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The report details the progress the company is making towards its 2017 environmental targets, as well as its responsible business actions, community oriented programmes and its first year of supporting organisations through the IHG Foundation.
IHG is a founding member of the International Tourism Partnership and a key player in its working groups and industry leading programmes, and as such is celebrating 25 years as a proud member of ITP.
Launching the report IHG Chairman Patrick Cescau said, “In 2015 world leaders adopted the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the Sustainable Development Goals. At IHG, we believe that businesses have an important role to play, and we are helping to bring positive change through our corporate responsibility programmes and our ability to create jobs as we grow globally.
“The SDGs are wide ranging and we have identified the seven where we believe that, in partnership with our owners, colleagues and wider stakeholder community, IHG can make the greatest impact.”
The SDGs identified by IHG are Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), Goal 10 (reduced inequalities), Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production), Goal 13 (climate action) and Goal 17 (partnerships for the goals). In addition IHG is a supporter of the UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Richard Solomons IHG CEO said, “We remain committed to growing our business in a responsible way. We understand the impacts our hotels have on the environment and take steps to manage this. We continued to reduce carbon and water use per occupied room in 2016, but we know there is still more that can be done. In partnership with our hotels, and the IHG Owners Association, we will continue this work in 2017.
“In 2016, we delivered more key achievements and milestones, both through our corporate responsibility programmes and in the support and education we provide to colleagues.
“We place a high importance on training and development and I am delighted that more than 3,800 hotels are now using our online learning platform, IHG Frontline, to build knowledge and service skills. During the year, we also improved the employment prospects of almost 12,000 local people in 75 countries around the world through the IHG Academy.
“We continued to embed a culture of responsible business across the organisation, driving awareness of human rights and modern slavery, and delivering training to help ensure colleagues can identify any early warning signs.”
Highlights from the report include:
The company acknowledges there is still some progress to be made to achieve their targets by year end 2017. The report notes, “We have seen significant reductions in carbon and water use per occupied room in our managed hotels. However, our franchised hotels continue to present some challenges and we are developing several strategies for our franchised operations.”
However they are already looking ahead to their future targets and have undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement to produce a materiality matrix which identifies their shared priorities. In addition they continue to build on their partnership working with a range of organisations including ITP on the understanding that collaboration helps drive greater impacts faster.
The report includes much more detail on the company’s priorities for 2017 both environmental and community focused, as well as their disaster relief programme and beneficiaries of the IHG Foundation which includes the Youth Career Initiative. It also details their work to better understand risk in their supply chain, and their identified gender imbalances at higher levels of the company, their ongoing work to address this and to maintain IHG as a responsible business for employees.