02 March 2018

IHG® unveils new Responsible Business targets

Ambitious new targets build on strong progress in recent years, which includes reducing our carbon footprint and providing skills to thousands of local people.

InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced ambitious new Responsible Business targets to 2020, alongside details of the good progress we delivered against our previous five-year targets. 

Published in our online 2017 Responsible Business Report, our new 2018-2020 targets focus on four areas where we feel we can have the most positive impact: environmental sustainability, community impact, our people and responsible procurement. 

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented: “Many companies have responsible business commitments, but with hotels in local communities all over the world, IHG touches the lives of millions of people. This puts us in a unique position to make a real difference – whether that be doing the right thing for the environment, providing skills and employment to local people, or stepping up to help communities in times of need.

“We are very proud of our achievements against our five-year responsible business targets, which reflect the dedication and support of our people, hotel owners and partners globally. However, we know that there’s always more to do and our new targets are testament to our ongoing commitment to build on our successes and to play an ever more positive role in local communities around the world.” 

Achievements against our 2013-2017 targets

We delivered good results against our 2013-2017 targets. This included progress in a number of areas, such as driving a reduction in carbon and water usage across our hotels globally and providing skills to thousands of people living in the local communities around them. We also gained significant external recognition for our efforts, including being crowned an industry leader for sustainability in the 2017 S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Indices – the most prestigious global benchmarks for corporate economic, environmental and social performance.

2013-2017 target Target achieved Progress
Provide skills and improved employability to 40,000 people via the IHG® Academy.  Yes

Through the IHG® Academy, we continued to improve people’s employability, by partnering with local community organisations and education providers to grow careers in the hospitality industry.

  • Nearly 50,000 people have benefitted from the IHG® Academy since 2013. 
  • In 2017 alone, IHG provided skills to nearly 14,000 IHG® Academy participants. This represented our most successful year to date. 
Reduce carbon footprint per occupied room by 12% Yes
  • Driven by the ongoing success of the IHG Green Engage™ system, our group-wide sustainability programme, we reduced our carbon footprint per occupied room by 15%, including a 27% reduction across our managed hotels. 
Reduce water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas by 12% No
  • Through our IHG Green Engage™ system and water stewardship activities we reduced water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas by 5% from 2013-2017.
  • Although we did not achieve our five-year target of 12%, we drove a 15% reduction in water use across our managed hotels. 
In 2013, we also promised to:
  • Track and report diversity within IHG’s supply chain
  • Integrate corporate responsibility criteria into the selection and evaluation process for all preferred suppliers




  • IHG’s spend with diverse suppliers in 2017 was $66 million, versus $59 million in 2016.
  • All new suppliers are required to sign IHG’s Vendor Code of Conduct as part of the process of becoming a preferred supplier.

Our 2018-2020 Responsible Business targets

Building on our successes, we have worked closely with our owners, suppliers, colleagues and external stakeholders to set 11 new targets that will guide our work over the next three years. These stretching targets focus on four areas where we feel we can make the greatest positive impact – environmental sustainability, community impact, our people, and responsible procurement. They are also designed to support several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

2013-2017 target Target achieved Progress Responsible procurement 
Reduce carbon footprint per occupied room by 6-7% Provide hospitality skills to 30,000-40,000 people through the IHG Academy 

Increase % of diversity among IHG Senior Leaders (in terms of gender & nationality / ethnicity)

Increase % of supplier risk profiles and audits for IHG preferred suppliers 
Launch two water stewardship projects per year  Raise $3 million to support communities through the IHG Foundation1 

Increase % female representation in managed hotel GM and operations roles



Increase ethical supplier awareness across corporate and hotel teams 


About IHG®

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Resort®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.


IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,300 hotels and nearly 800,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with nearly 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.   


InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 375,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.


Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihgplc.com/media and follow us on social media at: www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg and www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

2017 Responsible Business Report

To view IHG’s online 2017 Responsible Business Report, please visit: https://www.ihgplc.com/en/responsible-business 

1 The IHG Foundation is an independent charity registered in England and Wales (no. 1164791) and a 501(c)3 organization in the United States. In China, the IHG Foundation is brought to life through a partnership with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

2 Measured by the number of suppliers completing an additional questionnaire on their green credentials in addition to the Vendor Code of Conduct.