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Green lantern of hospitality
The New Indian Express - 11 Sep 2011

The best dressed man in the ITC loves green ties. Living up to the credo of Responsible Luxury, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Ltd, knows that the good life doesn’t necessarily need a carbon footprint. That’s probably why, ITC Hotels markets itself as the pioneer of world-class green practices. They use contemporary design elements to deliver the best of luxury in the greenest possible manner, and were awarded the LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recently. This makes it the greenest luxury chain in the world.

Anand himself is an understated luxury statement: impeccably tailored suits, designer glasses and perfectly knotted silk ties. For a hotelier who has played a crucial role in taking ITC Hotels to the top of the world, he is courteous and softspoken. “This coveted feat uniquely positions ITC as the first hotel chain in the world to have all its premium luxury hotels accorded the highest rating,” says Anand. “It exemplifies our commitment towards delivering globally benchmarked quality, services and luxury in the greenest possible manner.”

ITC Hotels’s carbon-positive, water-positive and solid waste recycling policy ensures that a guest at any of its luxury hotels contributes only a small carbon footprint. “ITC Hotels sustainability initiatives draw inspiration from our determination to implement environmental initiatives with great vigour and success for the past two decades. These efforts are based on the ethos of eco-responsibility,” says Anand, who started his stint with ITC Hotels in 1978 armed with an AMP degree from Bond University in Australia and a BA in Economics (Hons) from Delhi University.

At the heart of responsible luxury lies product design: green buildings that are energy efficient and renewable, involving conservation and the recycling of water to preserve the eco-system. The chain has also innovated in the use of materials that utilise renewable sources and are biodegradable or conserve scarce environmental resources. Some of their properties have also gone eco with food and beverages to optimise customer satisfaction while staying true to green. “We have always been at the forefront of being extremely careful about what we do and how we do it. ‘Green,’ is the buzzword now. During the course of our journey, we have charted a growth strategy that has been led by the vision of our leaders in the organisation,” says the enigmatic director who admits to a sense of satisfaction when he looks back at the journey.

In an environment where there is no dearth of good hotels, with each one trying to outdo the other, Anand seems the least perturbed. “It would be safe to say that ITC Hotels does not operate in a crowded market place. Our unique value propositions, including the differentiated character of our hotels, coupled with indigenous Indian experiences is what makes every ITC Hotel part of a unique collection of hotels.”

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