Corporate Responsibility Report
Our carbon footprint
In 2013 we worked for a second consecutive year with carbon footprint specialists Best Foot Forward to give us an up-to-date picture of IHG’s carbon footprint, using data gathered from 1,157 hotels worldwide. Known as the experts’ expert, Best Foot Forward is recognised as a global authority on sustainability and measures footprints for some of the world’s best known companies.
Following the introduction of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) standard across the industry in 2012, which we took a lead role in helping to develop, we launched a carbon calculator in IHG Green Engage. As well as strengthening our efforts to improve the quantity and quality of data gathered by hotels using IHG Green Engage, the calculator enables hotels to minimise their impact on the environment by tracking, managing and reducing carbon.
The success of IHG Green Engage in helping our hotels reduce energy use and their carbon footprint is demonstrated in our performance. The results for our owned and managed estate, where our hotels have been using IHG Green Engage for over three years, show a 9.5% reduction in carbon footprint per occupied room between 2010 and 2012.
Our new target is to reduce our carbon footprint per occupied room across our global estate by 12% between 2013 and 2017, on a 2012 baseline. From now on, we will report our carbon footprint using this metric, where we have already achieved a reduction of almost 12% between 2010 and 2012.
Over the same period our global footprint increased by 118,000CO2e, or roughly 3%. This compares favourably with the 3.7% increase in number of hotels or 4.5% increase in occupied rooms during that time.
Consistently and accurately tracking our performance
As part of this year’s exercise we restated our 2010-2011 carbon footprint. This compensates for changes in the calculation methodology and in our business, such as the acquisition of new hotels. Restating our emissions from previous years allows us to consistently track changes over time. It also puts us in a good position to start reporting on our new five year target from 2013 onwards.
Over half of our hotels now use IHG Green Engage and as more of our hotels participate in the programme, we gain access to more data and develop greater accuracy of our carbon footprint year on year. At the same time we are turning our attention to focusing on the quality of use of IHG Green Engage in our hotels. For example, in 2013 we have focused on helping our hotels to use IHG Green Engage to complete Green Solutions. This will enable us to make greater inroads in helping hotels to provide even better information and implement solutions that will lead to further reductions. To date our estate has completed over 39,000 Green Solutions.
We will continue to focus on Scope 1 and 2 emissions as these are the areas where we can have the most influence with our hotels. Scope 1 covers emissions from sources that are owned or directly controlled by the hotel, such as natural gas for heating or diesel for a guest bus. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions and include those from purchased electricity, steam and heat with emissions occurring at the facility where they are generated.
IHG's total carbon footprint
Total footprint performance*
Direct and indirect emissions in our owned and managed estate for 2012
Direct and indirect emissions in our franchised estate for 2012
Direct and indirect emissions explained
|Emissions produced from|
|Direct (Scope 1)||gases
diesel and petrol
|Energy indirect (Scope 2)||purchased electricity
hot and chilled water
Calculating carbon through IHG Green Engage
Thanks to the carbon calculator in IHG Green Engage our hotels are able to report on the carbon footprint of a night's stay or on a meeting held by a client, giving us a more accurate picture of the progress we are making to reduce our carbon footprint. It also provides carbon insight to the growing number of guests and corporate clients who want to know the carbon efficiency of our hotels.
The calculator is based on the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), a standardised approach to measuring carbon footprints in our industry. We took a lead role in developing the standard, working with the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and other leading hotel companies.
Our global footprint per occupied room is 30kgCO2e.