IHG set challenging environmental targets to 2017

Richard Solomons at IHG

Richard Solomons at IHG

At a September meeting, IHG plc. (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, announced a series of challenging new Corporate Responsibility (CR) targets for 2013-2017.

Presenting to assembled media, George Turner Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Company Secretary showcased the impressive achievements to date and laid out the company’s aims for the coming years, saying, “Responsible Business is in our DNA.”

The new targets will continue to focus on driving impact through IHG’s three core CR programmes; IHG Green Engage, IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme and IHG Academy. It will also see IHG track and report on supply chain diversity and integrate CR criteria into the selection and evaluation process for all preferred suppliers.

Summarising their achievements to 2013 Turner highlighted that the company had exceeded their 2010-2012 energy reduction target of between 6%-10%, achieving an 11.7% reduction across their owned and managed estate, enrolled 50% of their estate onto the Green Engage Programme and launched a new carbon calculator which offered comparative benchmarking.

The company had also exceeded their IHG Academy targets, setting up 157 Academy programmes to help train young people in hospitality skills. For their work in this area they were awarded the Business in the Community Work Inspiration Impact Award in 2013.

The company’s Shelter in a Storm programme helps its hotels to support their guests, colleagues and local communities in times of disaster with financial support, vital supplies and accommodation. In 2012 they raised $545,000, supported ten disasters across six countries and launched an online donation request program.

IHG Green Engage

IHG Green Engage

 

Building on this strong foundation, IHG has set itself some challenging targets for the next four years.

They include:

  • Reducing their carbon footprint per occupied room by 12%
  • Reducing water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas by 12%
  • Providing skills and improved employability to 20,000 local people via IHG Academy
  • Contributing a total of $10M to communities through monetary donations and in-kind support, including the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme

Embracing the challenge, Kate Gibson, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility said, “Our aim is to drive positive impact within the industry. With Green Engage we minimise our impact on the environment whilst balancing our responsibilities to guests, owners, managers and the top line. We want to make CR a differentiator for IHG.”

And she pointed out that the targets could represent big savings for their properties. “An average hotel will spend half a million dollars on energy. By adopting Green Engage they could easily see a $90,000 saving,” she said.

The Green Engage online toolkit enables IHG hotels to benchmark and compare their performance with similar sized hotels in the same climate zone. It offers over 300 green solutions to environmental issues.

Commenting on the targets Richard Solomons, Chief Executive of IHG said, “Being a Responsible Business is part of IHG’s DNA. It is at the heart of everything we do. Our three flagship Corporate Responsibility initiatives continue to go from strength to strength. We are very proud of what we've achieved so far, but there is always more to be done. These targets are a clear signal of our commitment to doing business responsibly and to creating shared value for IHG, our owners, the environment and the local community.”

 

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