By Mandeep S Lamba, Dipti Mohan

“Sustainability” has evolved beyond a trendy buzzword in recent years, with consumers and businesses alike becoming more conscious and involved in playing their part in preserving the planet for future generations. India has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, and in order to turn the country’s climate-change-related ambitions into reality, all industries must work together in an unprecedented collaboration.

Thanks to the growing demand for “greener” holidays, sustainability has become crucial even in the tourism and hospitality sectors, which not only make significant contributions to global warming and climate change but also suffer from its effects. Nowadays, travelers not only want to go to an eco-friendly destination, but they also want to know how ecologically responsible the place is; the more climate-friendly a destination is, the more attractive it becomes. Moreover, adopting ecofriendly practices not only help hotels win over green travelers but also help in reducing costs and improving the bottom line in the longer run. Hence, not only are forward-thinking companies upping their climate action, but the entire sector is moving towards a greener, more sustainable future.

The hospitality sector has come a long way when it comes to adopting sustainable hotel operations, from reducing single-use plastic and going paperless to putting the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) into practice and implementing rainwater harvesting as well as other strategies like smart meters and motion-activated lights and faucets to save water and energy. The adoption of green and sustainable hotel design and construction techniques will be the sector’s next big step toward sustainability. As per United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) buildings, including hotels, account for 37% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and with 75-80% of the existing buildings across the world expected to still be in use by 2050, the hospitality industry must now prioritize sustainable construction practices and retrofitting existing hotels to achieve sustainability goals.