Top 5 Things You Can Do To Reduce Global Warming !

By Aldrina Fernandes
Environment Officer, Meluha – The Fern

Global warming is the increase in the overall temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This phenomenon has largely been attributed to the rise in green house gas emissions. India’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 58 per cent between 1994 and 2007 with the Energy sector contributing over half of the emissions-Ministry of Environment and Forests report.
According to the draft of the UN report to be released later this month in Japan: Global warming will reduce the world’s crop production by upto two percent every decade and wreak $1.45 trillion of economic damage by the end of this century. Read more

Global temperatures are predicted to increase alarmingly and result in critical climatic changes, some of which we’ve already begun to witness. So it’s high time, we recognise the gravity of the situation at hand and reduce our individual carbon footprints.

We, at Meluha The Fern are sharing our pathway to a low-carbon nirvana with you- a few practical steps to cut carbon. Take these steps one by one and you could slash your bills while curbing carbon dioxide emissions: Where you save money, you’ll be also saving the planet.

Let there be light…
Before you reach for the light switch, Open the curtains. Natural light is the best source of illumination. Its healthy and free too.
Our lighting choices can significantly save us several watts of energy. Choose Light emitting diodes (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) over Incandescent lamps to substantially reduce your energy consumption.
Natural lighting in the Lobby at Meluha-The Fern

Vampire energy guzzlers..
Our homes are overflowing with electronic equipment, almost all of which will have a standby or sleep mode. These devices ranging from our cellphone chargers, televisions, gaming consoles, DVD players, set top boxes etc. are ‘power vampires’. They guzzle energy even when they’re turned off. Simply unplug or turn the main socket off to slay these vampires.

Making life easier?
Coffee maker, sandwich maker, mixer, grinder, juicer, hair dryer, hair straightener, hair curler, etc. …. All make our lives easier don’t they? But let’s ask ourselves do we actually need so many electronic devices?…Can we do without it?

Chill out!
Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Each minute a fridge door is open it takes around 3 energy hungry minutes for it to cool it down again. Also do not put hot food into a refrigerator since it leads to energy loss.

Look at the sun
Harness the power of the Sun by choosing to use solar-powered technology. Eg. Solar power banks, solar lighting, solar heaters,solar cooker, solar panels etc.

We’d be most glad to hear about your illuminating ideas of cutting carbon. So hit the button below to leave a comment.

Manasarovar The Fern, Hyderabad

Employee Environmental Education

 Luxury Hotel in Hyderabad, hotel in Hyderabad, 5 star hotel in Hyderabad  

“Someone needs to tell people that you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet”, says British writer and environmentalist Jonathon Porritt who was in India recently with his latest book titled, The World We Made, which was released in October this year.

This is exactly what Manasarovar The Fern, the Luxury Hotel in Hyderabad aims at through its proactive Green Team and its very active Employee Environmental education programme. Led by the Green Team, ‘environment sensitization’ has become a significant part of the training programme.

Employee Education

The skills of employees are fundamental to the success of a business. Business and employees have a shared interest in increasing skill levels. For the business, it helps with their

aim to increase performance, and for the employee to manage their own

futures by taking charge of their own learning.

The Fern Hotels and Resorts believe that Employee education is the most important aspect in establishing and maintaining our ‘green’ objectives. In order to ensure the committed participation of the staff, the 5star Hotel in Hyderabd, Manasarovar The Fern has a ‘green team’ headed by an Environment Officer who is responsible for training, conducting refresher courses, solving ‘green’ problems and generally creating and keeping alive an awareness of the environment.Induction of new employee takes place for environment and they are trained within the department to maintain higher efficiency of all equipment and to save energy and water by continuously monitoring the preventive maintenance. An Eco test is conducted r every six months after the joining date of an employee.

At Manasarovar the Fern, 5 star hotel in Hyderabad   this special group of people, called  The Green Team, all volunteers from the staff body, is the driving force behind its environment initiatives. The team initiates and monitors all environment initiatives done in-house. The Green Team empowers the staff far beyond the property’s set-up. Professional hierarchy is also set-aside in this unique team. The success of the Green Team can be gauged from the guests and staff members who have taken our green message in to their own lives and personal groups.

 

5 star hotel in Hyderabad ,Manasarovar The Fern is aware of the impact it has on its environment and its people, both internal – staff and guests – as well outside, on the community. The luxury Hotel in Hyderabad , Manasarovar The Fern property is an active member in its locality. Community initiatives, often led by the Green Team, range from working alongside local administrators and residents in planning infrastructure projects to outreach projects in schools and cleanliness drives.

