World Environment Day 2022 Sustainability as a catalyst for business innovation -Shruti Shibulal


Building a globally sustainable business model requires designing new operating systems that will not only operate efficiently, but remain resilient and self-sufficient. While specific sustainability practices and their measured outcomes may vary from industry to industry, experimentation remains central to the process of building successful, purpose-driven businesses.

This requires testing and innovating routine functions to ensure conservation, eco-responsive adaptation and community engagement.

Team goal setting and working backwards are an integral part of this process. First, industry-wide consumption patterns and valuation should be studied and compared to particular operations and functions. Research should be directed primarily towards reducing the waste of basic resources such as water and energy.

The process of finding viable solutions requires intensive cost rationalization and experimentation. This exercise not only makes a company environmentally sustainable, but also serves to innovate operations at all levels by optimizing financial planning, informing employee training and inspiring unique service offerings.

We have been able to do this at Tamara Leisure Experiences to reduce the use of fresh water, for example, by employing various tactics ranging from building an 800,000 liter capacity rainwater harvesting tank and of a reverse osmosis center on the Coorg property, establishing a state-of-the-art water treatment facility in Trivandrum and using water-efficient plumbing fixtures that have reduced consumption of 10,000 liters per day in a single property.

To ensure we are energy efficient, our design and construction processes include the use of studied green practices. The O Café at our upscale business hotel in Trivandrum, O by Tamara, has been designed to save energy. The cafe features solar heat-absorbing glass panels, which take advantage of Trivandrum’s largely sunny climate to provide natural thermal insulation and lighting. A protective film placed on the glass also prevents overheating while transmitting high visual illumination. Breathable fabric roller blinds will be placed over the glass to act as harsh light shields and ventilation regulators. Together, these elements moderate the temperature and light in the space, greatly reducing our use of artificial cooling and lighting systems throughout the year.

A consequence of thoughtful green design is a ripple effect of innovation and creative service offerings. In Coorg, for example, harvested rainwater allows us to sustainably develop the 180-acre estate and maintain a 40-acre organic farm that includes a coffee plantation as well as a variety of fruits, vegetables, spices and more. local products. In addition to supplying our kitchens with fresh, local ingredients, the farm allows guests to participate in sourcing their own coffee beans and even plant a tree as part of their stay with us.

In addition to catalyzing inventive operating models, the cost savings resulting from these practices contribute to a pool of resources that we could redirect to important initiatives that benefit employees and surrounding communities.

During the COVID-19 shutdowns last year, we did not lay off a single employee and instead were able to invest in providing over 100 hours of training and development. We also ensured that everyone had access to mental health care and organized recreational events to ease the stress of a difficult time.

As a team, we are also regularly involved in supporting local schools, nonprofits, small businesses, and even providing relief during climate-related emergencies such as the 2018 Kodagu floods.

During the implementation of environmentally friendly practices, we learned a lot about the important interconnections between the local landscape and the local culture. To ensure that our operations are socially responsible and consistent with Indigenous traditions, we have hired over 50% of staff across the organization from local and regional communities. In addition, we regularly collaborate with local residents. Their invaluable generational knowledge of the region helps inspire and inform authentic local dishes on our menus, sustainable landscaping and farming processes, bird watching and nature tours, and wildlife-sensitive practices. (such as the use of non-disruptive night lighting and policies to limit noise pollution).

Planet-centered and people-centered policies such as these intertwine to establish a fundamentally thoughtful culture; one that incubates diverse ideas, healthy experimentation and continuous improvement. This ultimately builds a forward-thinking, goal-driven organization that is both agile enough to evolve inventively and resilient enough to deal with change.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise indicated, the author writes in a personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be taken to represent the official ideas, attitudes or policies of any agency or institution.


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