Sustainable tourism at RAAS Hotels

Ecological sustainability is a keystone principle at RAAS. It’s broadly defined as a concept where a person or entity’s actions produce environmental, social and economic benefit without irreversibly limiting the regeneration of the resources consumed.

RAAS strives to keep its carbon footprint low through a slew of measures.

  • RAAS uses locally available construction material in the design and building of its hotels. E.g.: 70 percent of the material used and labour employed to build RAAS Jodhpur came from within a 30km radius of the property.
  • Water is heated using solar power, which reduces use of carbon-based energy.
  • Air-conditioning is regulated using a system that has a Platinum LEED rating; this results in lesser carbon-based energy being used in our cooling systems.
  • Each hotel has its own herb and vegetable garden that yields seasonal produce. What’s not grown by the hotel – legumes, fruits and grain – comes from local sources. In 2020, RAAS also began growing its own organic wheat and pulses. Up to 70 percent of the produce used in RAAS’ kitchens come from organic sources.
private dining

The rational use of water is another key focus.

  • Water consumption across RAAS properties has been reduced by around 85 percent through devices such as aerators that are fitted on to taps at all points of usage across the property. Guest bathrooms, public restrooms, staff washrooms and kitchens.
  • Grey water is recycled for use in gardens and public areas.

  • Rainwater is harvested to reduce dependence on public resources.

RAAS is committed to reducing, and avoiding where possible, the use of plastic in all spheres of operation.

  • In 2016 RAAS removed single-use plastic from all its properties and was the first hospitality brand in Rajasthan to do so. (For instance, glass bottles replaced plastic across all properties.) This was a critical move to reduce plastic waste from ending up in landfills.
  • RAAS also works with its vendors and suppliers to help them reduce single-use plastic waste in their operations.

Since inception RAAS has endeavoured to invest in the communities we exist in.

  • A predominant part of our workforce is local to the regions we’re in. For instance, over 65 percent of hotel employees at RAAS Devigarh are recruited from villages within a 5km radius.
  • Through staff salaries and spends with local businesses, RAAS Hotels seeds tourism money directly back into local economies.
  • Apart from this RAAS also actively engages with local communities and partners on projects that are important to them.

RAAS Jodhpur

RAAS Jodhpur took on the job of restoring and rejuvenating the 18th century Toorji Ka Jhalra stepwell in Jodhpur. It was a laborious process that took three years to complete. Each original Jodhpur sandstone slab (they form the lining and the steps of the stepwell) had to be removed and cleaned by hand. Today, the water body is a popular attraction and has contributed to the area’s tourism economy as well. Residents who live on the periphery have opened rooftop cafes and B&Bs with views of the well. The steps are also used as a cultural events venue, and local women come here to pray during the colourful festival of Gangaur. By the efforts of RAAS, brands like Good Earth, Forest Essentials and Andraab have set up shop in the vicinity, which has helped turn the area into a lifestyle destination.

RAAS Devigarh

From painting classrooms to building clean toilets and ensuring potable drinking water, RAAS’ charitable arm, Virasat Foundation, renovates and refurbishes government-run schools in the Delwara area, around RAAS Devigarh. RAAS has also helped clean and restore the Indira Kund, a stepwell that’s a short distance from the property. The well, which took about eight months to rejuvenate, is shared with the village of Delwara. Farmers use the water from the well to irrigate their lands.

RAAS Chhatrasagar

A significant portion of RAAS Chhatrasagar’s 1,500 acres was once used for agriculture. In 2003, the owners persuaded farmers to give up the practice and nature was allowed to take its course. Over the years, indigenous species of trees such as ber, babul, sangria and khejri, and grasses and shrubs that bovids are partial to, have sprouted and covered the land. RAAS’ team of naturalists track the health of the flora and use benign forms of intervention when needed. They ensure trespassers don’t disturb the animals or forage in the woods. Neelgai, wild boar, jackals, foxes, mongooses, and porcupine are commonly found in the reserve. Also, over 250 bird species have been recorded in the region. Pelicans, snipes, golden orioles, green-winged teals and the endangered great Indian bustard, to name a few. RAAS also maintains the reservoir which irrigates the farm lands in the surrounding region. An heirloom variety of cotton and red chilli are the most common crops here.