its sustainability pathway, which covers “Environmental Stewardship, Social Responsibility, Excellence in Governance, Preserving Heritage, Value Chain Transformation, and Sustainable Growth.”

Gaurav Pokhariyal, executive vice president human resources, IHCL, said: “In line with the vision of IHCL’s ESG framework of Paathya, we are committed to phase out single-use plastic from all our hotels. From elimination of plastic straws, replacing plastic-wrapped dry amenities with eco-friendly substitutes, introduction of bottling plants to initiating zero-single use plastic hotels in the country, IHCL has stayed the course on beating plastic pollution.”

IHCL has a strong background in sustainability with reports across the portfolio dating back to 2005. According to the latest report on its website (2020-2021) the group has 78 hotels in its portfolio with the internationally recognised EarthCheck certification (47 at Platinum level, 25 at Gold level and six at Silver level).

The group also signed a solar power purchase agreement with TP Kirnali Solar Limited, and as a result the Taj Mahal Palace, Taj Lands’ End and Taj Wellington Mews will get around 60 per cent of their energy from a green source (making a reduction of nearly 22.9 million kg of CO2 emissions annually, which is like saving the electricity use from 45,000 homes each year). The agreement was signed for 25 years.

In November last year IHCL introduced 224 EV charging points at 92 of its hotels.

The Indian Hotels Company has a portfolio of 270 hotels including 81 under development globally across four continents, 11 countries and in over 100 locations. Brands include Taj (the first Taj hotel was the Taj Mahal Palace, which opened in Mumbai in 1903), SeleQtions, Vivanta and Ginger.

Image: Courtesy of IHCL