Silver award: ITC Grand Chola
You know that ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, India, is serious about its sustainable practices when the main thing it boasts about is the fact that zero waste water goes into the sewers. They use their own sewage retreatment plant, which brings the water back to an almost potable state, but is then recycled into the building for horticulture, cooling towers and toilet flushing. As part of the ITC Hotel chain, one of the largest in India, the company as a whole promotes its responsible luxury above everything else. It isn't tucked away on the back page of its website, like many multinational hotel chains, but is there for all to see. And yet, we like the fact that Grand Chola chooses to shout about its sewage system first, rather than its wind farm that provides the entire hotel's electricity, or the solar panels that power 25% of hot water or the mandatory environmental training for staff. Oh, and then there's the tiny detail of it being the largest LEED Platinum Luxury hotel in the world. With water issues being crucial to India, they rightfully shout about that first and foremost. Because being sustainable is often about getting down and dirty, being open and honest, and Grand Chola is a leader in that respect.