The case documents the ambitious and revolutionary journey that ITC Hotels undertook to create, execute, and implement the novel concept of ‘Responsible Luxury’. ITC’s hotel division successfully implemented several structure and process-oriented drivers of sustainability by leveraging its dominant position among India’s luxury hotels, financial might and overall group commitment to sustainability. These design restructuring efforts resulted in eight of ITC’s luxury hotels being awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum ratings, making the ITC Hotel chain the ’greenest luxury hotel chain in the world’. The case provides an overview of the process that ITC Hotels adopted for designing luxury responsibly. It also describes the various challenges and issues that contributed to the management’s decision to retrofit eight existing properties and launch ITC Gardenia along LEED guidelines to attain Platinum ratings.
The case is set against the backdrop of a meeting at which Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited , and his top management team are discussing the possibility of retrofitting eight of ITC’s existing luxury hotels along LEED Platinum rating parameters. In order to make ITC Hotels the world’s greenest luxury hotel chain, they know that not only will they have to design their future properties along LEED guidelines to attain Platinum ratings, but will also have to remodel the structural design, systems and processes at their other luxury brand hotels in India. Since the 1980s, ITC Hotels had tailored their service and product offerings around environmental concerns such as water recycling, energy conservation and waste management. However, these efforts had to be significantly scaled up to meet the strict standards of LEED. This scale-up involved significant costs, operational redesign and revamping of the organizational culture. Given these challenges, Anand and his team are faced with the question: Should they or should they not retrofit the existing properties?
*Identify critical components in an organization's strategic and operational frameworks that facilitate development of systems and structural designs that address environmental concerns, are customer-oriented and profitable. *Understand how to develop capabilities to facilitate sustainable operations in the luxury hotels industry. *Develop a viable and sustainable business that considers the challenges and risks posed by the environment, government policies and the industry in which it operates