Corporate Responsibility Report
Our business model is based on partnership, so working closely with key stakeholders comes naturally to us.
Our stakeholders play a key role in helping us identify and tackle our priorities and engaging with them also helps us to champion and protect IHG's trusted reputation and deliver against public affairs priorities. They provide us with opportunities to learn about emerging issues, challenges and opportunities and work with us to develop new solutions to some of our biggest challenges. Their input helps us shape our strategy and decide which CR activities and investments to prioritise.
Our stakeholders are groups or individuals who are interested in or are affected by our operations. They include guests and corporate clients, hotel owners and franchise holders, local communities, employees, shareholders, suppliers, academic institutions, non-government organisations, governments and industry-specific institutions. We engage with them through social media, forums, meetings, individual interviews and surveys.
We conducted a mapping exercise to identify our key internal and external stakeholders, the CR issues that are most important to them, and the potential impact of these on our business and on local communities.
Key stakeholder groups
- Guests & corporate clients
- Owners & franchise holders
- Local communities
- Academic institutions
- Industry specific stakeholders
- Media and press.
We continue to work with the best and brightest minds in the academic world. We co-sponsored Cornell University to undertake a study entitled ‘Developing a Sustainability Measurement Framework for Hotels: Toward an Industry-wide Reporting Structure’, which proposed a framework for the development of a standard carbon footprint.
As a member of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), we work with our industry peers to share knowledge and resources, develop policy and implement programmes that have a positive social, economic and environmental impact. Together we address issues that affect the industry as a whole. In 2011 and 2012 we took a lead role in the ITP/WTTC working group, called the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). We agreed a common carbon metric for the industry and were able to feed in the results of our work with Cornell.
The new methodology was launched in June 2012. The carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings will now be able to be calculated and communicated in a consistent and transparent way. Read our press release to find out more.
To support the expansion of our community programmes we work with expert partners. On the IHG Academy, we worked with Business in the Community (BiTC) to help us launch our IHG Academy in Newham, East London, UK. As part of the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme, we partner with CARE to help provide strategic advice and guidance to our hotels in times of disaster.
Stakeholder engagement process
We have a formal process for engaging with our key stakeholders through meetings, one-to-one interviews and surveys. Their feedback influences the development of our CR strategy.
Our stakeholders tell us they are concerned about a range of issues from climate change, green cost savings and carbon regulation to skills shortages, youth unemployment and community resilience in times of natural disasters. We used their feedback to assess the issues that have the most impact on our stakeholders and IHG, identifying the following areas as critical to our business:
- climate change
- energy efficiency
- carbon costs/opportunities
- water efficiency
- youth unemployment
- availability of skilled staff
- disaster relief and local community resilience.
For more information on our key priorities, please see our Key issues section.
Stakeholders also give us invaluable feedback on our current CR programme and communications. As a direct result of what they told us, we are improving our CR communications and targeting them to address our different stakeholder groups in a way that suits them. Our community strategy was informed by stakeholder feedback as was the development of IHG Green Engage version 2.0.
In 2013 we continued our commitment to look at ways of further formalising our stakeholder engagement process and looked for more opportunities to share learning on CR through, for example, Green days at our corporate offices, an investor breakfast, a background briefing session with key media contacts and various conferences. We succeeded in increasing stakeholder engagement by continuing to update our CR report, enhancing our ‘IHG Planet CR’ Facebook page and continuing to share best practices and case studies with our hotel operators through a variety of means to encourage and enable hotels to do more to support our CR efforts. In 2014 we will carry on our work to actively engage with our stakeholders. Read Our Stakeholder Channels section to find out more.
CARE fights poverty and injustice in over 86 countries and helps people find routes out of poverty. 94 pence in every pound goes towards their poverty fighting programmes. (Source: CARE)