Corporate Responsibility Report
With hotels and offices in almost 100 countries and territories, we take our commitment to operating responsibly in local communities very seriously. For us that means being a responsible and active member of the communities where we operate and looking for opportunities to make a positive difference to those communities and the people who live and work in them.
The aim of our Community strategy is to maximise our positive contribution to society by creating shared value in our communities and with our business partners. We work to achieve that through programmes that are most aligned with our business and where we believe we can have the greatest impact:
- Creating local economic opportunity through our IHG Academy – offering education and skills training to local people in order to improve their employment prospects in the hotel sector
- Providing effective disaster relief through the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme – supporting people in the areas around our hotels and corporate offices, including our employees, who are affected when natural and man-made disasters strike
In 2013 we set external targets for each of our programmes. Our target for the IHG Academy is to provide skills and improved employability to 20,000 people from 2013-2017 by getting more of our hotels to run IHG Academy programmes, at the same time improving quality of use and increasing participant numbers.
The target we set for Community contribution is a total of $10 million through monetary donations and in-kind support, including funds deployed through the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme from 2013-2017.
This will come from cash donations made by IHG offices, employees and IHG Rewards Club members as well as donations in-kind made by IHG and its hotels. We also want to continue increasing employee engagement of the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme and get more colleagues involved in fundraising events for the IHG Shelter Fund.
Creating local economic opportunity through the IHG Academy
Our size and global market presence means we have a great opportunity to improve the lives of local people. As such, our Community Strategy outlines how we seek to create local economic opportunity through skills development and the creation of employment opportunities.
We do this through the IHG Academy. A core pillar of our CR strategy, the IHG Academy provides local people with opportunities to develop their skills and improve their employment prospects in the hospitality sector. Many go on to work in one of our hotels. In turn, the programme provides us with a pool of skilled and motivated people, equipped to provide a great experience for our guests. It also helps us build sustainable communities around our hotels worldwide and in the industry at large.
On top of that, the IHG Academy gives our existing employees a chance to share their skills and knowledge with local people, and make a difference.
In 2013, we expanded the IHG Academy. We now have over 300 programmes in 50 countries around the world.
Focusing on creating local economic opportunity puts us at the leading edge in our sector, giving us a competitive advantage and resonating with key external stakeholders, such as corporate clients.
We also work with other companies and government bodies to identify and address workforce issues such as working conditions, skills shortages and infrastructure development in the countries where we have a substantial presence, particularly in developing countries. To ensure we act responsibly and to the highest ethics we have put in place policies for Human rights and Supporting our Communities.
Disaster relief through the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme
As well as being places to celebrate, hotels provide opportunities for employment and have an economic impact on local communities. When disasters strike, they also play a vital role by providing shelter in a storm.
The IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme builds on our long history of taking action to help local communities in times of need, providing a more consistent response across our hotels and corporate offices. Our global partnership with CARE enables us to draw on their deep expertise in disaster relief, making sure we respond quickly and effectively.
A key element of our disaster response is the IHG Shelter Fund, which is built up by fundraising activities in our hotels and corporate offices throughout the year. As a result, we are able to respond as soon as disaster strikes, providing vital assistance right away (instead of waiting to raise funds after the event). We have put in place simple and effective donation channels for the IHG Shelter Fund to leverage our global scale and employee and guest base. In 2013, $1.2 million was raised for the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme and the Fund was put into action to support 15 disasters in 8 countries. At the time of writing we have responded to two disasters in 2014.
In 2012, we launched guidance for our hotels to help them support their guests, employees and the local community when disaster affects their hotel and the surrounding area. We also launched the www.ihgshelterinastorm.com website, which enables online donations, highlights case studies of disasters the IHG Shelter In a Storm Programme has supported and provides our hotels and colleagues with comprehensive fundraising toolkits. In 2013 we continued to update the website to better capture fundraising activities that are taking place globally.
Over and above our corporate efforts, IHG hotels are involved with their communities in their own right through cash grants, in-kind donations and volunteering programmes. We track this grassroots level activity as part of an annual survey of our hotels. We use this survey to gather and share best practice throughout the Group, communicate more effectively with our guests and make better-informed decisions about community support and investment.