Bengaluru’s ITC Windsor creates history, becomes the world’s first hotel with a LEED Zero Carbon Certification
Regular visitors to ITC Windsor will be well aware of the hotel’s sustainable and eco-conscious approach to luxury. Now, it looks like all their efforts have paid off, as they have just been given the LEED Zero Carbon Certification by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council), and are the first hotel in the world to have achieved this. But what does that mean, exactly? Essentially, it’s a certificate given to buildings or spaces that have net zero carbon emissions from consumption of energy. As per the LEED website, it “recognizes buildings or spaces operating with net zero carbon emissions from energy consumption and occupant transportation to carbon emissions avoided or offset over a period of 12 months.”
The measures that go into achieving this status are numerous. The hotel prides itself on its use of eco-conscious products such as 100 percent biodegradable cleaning supplies, toiletries made with organically grown oils and water from natural springs, organic cotton bathrobes and allergen-free mattress and pillow protectors. The entire hotel uses solar-generated steam and hot water, and they also have an air conditioning system that automatically adjusts to the weather, ensuring reduced consumption of energy.
For electricity, the hotel depends on 100 percent renewable wind energy from various locations close to the city and the wood used for the interiors is from Forest Stewardship Council Certified (FSCC) sources. This essentially means that the wood is not taken from natural forests but from trees grown specifically for this purpose.
Their sustainable practices even extends to food consumption, with initiatives like SunyAqua (water that has travelled zero distance before being poured into your glass and bottled in- house), Signature Mornings (breakfast made with locally sourced ingredients to reduce carbon footprint), Pavilion Pure (health drinks made with local produce) and One Bite Wonder (bite-sized portions of food to allow diners to try as many dishes as they wish, thereby reducing wastage).
“The ITC Hotels growth story is a story about sustainability. We strongly believe that any effort to save the planet ultimately equals saving ourselves. Elevating the role of buildings in mitigating climate-related risks and halting resource depletion is critical in achieving a sustainable and regenerative future for all. At ITC Hotels, we understand the value of going beyond efficiency and have showcased extraordinary sustainability leadership by enhancing the renewable energy footprint, energy efficiency and mitigation of greenhouse gases emission,” says Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC.
“At USGBC we believe net zero is a powerful target that will move the entire industry forward. It influences the rest of the industry to aim even higher and achieving LEED Zero certification demonstrates these goals are attainable,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. "Given the climate-related risks we are facing and the central role buildings play in climate mitigation, ITC Windsor’s LEED Zero certification for carbon demonstrates visionary leadership because it contributes toward a regenerative future and represents a commitment to making the world a better place. By prioritizing net zero carb