15 February 2021

Building a brighter future: An open letter from our CEO

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer

Now, perhaps more than ever, it’s really important that we think about how our actions affect others and the world around us. I am inspired on a daily basis by stories of people caring for loved ones, helping those in need and striving to do the right thing in their communities and beyond in the face of the global pandemic. 

I believe that behaving this way is not just the duty of individuals, but it should also be ingrained into the fabric of how all businesses operate. At IHG Hotels & Resorts, I know that our colleagues, guests, hotel owners, suppliers and investors feel the same way. They want to see us and other organisations drive change and to think about how we define success in the context of social and environmental responsibilities, alongside growth and profitability. Whether it’s how organisations stand up for diversity, equity & inclusion, and human rights, contribute towards positive social and economic change, or make better environmental choices – those actions matter.  

The response to Covid-19 from organisations around the world has shown what can be achieved when the mind is focused on using expertise, resources and compassion for the greater good – from record-breaking vaccine developments and food banks for millions, to temporary hospitals and accommodation for frontline workers and the homeless, the list goes on. I’m proud of how IHG and others in hospitality have contributed so meaningfully to some of those efforts, even in such incredibly difficult times for our industry. 

As a company, we’ve given great thought to how we can retain that proactive force for good on a far wider scale in our everyday business, and strengthen our commitment to make sure we do what’s right, not just what’s needed. It’s why I’m so proud to see us launch Journey to Tomorrow, our new set of ambitions to drive change for our people, communities and planet over the next decade. 

We’ve already made important achievements in these areas over many years, but this is a longer-term roadmap, which will challenge us to deliver on new ambitions, including how we continue to promote wellbeing in the workplace, champion an inclusive culture, and advance human rights. In our communities, we will seize opportunities to improve millions of lives, whether through supporting disaster relief efforts, tackling food poverty, or by providing skills training that drives social and economic change. And for our planet, we will work with every one of our hotels to reduce carbon emissions in line with climate science, eliminate single-use items or move to reusable/recyclable alternatives, reduce food waste, and collaborate locally to reduce water stress in high-risk areas. 

This is what our purpose of True Hospitality for Good means to us, and we can see that our guests feel the same. A recent IHG survey showed more than 80% of consumers think it’s important to choose a hotel brand that operates in the right way, and almost 60% care more now about doing their bit for local communities and the planet while travelling than they did 10 years ago. We care as much about operating thoughtfully and growing sustainably, as we do about the guest experience in our hotels. That’s why our Journey to Tomorrow plan ties in closely to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which offers a blueprint to organisations globally to contribute toward a better and more sustainable future for us all by 2030.  

We want every IHG stakeholder – our guests, colleagues, owners, partners, investors, communities – to see that we’re on a journey to be successful in every sense of the word. I believe how we grow as a company, and work to be a greater force for good, are inextricably linked. So, we are empowering our colleagues, and working with our hotel owners and industry to help shape the future of responsible travel. It’s never been more crucial that we do. 






Download Keith's open letter


For further information please contact:

Tieran Bhuhi
+44 (0) 7976 178 485

About IHG®

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


IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 6,000 hotels and 890,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with approximately 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG Rewards, 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. Approximately 400,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.


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