Many parts of the world are experiencing freshwater stress and climate change is expected to exacerbate this. Population growth is also a factor: according to the United Nations, two thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions by 2025.

The IHG Green Engage system provides our hotels with a comprehensive guide to water-saving technologies and processes. Typically, over 40% of the water used in a hotel is from showers, toilets, taps and kitchens, but installing low-flow fixtures, such as faucets, toilets and showerheads, reduces water consumption.

In 2015, we formed a partnership with the Water Footprint Network (WFN), one of the world’s leading centres of excellence for water stewardship, to help develop a worldwide water stewardship programme. Building on strong progress made against our 2013-2017 target of reducing water consumption by 12% per occupied room in water-stressed areas, we will further work with WFN to develop a greater understanding of IHG hotels water usage at a local level. We will work with WFN and our hotels, particularly those in extreme water-stressed areas, to apply best practice techniques and behaviours to help reduce our water footprint.

Through our partnership with the International Tourism Partnership we are also collaborating with other industry peers in a working group to develop a common methodology to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent manner across the hotel industry – the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI).

“We applaud IHG for taking the initiative to address water usage across its hotels. A deeper understanding about water context where IHG hotels operate informs the best strategic approaches towards business water sustainability; it is the bedrock of any effective water stewardship programme. IHG’s global scale provides an opportunity to make both a broad and positive impact, as well as to inspire the millions of people and guests that work and stay in its hotels. We look forward to our continued collaboration.”

Ruth Mathews
Executive Director
Water Footprint Network

Water Conservation in California

Water workers sitting outside

Following severe drought in California, in 2014, we sent IHG branded hotels in the state water conservation kits. As the drought continued, in 2014 the State Governor declared a state of emergency, and in 2015, through an Executive Order, he announced the first ever mandatory water reduction target of 25%. Leveraging the IHG Green Engage system, we are helping our hotels conserve their water use by implementing any one of our water based Green Solutions. Additionally, towel and linen reuse cards were sent to all California hotels helping them to comply with new regulations. Since the initiative, six IHG hotels in the state have gone on to complete a bathroom refresh, and collectively are expected to save 2.4m gallons of water annually.

The Holiday Inn Diamond Bar installed 186 water efficient toilets in February 2015. Since then, they have already saved 1.4m gallons of water (16% reduction in water use) and over US$2,000 in associated water costs. The hotel has also received positive feedback from guests on their proactive water saving efforts.

“We were interested in participating in this project in order to support IHG and the California water conservation project, and wanted to do our part to help with the drought. Our toilets were really old and used a lot of water that was not needed. This was a great opportunity to make sure we help the environment and the local drought, as well as save on costs. It is a win-win situation.”

Michael Tsai
General Manager,
Holiday Inn Diamond Bar, California