Working with the community allows the team to learn new skills while sharing its knowledge in exchange. These participative initiatives always lead to better results for the community. Led by the general manager, this luxury Hotel in Hyderabad shares green tips and initiatives and welcomes experiences of green travel and practices from its guests.

Each member of The Fern family, from the Chairman to the entire staff body, takes a pledge to adhere to and further the commitment to the environment.

“Being a team member of an environment sensitive group, I pledge to protect and enhance the environment including all its resources by encouraging and implementing the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle. I will manage my share of resources with maximum efficiency. I pledge to form an educated opinion and to make responsible choices. I pledge to make a difference.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green From The Ground Up At Meluha

At Meluha The Fern, Mumbai we believe that responsible hospitality is not an oxymoron. We ensure that what we do is in complete harmony with the natural world. Honest sustainability is part of our daily lives and we are committed and passionate about serving our guests as well as the environment.

Meluha is among the few luxury hotels of its class in India to be conceived as an environmentally sensitive hotel. In a sense, we’re green from the ground up. This is a tremendous advantage for us, as we’ll explain in this post and the others in this series. Its an approach we strongly recommend for those considering an eco-venture, hotel or otherwise. If you have the opportunity or luxury, grab it.

Guest rooms at Meluha The Fern, Mumbai are amongst the most eco-friendly in the world.
Guest rooms at Meluha The Fern, Mumbai are amongst the most eco-friendly in the world.

Location matters when planning an eco-responsible 5-star hotel. A recent Lonely Planet article was a disappointment because the Top 10 eco-stays it listed were all on forest land or similar exotic locales. The Meluha is a city-centre business hotel, with miles of Mumbai’s famous cityscape all around. We love challenges.

The philosophy at Meluha The Fern is to get it done, not just say it. With one caveat; the guest experience should be enhanced, not compromised. We definitely let our guests know of the environmentally responsible work we do, though we are modest with it. Business guests appreciation of our 141-room hotel is very high, most realise only later that they’ve stayed at perhaps the world’s most environmentally responsible business hotel. Its The Fern way.

In the meantime, please visit our new website: www.fernhotels.com

Keeping New Year Commitments – To The Environment

Its the first week of February 2014. By now, a large number of resolutions made over New Year’s eve are looking tough to keep. Its the natural law of attrition.

This got us thinking. So this year we asked ourselves if we could actually keep our New Year’s resolutions long enough to beat the average stats of these things, perhaps long enough to be … year-round.

For us at The Fern, two priorities stand above all else; guest experience and the environment. The term ‘environment’ is really broad, almost all encompassing, to include community, team and the natural environment. There’s a lot for us to choose from, which perhaps, as the experienced ones know, can be risky. Success means keeping it simple and down to a few resolutions only.

image

Now how does a brand built on environment sensitivity keep the list short? We’re in the process of figuring it out. The first people we consult of course is the team. The Fern has 3000+ team members at 19 locations across India. Getting all their views calls for a special survey. Our team loves to share, invariably, this has thrown up a vast amount of questions, suggestions and challenges. That’s what resolutions are for.

How many do we choose & can we keep them. There’s more to come…

Please visit our new website http://www.fernhotels.com.

The Fern Courtyard Resort, Ganpatipule Is Now Open

The Fern Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce the opening of The Fern Courtyard Resort, Ganpatipule a luxury resort in the fastest growing beach destination in Western India.

On the hill crest overlooking the pristine Ganpatipule beach, the 70 rooms & suites offer a breathtaking view of the pristine beach and the beautiful landscape. It is an excellent destination for a family vacation where kids can enjoy two swimming pools, large gardens and play areas, while adults will find the luxurious rooms, spa and tranquility to their liking.

Let food be an experience too with a truly wide selection of local and international cuisines across three restaurants, a lounge bar and in-room dining. With the largest banquet halls and poolside lawns in Ganpatipule, the resort will become the preferred venue for conferences and banquets from 20-300 guests.

Enjoy a lovely holiday by the pool at The Fern Courtyard Resort, Ganpatipule.
Enjoy a lovely holiday by the pool at The Fern Courtyard Resort, Ganpatipule.

