Novotel ibis Chennai OMR and Sustainability

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Isn’t it surprising that of all commercial buildings, hotels are among the highest per square foot energy and water users?  And, hotels in Asia produce more carbon emissions per occupied room than hotels elsewhere! 

Recognizing these facts, NOVOTEL has remained a thoroughly sustainability conscious group right from inception, with all the group hotels paying attention to all aspects involving energy and water.  All the more important given the increased role hotels are to play given the enhanced focus on tourism.  A gist of the recent initiatives in this regard, especially given the grim water scenario the famed Chennai City in particular and Tamil Nadu in general is facing:

  1. Use of Biodegradable laundry detergents including for housekeeping requirements.
  2. Use of alternatives to bottled water in the rooms – a glass bottle plant on-site is being implemented to replace the single-use plastic water bottles.
  3. Use of Heat Pump instead of the Diesel Boiler for hot water generation – this has helped save a minimum of 150 litres of diesel every day and an annualized saving of about Rs. 38 lakhs!  Not only this, even the Heat Pump Cooling has been ducted into laundry to reduce the air-conditioning load there by about 200 units of electricity per day, leading to a saving of about Rs. 6.13 lakhs per annum.  Overall reduction in the energy cost – 8%
  4. Use of Bio-diesel in place of Hi-Speed Diesel for the Laundry Steam Boiler – this has led not only to a saving of more than Rs. 15 lakhs per annum (overall reduction of 3% in energy cost) but has contributed to reduction in pollution.
  5. Implementation of Wind Energy Project: With the wind turbine creating reliable, cost-effective and pollution-free energy without using fossil fuels and without producing greenhouse gases or radioactive or toxic wastes, currently the hotel is using about 60% of electricity thru Wind Power and also reduced the energy cost by 6%. 
  • Implementation of Solar Power Project:  Just like Wind Energy, the hotel is also harnessing the solar power and has installed a 60 KW capacity Photovoltaic Solar Panel to generate about 500 units of electricity per day, saving more than Rs. 15 lakhs, without polluting the environment.  Energy cost reduction courtesy this initiative, is about 2.5%
  • The Gym Air-conditioners have been linked to Motion Sensors ensuring that when there is nobody in the Gym, which is most of the time, the AC runs on low speed and automatically increases the speed whenever there is occupancy in the Gym.  Similarly, the Guest Room Air conditioners have also been linked to the Key Card so that during non-occupancy, the room temperature and fan speed are controlled. This has resulted in a significant reduction on the AC load.
  • Installation of more than 20 auto-controlled timers has helped optimize the lighting and ventilation as per actual requirements, instead of being on all the time.
  • Single use plastics like straws, stirrers, carry bags, plastic cups, etc., have been completely removed.  Multi-purpose soap and shower gel dispenser have also displaced the single use toiletries.  We are proud that we are today a single use plastic free hotel. We also encourage and educate our guests of the same.
  • 135 Nos of 36watts PL light fittings were replaced with 12 watts LED, resulting in savings of 2100 units per month.

Water Conservation:

On the Water Conservation Front, some of the initiatives taken recently include:

  1. Use of Aerators fixed in the Guest Rooms have reduced water consumption from 16 ltrs to 12 ltrs per minute in the rain shower, 12 ltrs to 9 ltrs in hand shower and 4 ltrs to 1.75 ltrs in the washbasin.  Similarly, use of Atomizers fixed in public area and back of the house has helped water consumption from 6 litres to 0.5 litres.  Total reduction in water consumption works out to 240000 litres
  2. Use of paper napkins in place of fabric towels at the restaurant has helped save 25000 litres per month with reduced wter usage for washing of fabric towels.
  3. Collecting the water condensate from the VRV AC units and filtering for use in hotel operations has helped in 15000 litres water saving.
  4. Controlling the water discharge from the usual 6 ltrs to 5 ltrs per flush in the guest rooms has helped saving 5000 ltrs per month.  Guests are also encouraged to use the smaller flush of 3 ltrs instead of the normal one.
  5. Recycled water is being used for garden and flush and then redirected to Rain water harvesting pit to rejuvenate ground water table.

We also regularly conduct awareness sessions for our employees on the need for energy and water conservation.  As an organization, we will continue to be on the look-out for any area where we can reduce waste of water and energy.

Other initiatives:

  1. Guest rooms air-condition controls are linked to key card. During unoccupied, temperature automatically dips to 26 C & fan speed is maintained at low speed. It is helped us to reduced A/C load drastically.
  2. We have installed more than 20 auto-controlled timers to optimize lightings & ventilation systems as per the real requirement.  It has helped us to avoid energy wastages and reached 880 units as average savings per month.

Alternatives to single use toiletries – We have multipurpose soap & shower gel dispenser in the place single use toiletries.

Zero single use/other plastics – single use plastics like straws, stirrer, carry bags, plastic cups etc have been completely removed. We are a single use plastic free hotel. We encourage and educate our guests of the same.                                                                                  

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