Bangalore, June 2, 2017: After Eco- tourism and wild life tourism, sustainable tourism is the next big trend. The United Nations has proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development with a goal of promoting positive change in travel with regard to social inclusion, environmental protection and economic equality.
To encourage responsible travel and care for the environment among tourists , organizations like World Wildlife Fund have initiated measures like which specializes in wildlife trips, includes the cost of offsetting travel on the ground — everything from airport transfers to electricity used at a hotel — in its pricing. Offsetting international airfare is encouraged but optional.
Mahindra Holidays contribution to the environment through their in-house activities, and organizing special natural off site tours not only helps in reducing carbon emulsion but also contributes and promotes sustainable Tourism in India.
During the year, the Mahindra Group’s Sustainability Apex Council set the following long term goals for sustainability:
• Carbon neutral by 2030
• Water secure by 2030
• Zero waste by 2030
• EP 100 double energy productivity by 2030
• RE 100 increase renewable energy by 100 per cent by 2030
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd (MHRIL), with its 49 Resorts located in exotic locations across India is in a very special position to contribute to the economic and social well-being of the local communities. MHRIL is able to raise awareness and support for the overall conservation of the environment where our business footprint is felt.
Unlike most other sectors, the consumer of tourism/hospitality (the tourist) travels to the producer and the product. And thus is able to get ‘a first-hand experience’ of the product. This leads to three important and unique aspects of the relationship between tourism/hospitality and sustainable development that is considerable amount of interaction both direct and indirect, between guests, host communities and their local environment. More consciousness of environmental issues. This can affect attitudes and concerns for sustainability issues not only while travelling but throughout people’s lives. As the Hospitality experience depends on intact and clean environments, attractive natural areas, authentic historic and cultural traditions, it becomes imperative to have these attributes in place.
To mitigate any negative impact of our presence, MHRIL has taken steps to conserve and manage natural and eco-friendly resources, especially those which are non-renewable and intangible. MHRIL has developed CSR policies and actions to minimize pollution of air, land and water so as to conserve biological diversity as well as the natural heritage
To address the impact of climate change, maintain and enhance biodiversity of rural and urban locations, it is imperative for MHRIL to be an environmentally and socially responsible Business Enterprise.
Actions taken in this regard by MHRIL:
· At MHRIL, Environment related World Days are celebrated by Staff, Guests and Community with great enthusiasm and fervour to create awareness
· Under the aegis of Haryali Project from the year 2010 to 2015, we have planted nearly 2,20,000Trees. The Company has in this regard spent in providing Solar Lights to villages in Thekkady, Manali, Binsar, Varca, Kumbhalgarh and Munnar
· 35 villages have benefitted from this project. The efforts have been much appreciated by the Government bodies and local leaders. 7000saplings were planted near the lake at Ashtamudi and Cherai Beach this year to safeguard marine life and biodiversity in the coastal regions
· The Company has also invested in an alternate and environment friendly method of curbing the usage of Plastics by providing Paper bag making machines at Munnar, Manali and Ashtamudi
· Cleaning drives have been undertaken regularly at all locations, however after the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan launched on 2nd of October the impetus increased. In Pondicherry in village Pilliyarkuppam after a cleaning drive 17 dustbins were placed in different parts of the village to arrest the growing litter in liasion with Municipal Corporation
Swach Bharat Project:
· Waste Management Project was implemented in the month of October 2014 in liasion with NGO Waste Warriors in Corbett
· Waste Warriors is a voluntary organisation and a registered society with a mission to provide affordable and sustainable waste management solutions that improve environment, health and quality of life through a combination of direct action, liaison, education and raising awareness. Community participation is encouraged to give people a sense of civic pride and respect for the areas they live and work in
· Awareness sessions are conducted to change behaviour and mindsets towards management of waste
· The vision of the Waste Warrior Team and MHRIL is of a Clean Corbett, to introduce a system of waste management in an area (stretching over 100 villages per km) where no system currently exists
· Since the work has begun in Corbett Landscape in October 2013, the team has managed to cover 10 villages in our area of work and collect waste from 270 homes, 100 shops, 7 schools & 6 hotels
Fresh Water is an essential for the sustainability of human life and as such is essential to the survival of all organisms Even though almost 71% of Earth is covered by water, only 1% of this water can be used for daily subsistence. With a rapid increase in industrial production and an accelerated population growth water has become precious natural resource. Its demand is surging like never before. Contamination of existing water bodies and depleting sources of water is leading to conflict among various stakeholders
Mahindra Holidays,continually strives to conserve water and improve the efficiency of water utilization across their resorts by following 5 R principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recharge and Rain wáter harvesting).
Some of MHRIL water recycling initiatives
Initiatives towards water discharge:Maintain zero discharge of waste wáter polluants. Regular monitoring of waste water by internal as well as external agencies (Parameters like C.O.D, B.OD, pH etc. As specified by statutory authorities are examined). The values have always been found to be within the guidelines and limits, defined by the State Pollution Control Boards and local regulatory authorities.
Rain Water Harvesting/Recharge Pit – To increase the ground water level some of the resort collect the rain water and redirect it to recharging pit (tube well/open well/natural pond/Bore well) thus increase the ground water table. It is implemented at Kanha, Coorg, and Thekkady, to collect the runoff water from the roof tops and passes through dual media filter and used after treatment.