CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSBILITY
As a part of Tatas; India’s premier business house; we; at Taj Hotels, have always believed in society and environment being integral stakeholders in our business along with our shareholders, customers, vendors and others. Over the last decade, the movement towards ecologically sound tourism has gained urgency and importance across the globe and we recognize that responsible practices in vogue are as diverse as the geographies.
We promote corporate citizenship through our strategic public-private partnerships which encourage building livelihoods of less-advantaged youth and women. The causes we promote include reducing malnutrition, promoting indigenous artisans and craftsmen and enhancing employability of identified target groups by sharing our core competencies as a leading hospitality company. We encourage training and development of differently abled youth.
We at Taj have the unique scope and opportunity to develop raw potential into a skilled workforce that is immediately employable by various players in the industry. A majority of our community projects are focused around extending our key strengths in food production, kitchen management, housekeeping, customer service and spas to promote economic empowerment of candidates from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds. We are fully committed to the cause of building a sustainable environment by reducing the impact of our daily operations on the environment and improving operational efficiencies, resource conservation, reuse and recycling of key resources.
A glimpse of indicative projects undertaken by Taj group
Our sixth Corporate Sustainability Report was submitted to the United Nations Global Compact society in August, 2009. The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, safety & security, environment and anti-corruption. This Corporate Sustainability report also serves as our GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) as well as Triple Bottom Line report. The report focuses on identified priorities at IHCL and responds to key stakeholder needs. We plan to continue and further strengthen our commitment to the environment and societies in which we operate.
We believe in continuous learning and sharing and would be delighted to have your thoughts and suggestions.
In an endeavour to reinstate its vision and efforts to boost sustainable tourism, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces presented EARTH (Environment Awareness & Renewal at Taj Hotels) this year. Implementing schemes such as the Gangroti Glacier Clean-Up Expedition, as well as designated Earth rooms, which minimise environmental impact, Taj is one of Asia’s largest group of hotels to commit to energy conservation and environmental management. EARTH has received certification from Green Globe, the only worldwide environmental certification program for travel and tourism.
The Taj began a century ago with a single landmark – The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. Today, the various Taj hotels, in all their variety and historical richness, are recognised internationally as the symbols of true Indian hospitality. The Company’s history is integral to India’s emergence into the global business and leisure travel community; and looking to the future, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is well positioned to meet the increase in travel activity with the rapid expansion of the Indian economy.
Pg. 12 of Annual Report
TERRORIST ATTACK ON ‘TAJ MAHAL PALACE & TOWER’
Your Company’s flagship property, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai was attacked by terrorists on November 26, 2008 amongst the other targets in the city. 31 persons were killed in the attack within the hotel, including 12 members of staff of the hotel. The Board mourns the death of innocent people in the hotel and Mumbai city and also pays tribute to the exceptional services rendered by the employees of the Taj, the police, security forces, hospitals and others during the attack and thereafter.
The Tower Wing was re-opened after refurbishment on December 21, 2008, whilst the Heritage block will be opened in phases over the next few months. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is insured under two primary insurance covers for safeguarding the hotel from property damage and business interruption.
TAJ PUBLIC SERVICE WELFARE TRUST
The unprecedented attack on Mumbai between November 26-29, 2008 saw many people from the security forces, police, hotel employees, guests of the Taj / Oberoi and general public being killed or wounded. Pursuant to the outpouring of emotional support from well wishers in India and across the globe to provide relief for those affected by the attack, your Company set up the “Taj Public Service Welfare Trust” on December 12, 2008. The Trust is a registered Public Charitable Trust. The Trust has received donations from people of all walks of life and would use the income/corpus to provide relief to the dependants of those who were killed as well as provide medical and other assistance to those who were injured till they lead a normal life. The Trust has so far provided assistance to 104 affected families with disbursements / commitments of Rs. 1.63 crores.
