Our response to environmental legislation reflects our collaborative approach to CR. We don't just respond to and anticipate legislation – we also work with government bodies to help refine any proposed regulation and make it fit for our industry.
At the very minimum we comply with legal requirements wherever we operate. Over and above that, our systems and programmes make sure we stay one step ahead of regulatory demands. IHG Green Engage, our online environmental system, plays a key role in helping hotel owners manage current regulatory performance and prepare for anticipated regulations.
In 2011 we were able to use IHG Green Engage to comply with the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), a mandatory carbon emissions reporting and pricing scheme. The scheme requires us to monitor energy use and purchase carbon allowances on behalf of our UK hotels, and is designed to encourage a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions. IHG Green Engage helps us to collate and report to the UK Government and ensures an accurate response.
IHG is registered in the Australian Government's Energy Efficiency Opportunities programme (EEO). The EEO helps large electricity-using businesses become more energy efficient, providing tools to identify, evaluate and implement cost-effective energy saving measures. It assesses our hotels by conducting rigorous audits over five-year cycles. This allows us to measure our progress against the most environmentally sustainable commercial building operations in the region. Taking part in the programme is a valuable way of measuring our progress and accessing best practice in making our hotel operations more sustainable.
The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGERS) provides a framework for corporations to assess and report on energy consumption and carbon emissions. We use it to report our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government's department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
The programme enables us to track our achievements in reducing natural resource consumption against national benchmarks. It also improves our access to grant programmes and other Government initiatives that incentivise sustainable building practices.
Read about our approach in Australia in line with regional reporting requirements PDF (0.39MB)
In the United States, many states are moving to address carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Eight Northeastern states have joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's cap-and-trade programme for carbon dioxide. The state of Washington is creating its own greenhouse gas inventory. California has done the same, and is also starting a cap-and-trade programme.
Other countries, notably China, are actively addressing their energy and resource needs and demands. In March 2011, China announced a new five-year energy plan which will focus on tackling environmental problems from carbon emissions to water pollution. The plan for 2011-2015 contains separate targets for energy intensity (16% reduction by 2015) and CO2 emissions per unit GDP (17% reduction by 2015).
In other parts of the world, IHG monitors and, when appropriate, engages in the discussion regarding climate legislation.
These and other complex regulatory matters are overseen by our Public Affairs Council and Global Sustainability Council.
As new legislation emerges, we will need to continue taking steps to make our hotels more energy and cost efficient and to ensure we are meeting legislative requirements.
We are not aware of any significant fines for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
In 2012 IHG Green Engage helped us comply with the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), a mandatory carbon emissions reporting and pricing scheme.