IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), South Asia’s largest hospitality company, today launched an open call for innovators worldwide to bring efficient, climate-smart, cost-effective cooling solutions to India’s hospitality sector.
The TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling Innovation Program in the Indian hospitality sector has been funded by the UK Government. It offers innovators market access and a combined pool of up to $500,000 in grant funding to pilot new solutions, including home-grown Indian solutions that reduce the high energy usage and climate impacts of cooling systems.
“IHCL is committed to creating a positive impact on the environment. The company’s annual renewable energy consumption has increased considerably, with many of our key hotels powered by wind and solar energy sources,” said Gaurav Pokhariyal, Senior Vice President & Global Head Human Resources, IHCL. “Our sustainable cooling partnership with IFC is a win-win move that enables us to reduce operating costs, limit our greenhouse gas emissions and help shape hospitality to meet the needs of tomorrow.”
Cooling currently accounts for about 10 per cent of greenhouse gases and 15 per cent of energy consumption worldwide. In a business-as-usual scenario, energy used for cooling is expected to triple by 2050 globally, while demand could increase five-fold in hot tropical countries like India. Cooling innovation offers one of the most cost-effective ways to meet this challenge, while also tackling climate change.
“As countries emerge from the pandemic, a green, resilient recovery is increasingly critical and remains a strategic pillar of IFC’s continued efforts. IFC has financed over $5.4 billion in green buildings, including almost $1 billion in green hotels. Accelerating climate-smart cooling innovations in India—home to an expanding hotel sector and one of the world’s fastest growing cooling markets—paves the way for job creation, business opportunities for innovative companies like IHCL, and their clients and partners while spurring low-carbon economic growth in the region and beyond,” said Jun Zhang, Country Head – India at IFC.
Applications can be submitted at TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling in the Indian Hospitality Sector through April 30, 2021.
Innovative companies will be selected through a competitive process and then invited for matchmaking with IHCL to discuss piloting their solutions at five of its hotels, which include the internationally renowned Taj brand, with the potential for successful innovations to be scaled across its properties.
IFC and a panel of industry experts provide support during market entry and tech transfer, helping innovators mitigate financial and operational risks and lowering adoption risks for companies like IHCL.
TechEmerge has a proven track record of matching cutting-edge tech companies and start-ups with leading corporations and other organizations in emerging markets. Its programs have generated commercial contracts worth more than USD 1 million, helped innovators to raise tens of millions of dollars in financing and investment, and scaled innovations that are expected to benefit millions of people each year.