Pg. 28 of Annual Report
EARTH (Environmental Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels)
To demonstrate our commitment to the Environment, EARTH (Environmental Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels) vision was launched in August 2008 by the Managing Director. The EARTH program aims to put initiatives in place to reduce the
impact of our hotels’ daily operations on the environment. This means that we progressively consume less and systematically switch to renewable energy sources and manage our dry and wet waste effectively. As part of the EARTH initiative we have
undertaken certification by an external agency for all our hotels in a phased manner. The certification standard complies with the Mohonk Agreement which outlines the guidelines and principles and the standards provide a framework to measure, monitor and improve environmental and social performance. The external auditors adhere to the principles and requirements of ISO 17021:2006.
Standards focus on performance outcomes in the following areas:
 Greenhouse gas emissions
 Energy efficiency, conservation and management
 Management of freshwater resources
 Ecosystem conservation and management
 Management of social and cultural issues
 Land use planning and management
 Air quality protection and noise control
 Waste water management
 Solid waste management
 Storage of environmentally harmful substances
Since commencement in July 2008, 55 of our hotels have achieved certification in 3 phases and eight hotels have achieved
SILVER certification in the first attempt itself. Your company aims to have all hotels certified by the end of 2009-10.
Pg. 62 of Annual Report
Community Initiatives of the Taj Group of Hotels – 2008-09
Your company has been steadfast in its belief that it is in existence not only to make profits but also play a role as responsible corporate citizens, who add value to the society and the nation. With the growing focus on Corporate Sustainability and Triple Bottom Line approach in the contemporary business environment and as a brand of international
visibility and repute, it has become increasingly imperative that your company updates its approach and processes towards the same.
It has been our conscious endeavor to align our existing corporate sustainability activities to the global benchmarks. This has required us to upgrade our structure including aligning it with the company values, establishing robust processes and effectively cascading them down to the various properties. Your company is currently in the process of publishing a comprehensive GRI (Communication on Progress to UN Global Compact) report that reflects the company vision, approach and performance on three simultaneous measures – economic, social and environmental.
Further, a Director level position for Corporate Sustainability has been created to integrate both social and environmental functions and drive the development of these initiatives.
The Taj continues to believe in working symbiotically with the larger community and our goals is to empower our identified communities to be independent, earning members of society. By adapting some of our core strengths in hoteliering, we work alongside the state systems towards evolving realistic and sustainable solutions for national challenges like malnutrition, unemployment & gaps in vocational training and education. Our association with the rich heritage of India enables us to provide a platform to showcase indigenous art and culture to the world, while encouraging the craftsmen who create it.
Last financial year, the total expenditure on social initiatives by the Taj Group of Hotels was to the tune of 25 Lacs, with the focus being on long-term, sustainable projects. This year, to back our growing commitment, an amount of Rs 35 Lacs has been allocated for both social and environmental projects.
The growing significance of Corporate Sustainability in the current organization processes is apparent through the improvement in the data capturing systems and quality of the data collected.
Data for 2008-09
Community Development 2008-09
Volunteering hours 73710
Number of people impacted 57688
In the year 2008-09, the total number of volunteering hours spent on various activities increased by 94% to 73,710, while the number of employees who volunteer for the various initiatives has increased by 73% to 7415. There has been a reduction in the number of people impacted through these projects from 58,045 last year to 57,688 in the course of this financial year since the nature of projects has been changing from charities and one-time events to more long-term initiatives that economically empowers its beneficiaries in the long run.
Our growing thrust on community initiatives has helped streamline our broad social theme of ‘building livelihoods’ to include projects that use the Taj’s core competency as leaders in hospitality:
1. Increasing employability and self – employability by empowering candidates from marginalized socio-economic backgrounds through vocational skill training, personality development, grooming and mentoring
2. Reduction of malnutrition
3. Promotion of indigenous artisans and craftsmen
4. Training & recruitment of Persons with Disabilities
A brief summary of our projects is presented below
Skill trainings for less privileged women & youth
Taj-Pratham Skill Training Center
This project aims to train school dropouts and other less-privileged aspirants from rural areas in hotel operations like Food Production, House-keeping, Food & Beverage Services. More than 300 youth of Khaultabad region near Aurangabad are to be trained in a year, starting from June 2009.