An easily reachable destination, Ganpatipule is close to both Mumbai & Pune – 5-6 hours by road – and Ratnagiri, just 28 kms away. With two beaches in the vicinity and many areas of historical significance, there is a lot to do in Ganpatipule.

The Fern Hotels & Resorts now offers a choice of five excellent properties in Maharashtra – resorts The Fern Surya Resort, Mahabaleshwar; The Fern Samali Resort, Dapoli; The Fern Courtyard Resort, Ganpatipule, and business hotels Meluha The Fern, Mumbai and The Fern Residency, Mumbai.

www.ferncourtyardresort.com

About The Fern Hotels & Resorts, CHPL: Concept Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian management company operating hotels, resorts and serviced apartments across India at 24+ locations under The Fern, The Fern Residency and Beacon brands, including a selection of independent hotels. It has a vibrant pipeline of 25 projects in various stages of development.

With its baseline ‘Leading environmentally sensitive hotels’, The Fern Hotels & Resorts is amongst the fastest growing hotel brands in India with 1200+ rooms presently under management and 1000+ rooms expected between 2013-14. It expects to triple its inventory by 2015. Eight properties are opening in 2013.

www.fernhotels.com                                                          www.concepthospitality.com

Facebook & Twitter: fernhotels

– PressNote

It’s Disappointing That Eco-Movement Is Growing At A Snail’s Pace

One of the foremost environmental champions in this industry with over 30 years of experience in hospitality, Param Kannampilly is the chairman & managing director, Concept Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. (CHPL), a hotel management consultancy. CHPL owns & manages The Fern brand, India’s leading environmentally hotels & resorts. A name synonymous with the birth of ecotels in India or for that matter Asia, he is a member of the Board of Governors at IHMCT Mumbai and chairman of The Institute of Hospitality, London (Western India Chapter). In a free-wheeling chat with Shashwat DC of Sustainuance.

Param_Kannampilly_Concept_Hospitality_LRes

You have taken great strides to create ecofriendly hotels. But how did you get the public to believe that all this was real and not just subject to green-washing?

I realized that whatever efforts were put into making and developing ecofriendly hotels would all come to nothing until and unless there was proof that whatever was being done was true. I knew that until and unless we had an acceptance and a certificate stating that we had done this, nobody would believe us. So we took initiatives to spread the word as fast as possible. We were lucky that at the time of opening, there was a hotel convention. At the convention we invited all the heads to come and take a tour of our property. That was one way of winning over the public’s trust. But what we really wanted was a certificate that would really be proof that all this was not hogwash. So we wrote to Ecotel in the US and requested a certificate on the basis of the kind of work we were doing. They came and met us, verified our work and even trained the staff on handling the facilities. As a result, we have a very educated and knowledgeable staff that is well versed on the subject of what an ecotel is and how an ecotel should function. Of course there was criticism but we were able to cut down on that by getting industry peers to see for themselves what we were doing so they wouldn’t think it was greenwashing.

Mumbai is a hub where you have the leading brands as your competitors. Is there a space for five-star ecofriendly hotels?

We have an STP report that compares the performance of all the luxury hotels, so we know where we stand in the competition. We are at least three points higher than all the luxury hotels put together. Although that’s not much of a lead, it still is something.

Although you started this concept in the 90’s and hoped that the ecofriendly movement would catch on, you are however, the only person to have not only initiated something like this but also extended the concept to other hotels that you designed. Why is this so? Do hoteliers view sustainable development as a risk?

In my experience, knowledge is something that everyone wants, but they do not know how to go about it. So on our website, we have put quite a lot of data on everything that we have undertaken. But somehow they are skeptical about it and none of the certifying agencies are really going out as educators. So it is slightly disappointing to know that many are not interested and that the movement is growing but at a snail’s space.

There is no dearth of money as far as luxury hotels are concerned. They spare no expense in investing in the latest technology or expensive upholstery. Why is it that these top hotels at that time not move into the sustainability space?

We coined a term at that time – luxury with responsibility. Our ads always carried the words “luxury with responsibility.” What this meant was that all our actions were behind the scene. Though our guests could comfortably enjoy air conditioning, they were unaware that an SDL was been used or that the hot water being supplied was not via a geezer. We make sure that though we are moving in the direction of sustainability, the comfort of the guest is never compromised. We made sure that whatever product we used had been certified as being environmentally friendly.

