Corporate Responsibility 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 2,500 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 use in kWh for 2009–2012 per available room
Our energy data can now be calculated using a much larger sample of hotels using IHG Green Engage which enables far more accurate account of our energy use. For the purpose of full disclosure, in calculating our final energy performance we removed data from a small number of hotels within the sample which had extreme data outliers that were significantly affecting the total energy per room figures. Following the removal of this data we are required to restate our performance between 2009 and 2012 as shown in the above graph.
IHG Green Engage gives us a more accurate picture of energy use across the Group but we still have some way to go. For instance, we are still learning how the energy-saving technologies and techniques we recommend to our hotels can be best used to achieve greater energy efficiency.
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.
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.
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%.
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.