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Corporate Responsibility Report

Energy

Illustration of man standing next to a solar panel holding a report

Energy usage in hotels makes up most of our carbon footprint and is the second largest cost to our hotels after people. This makes energy a key focus for the sustainability of our business and the environment.

Since we launched IHG Green Engage in 2009 we have been on a journey to improve our reporting and reduce our energy consumption. With over 2,600 hotels using IHG Green Engage, almost 500 of them automatically feeding us data on energy usage, we are now helping more of our hotels track progress as they strive to become more energy efficient.

With almost 100% of our owned and managed hotels signed up to IHG Green Engage, we are able to show we achieved a 11.7% reduction in energy consumption per available room night between 2009 and 2012.

Energy consumption in 2013 for owned, leased and managed estate

Bar chart for the total energy use in 2013, illustrating values Fuel 1,623,903MWh, Electricity 2,438,034MWh, Heat 182,026MWh, Steam 117,314MWh, Cooling 120,839MWh
Energy type MWh
Fuel* 1,623,903
Electricity 2,438,034
Heat 182,026
Steam 117,314
Cooling 120,839

Our hotels

IHG Green Engage gives our hotels recommendations on a range of the most appropriate energy-saving techniques and technologies depending on location, climate zone and whether or not the hotel is new. This allows hotels to benchmark against similar hotels in the same climate zone, helping them to identify which strategies could produce most savings.

Electricity consumption is one of the most costly aspects of hotel management from both a financial and environmental standpoint. With careful design, we know it is possible to reduce consumption without diminishing the well-being of guests and staff. This includes using measures such as efficient lighting design, energy-saving products, on-site power generation and effective energy controls and management.

We are also looking at installing more master switches in guest rooms. With potential savings of up to 25% in energy use, the system recognises when a room is occupied or unoccupied, and saves energy during the time guests are not in their rooms.

IHG Green Solutions help cut impacts and costs – a case study

Three years since signing up to IHG Green Engage, Holiday Inn Salisbury Stonehenge is using 10% less water, 15% less gas and 7% less electricity year on year, representing a financial saving of over £12,500 annually. That's the result of implementing measures suggested by IHG Green Engage, our environmental management tool, such as switching off lighting on empty floors during low occupancy and motion sensors in some parts of the hotel.

The hotel's achievements show that making IHG Green Engage part of its business plan benefits both the environment and the business. Recycling waste from guest rooms is a good example. Providing each floor with its own set of recycling bins enables the hotel's housekeeping team to separate waste streams as they go along, rather than making repeat trips to a separate recycling area. This keeps the daily round moving along as quickly and smoothly as it used to before recycling was introduced – proof that simple, affordable activities that are easy to implement can make a difference.

By using IHG Green Engage and through their commitment to the environment, Holiday Inn Salisbury Stonehenge recently won a Green Tourism Award. In turn, their green credentials are helping the hotel win business as more and more corporate clients ask for evidence of their green credentials.

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Our offices

We are also putting considerable efforts into making our offices around the world more energy efficient.

Our Global IHG headquarters at Denham, United Kingdom was designed with sustainability in mind. Our goal was to enhance the wellbeing of our employees and set a positive example for our hotels. Some of the features of the building include energy-saving measures such as energy-efficient lighting, and solar panels in the car park. We also launched a Green Team at Denham to get our people involved in reducing the environmental impacts of our corporate office. Members of the team act as green ambassadors to help raise awareness of CR and our key programmes at IHG.

Read more about our Denham office PDF (4.67Mb)

Energy efficient measures introduced to our US headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia include LEDs and occupancy sensors to replace existing lighting, and installing energy efficient appliances and low energy CRT monitors. These resulted in an Energy Star rating of 81. Other improvements include green cleaning and mixed recycling programmes, environmental and energy saving retrofits to building systems, and promoting alternative ways of commuting to work.

Our data and contact centres

IHG manages several data centres, 12 contact centres and all of the IT systems that enable guests to book hotel rooms in any of our 4,600 branded hotels.

Since 2008 our Enterprise Technology team has been simplifying access to all of IHG's global distribution systems, online booking platforms, reporting applications and other management tools. At the same time, we are making important changes in our data and contact centres by getting our supply chain to purchase energy-efficient equipment, and implementing Internet-based voice and data networks across the enterprise. Our goal is to reduce the number of IT servers by 80%.

25%

Energy is the second largest cost in our hotels, after people. IHG Green Engage can help our hotels be up to 25% more energy efficient – that's an average saving of approximately $90,000 USD per year.

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