We were the first to work with suppliers to take back their containers. We made sure that our products were never packaged in card board cartons but in crakes. All our pulses and vegetables that were packaged in polythene bags were immediately returned and we wanted cloth bags instead. Today a number of hotels have their buildings certified as being ‘ecofriendly.’ And that is where it ends. You can have 200 building that are certified as being ecofriendly, but what about the practices? To get your practices certified is a measure of your consumption on a daily basis of what you’re wasting on earth. That’s where the hotel industry is missing the point. Most of the hotels do not allow external certification mainly because it’s easy to get a building certified but what about the staff and the practices that truly account for the waste? Of course something is better than nothing, but if you want to move in the direction of being sustainable, go the whole way.

While sustainable development may seem rather fashionable, it may not be very affordable. Are customers willing to pay a premium knowing that the hotel is an ecotel?

A number of studies have revealed that between seven percent and 14 percent customers are willing to pay extra. If a tour operator gives tourists a zero-carbon emission holiday, they are willing to pay higher for it. We however have not conducted any kind of research because our country is still not getting the required number of tourists. We are getting about five to five-and-a-half-lakh customers, which is not that bad considering that China had to deal with much worse when they started out. Today, however, China gets about 35 million customers which is not the case with our country. Hotel business in India is dependent on the corporate movement. The corporate movement is a negotiated movement; it is not an individual choice movement. How this spans out is extremely simple. The company negotiates with a few hotels and you as an employee of the company will stay in one of those hotels if you wish to have your bills reimbursed. It’s difficult to conduct any kind of research as of now since the number of customers is not high. This will definitely change, but it will take time.

Most of the hoteliers who wish to incorporate sustainability are largely driven by the advantages such as cutting costs and increasing profits. However, the equipment needed to consume less power, or air conditioners that emit no CFCs can be expensive. Is that one of the reasons for skepticism among hoteliers?

This and lack of belief also has a lot to do with regard to the skepticism. However, it is what happens in the long run that truly matters. Yes, initially it is expensive, especially since some of the equipment is not available in India. But if you look at the wider picture, incorporating sustainable practices within the hotel is considerably cheaper. Our hot water for instance comes from air conditioning plants. The heat from the air conditioning plant is used by a condenser to heat up the water to 50 degrees. So by doing this we are saving on electricity without compromising on the comfort of the customer.

You have often stated that it is the staff that makes maximum use of the resources. How did you get the staff motivated to practice and understand sustainable development?

The most difficult task about running an ecotel is to educate the staff. That for us was the biggest challenge. To overcome that, we had what we called as a ‘green team.’ We had two employees from every department in the hotel empowered to stop any practices that were not in line with our green philosophy. And they became a powerful reckoning force. To further educate the employees, we made it mandatory that they sit for an exam testing their basic knowledge on the environment. So with that everything changed. This became very inherent to the hotel and was soon seen as a culture that needed to be followed.

When you first came up with the idea of an ecotel, there was no question of competition, mainly because no one else was running an ecotel. Did you view sustainability as profitable or was it a risk?

The idea of creating an ecotel came with number of perks because, it not only was different but also had a competitive edge. That’s when I took it upon myself to understand the subject of what sustainable development truly meant. That was when I realized that sustainability actually means three things – reduce, reuse and recycle. And it was on the basis of these three principles that we constructed the Orchid hotel. Our aim was to reduce on the energy system in the best way possible. So we made use of mono screw chillers – which is a type of conditioning plant that reduces the energy load considerably. I also made sure that during the construction of the hotel, the cement used had a recycling element in it. Then we wanted to reduce the water wastage because the BMC was not giving enough water. So we tied up with GEM who agreed to install a flow restrictor which cuts off water by almost 50 percent. We also made use of MDF made from cotton plants. All our furniture is made of MDF. That is how we have been able to build one of the most energy efficient hotels ever using the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. Then we introduced a bumper panel, whereby the air conditioning was reduced by two degrees; half a degree every half an hour. In two hours it was reduced by two degrees.

How did you involve the guests to participate in the ‘green movement?’

We also created a small green button on the panel so that guests could voluntarily press it. By pressing the green button, guests were participating with us in the creation of a greener society. That is how we got the guests to participate into the act. We were the first to introduce an interactive TV because we wanted guests to know that our hotel was different. The interactive TV was essential as we had to communicate to each guest personally. It was with the help of these TVs that the message would flash, welcoming the particular guest and thereafter explaining what we were doing. That was how we built our clientele and fan following.