ITP members in World Water Week

Hotels monitor their energy and water use.

Hotels monitor their energy and water use.

The 24th annual World Water Week has been taking place in Stockholm this week and ITP members have been doing their bit to reduce their environmental impacts.

Global leaders have gathered in Stockholm and are urging energy and water communities to work together to battle some of our global challenges; providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population.

The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water” and although these may seem like disparate issues, water and energy are in fact interdependent. Energy is required for pumping, storing, transporting and treating water; whilst water is needed in the production of almost all forms of energy. An increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other. In water stressed areas the production of energy will be affected, and during power outs, water treatment cannot take place.

The two resources are a key feature of sustainable development and should therefore be a part of global decision-making. Members of the International Tourism Partnership, a collection of global hotel companies who are at the cutting edge of development opportunities around the world, take their own responsibilities towards the use of energy and water very seriously.

Addressing the opening session of World Water Week, Executive Director of Stockholm International Water Institute Torgny Holmgren said, “The challenges are immense. With the global demand for water projected to grow by 55 per cent between 2000 and 2050 and electricity demand expected to increase by 50 per cent in the next two decades, there is an urgent need for a closer relationship between the energy and water communities if we are to provide solutions for all peoples to prosper.”

Professor John Briscoe, 2014 Laureate of Stockholm Water Prize, spoke about water as a platform for growth, both of other sectors and society as a whole, and said that “developing countries face big challenges. They have yet to mobilise those resources.” He added that there is “no eternal solution [to the water crisis], neither here nor there. Instead, there is a cycle of challenges and responses.”

In over 100 seminars, workshops and events spread throughout the week, delegates have been discussing ongoing and future work and collaboration between the energy and water communities.

Recognising their key role in ensuring the security of energy and water around the world, ITP’s members in collaboration with WTTC developed the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) the globally recognised tool for measuring and reporting carbon footprint in hotels, with a view to reducing energy use. Over 21,000 hotels around the world now use the HCMI to help reduce their energy use and carbon footprints.

Similarly, ITP produced the Water Know How Guide as a free resource to help hoteliers, and a Water Risk Assessment Report highlighting issues, particularly in the key water stressed areas of China, Brazil, India and Dubai.

Meanwhile, ITP members around the world have been doing their bit to highlight the issues of water and energy, as well as working hard to reduce their own consumption of energy and water.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, is marking World Water Week with a range of announcements.

The company has been working hard in their sustainability efforts over recent years, aiming towards their 2017 targets. This week they reported:

- Good progress against 2013-2017 water reduction targets

IHG are on-track to achieve their 2013-2017 target of reducing water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas by 12%, with a 4.6% reduction in 2013.

- IHG Green Engage system boosts water conservation efforts in California, US

The company’s efforts to address the unprecedented drought conditions in California have proved highly successful, with 232 IHG Green Engage Water Conservation Kits sent to IHG hotels in the state. The kits outline how hotels can actively participate in conserving water, with tips on which of the 28 water-related IHG Green Engage ‘Green Solutions’ to implement.

- New partnership with carbon-neutral bottled water makers, Belu

The partnership with UK-social enterprise, Belu, which invests all of its profits in ending water poverty, sees Belu provide bottled water for IHG’s UK hotels, as well as across its domestic corporate offices.

Paul Snyder, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at IHG commented: “Being a Responsible Business is at the heart of everything IHG does, and water conservation is a critical part of the progress we’re making across our business in reducing the impact we have on the environment.

“With over 200 Green Solutions in our IHG Green Engage system overall, we work very closely with our hotels and owners to make an impact not just around saving water, but also across energy, carbon and waste.

“World Water Week is a great reminder for us that through local partnerships and the global results we continue to achieve through our IHG Green Engage system, caring for the environment can continue to go hand in hand with IHG’s purpose of creating Great Hotels Guests Love.”

Many other ITP members including Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt and Carlson Rezidor are also working hard to reduce their environmental impacts, particularly around water and energy.

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