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EarthCheck Presents Nine Taj Hotels with Gold Certification

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MUMBAI—EarthCheck, a provider of environmental benchmarking and certification, last week presented nine Taj hotels with Gold Certification for five years of continuous benchmarking and reporting under the EarthCheck Standard. The hotels are the first of 76 EarthCheck accredited hotels across the Taj portfolio to achieve the five year milestone, with 54 more properties on track to reach the target by 2016.

Using the EarthCheck program, the nine honored hotels are proving they can deliver robust environmental savings to complement Taj’s existing CSR programs. In 2013, they collectively reduced energy consumption by enough energy to power 53,940 homes in India and cut waste by the equivalent of removing 186 shipping containers filled with rubbish.

“Taj has a long standing commitment to sustainability programs, and the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification accreditation perfectly complements our Taj EARTH internal process and campaign,” said Raymond Bickson, Managing Director and CEO of the Indian Hotels Co. “EarthCheck benchmarking reiterates our commitment and sets the stage for conscious organizational effort to commit to energy and water conservation, better waste management practices and focused local sourcing of materials and manpower.

Few Hotels Certified by External Party

CEO of EarthCheck and EC3 Global, Stewart Moore added that while many global hotel brands are now measuring and benchmarking their CSR activities, few are certified by an external party.

“The fact that Taj Group is using EarthCheck capabilities and backing their benchmarking with a recognized third party is what gives this hotel group a point of difference in its sustainability efforts,” Moore said. “What is also commendable is that the Taj Group has maintained this benchmarking for five years without wavering while some other hotel groups have dipped in and out of the sustainability space. This length of time and the growing number of Taj properties now engaged with EarthCheck shows absolute commitment to quality external benchmarking.”

Reflecting over the five-year journey, Moore agrees that the diversity of the Taj hotels presented challenges and a “cookie cutter” approach to sustainability was never going to work.

“Due to the variety and age of the hotels—some are hundred year old palaces while others are brand new builds—each property had to start with a critical review of their operational footprint before they could compare their sustainability results against international benchmarks and baselines,” Moore said. “Taj’s success comes down to the fact that the hotel group, like their Tata parent company, has a rich tradition in caring for the environment and in empowering staff to make changes to their immediate environment.”

More Than Carbon Footprinting

A 25 year veteran in sustainability in the tourism and hospitality industry, Moore added that successful sustainability programs are more than just carbon foot printing and must blend social and economic aims into the environmental targets. He said that Taj successfully combines all three factors within their EARTH and social responsibility programs.

Bickson says the Taj Group is committed to the cause of building a sustainable environment by reducing the impact of their daily operations on the environment and improving operational efficiencies, resource conservation, reuse and recycling of key resources.

Go to EarthCheck and The Indian Hotels Company Limited (Taj).

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