ITI Upgradation Program
Your company has been tying up with rural ITIs in order to reach out to youth from less-privileged socio-economic backgrounds by facilitating market-relevant skill-trainings and on-the-job exposure in identified rural areas. Two such partnerships are in progress and two more shall be operational by the end of this calendar year.
Skill trainings for grooming youth for Service Industry
Taj President Mumbai, in partnership with TRENT & Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA) conducted youth development programmes at Geeta Nagar, a slum in South Mumbai. More than 70 young men and women were trained in
beautician courses, hospitality and retail industry skill sets through this partnership. Interested candidates also were supported with accessing employment/self employment opportunities.
Empowerment of Women
Rehabilitation of commercial sex workers
Your company’s hotels in Goa support 40 women of Swift Wash, an income generation initiative by the NGO Arz, which rehabilitates women from human trafficking. The hotel volunteers support to this NGO through skill trainings in laundry, team-building & business development inputs. These women today are capable of managing the laundry load of two Taj hotels in Goa and many other commercial establishments.
Nutrition Support and Training
IHCL has entered into a knowledge partnership with the government supplementary nutrition scheme through the support of Bhavishya Alliance which promotes public-private partnerships for the cause of child-malnutrition. Taj hotels provides inputs and trainings for government functionaries and relevant target groups to enhance the quality and taste of food being served through supplementary nutrition program to children between 0-6 years, pregnant and lactating women through a pilot venture in the Nandurbar district of rural Maharashtra. A training of trainers approach was followed to reach out to more than 12,000 grassroot stakeholders who have been trained in diverse low cost cooking, personal and cooking hygiene.
Promoting Art, Culture and Artisans
Your company supports and revives dying arts, unique to India’s heritage. In particular, with an aim to revive the handloom industry from extinction, your company uses hand-woven saris from the master weavers of Varanasi for uniforms across ten Taj Luxury properties.
Disability Training and Recruitment
People with disability are celebrated in your company where people with hearing and learning disabilities are trained in hospitality skills and employed across our properties in collaboration with the DEEDS Catering College for the Hearing Impaired and the SPJ Sadhana School for the Mentally Challenged.
The commitment of your company to the environment has been to reduce the impact of our daily operations on it. The broad areas of focus have been identified as:
1. Improving Energy Efficiencies
2. Water (Fresh & Waste) management
3. Solid Waste Management
To reiterate our commitment to preservation of the environment, to boost sustainable tourism and integrate environment management in all business areas, your company launched the EARTH (Environment Awareness & Renewal at Taj Hotels) vision in August last year. Further your company decided to go in for the prestigious Green Globe certification - the only worldwide environmental certification program for travel and tourism industry. In the first year itself 55 of our hotels have achieved Green Globe certification. We expect all our hotels to achieve certification by the end of this year.
Consumptions have been well under control despite increase in number of rooms by opening of new hotels Emissions & discharge of pollutants have always been maintained well below stipulated norms.
Usage of Energy / Water 2008-09
Quantity of energy generated by unconventional methods (KwH) 43600651
Quantity of water recycled (KL) 1148999.2
Air Emission Tracking (ìgs/m³) 2008-09
NoX (permitted level upto 120 micro grams / m3) 11.5
SoX (permitted standard upto 120 micro grams / m3) 9.7
Particulate Matter (SPM) 221.7
Pollutants discharge in Waste Water (g/lt) 2008-09
CoD (permitted standard <250) 41
BoD (permitted standard <30) 20
TSS (permitted standard <100) 30
Oil & Grease (permitted standard <10) 3
Waste Disposal (Tons / Day) 2008-09
Waste for composting 24.91
Waste to Municipality 27.8
In our effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the Taj has constantly looked at renewable sources of energy. Over the last year, the Taj has seen many initiatives towards the saving of precious natural resources like the installation of solar panels, heat exchangers and heat pumps. This has helped us increase the quantity of energy generated by unconventional methods by 58% over the last year from 43600651 KwH. Your company has remained well under the stipulated norms of up to 120 micro grams / m3. We have also taken active measures to ensure that the pollutants discharged in waste water remain within the norms as well.