Colombo Courtyard, South Asia’s first CarbonNeutral® City Hotel, has received its CarbonNeutral® certification for its third year. From its inception, this luxury City Boutique Hotel has focussed on being an eco-friendly entity that has tried to be as sustainable and green as possible. With a heavy focus on using recycled material in construction and design, the Hotel took it a step further and decided to negate its emissions of greenhouse gases completely. While not polluting is not an alternative when running an operation, Colombo Courtyard chose the next best option - to be CarbonNeutral®.
This process begins in-house, where emissions are cut considerably with the use of inverter power saving A/C’s and LED lights that reduce electricity consumption, with solar panels also being used to provide as much clean energy as possible. A rainwater collection system is also present, while water is provided in glass bottles at all outlets and rooms, as opposed to plastic - to reduce disposing of the latter.
The emissions that cannot be stopped internally and indirectly - such as pollution from all transport-related activities and from heat and gas emissions emitted from equipment owned and used internally - are calculated by the Carbon Consulting Company (CCC). At the end of each year, CCC conducts a Carbon Footprint Assessment, where they calculate Colombo Courtyard’s carbon emission and, using this information, buy carbon credits to match the amount. These carbon credits are then used to sponsor an activity that will help produce clean energy and air, that in turn will neutralize the emissions produced by Colombo Courtyard. These sponsored projects not only produce clean energy, but provide job opportunities to the population surrounding it.
After calculating the past year’s carbon footprint, it was found that emissions from Colombo Courtyard had reduced by 60 tonnes from most emissions sources, but mainly from company owned vehicles and employee commuting. “Colombo Courtyard is proud to be certified CarbonNeutral® for its 3rd year,” said Managing Director, Arun Thapar. “It’s something we take very seriously and the reduction in our carbon emission shows that we are moving in the right direction. As a environmentally conscious Hotel that continues to offer premium services to our guests, we show that profitable business activities can be achieved while not harming the environment. As a company and an individual, we urge others to follow in our footsteps, and take the necessary action to continuing growing, but to do so in a way that our children can benefit from our labour.”
Mr. Thapar’s words ring true, with the sudden showers experienced in May giving substance to all the hype built around Climate Change. Sanith De S Wijeyeratne, CEO of Carbon Consulting Company remarked, "I’m greatly encouraged that Colombo Courtyard has reinstated their commitment towards sustainability. As a hotel that takes the lead by implementing energy saving initiatives and using upcycled materials, it makes them stand out from their competitors as a sustainable hotelier. It is heartening to see the growth in popularity of sustainable tourism. Given that 2016 is already lining up to be one of the hottest years on record, I hope to see more organizations in the hospitality/tourism sector take the lead and focus their efforts to become environmentally friendly, as there is a strong business case for it and it makes a significant impact as we fight the effects of climate change in our region."
The Carbon Credits purchased by Colombo Courtyard this year will sponsor the Ratnapura and Kandy Small Hydro Power Project, and also the Theni Wind Power Project in India.
For more, visit http://www.colombocourtyard.com/sustainability/carbon-footprint.html or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/colombocourtyard/.