United Nations studies show that water stress impacts over 40% of the global population with projections showing this to set to rise. More than 1.7 billion of the world’s population currently live in river basins where water use exceeds its re-charge and with population growth, this is expected to exacerbate. 

The IHG Green Engage system provides our hotels with a comprehensive guide to water-saving technologies and processes recommending nearly 30 Green Solutions devoted solely to water. Typically, over 40% of the water used in a hotel is from showers, toilets, taps and kitchens, but installing low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads, helps to reduce water consumption.

Through our partnership with the Water Footprint Network (WFN), one of the world’s leading centres of excellence for water stewardship, we have been developing a worldwide water stewardship programme to enable hotels to manage and mitigate water risk in their operations. This builds on our five-year, 2013-2017 target to reduce water use in water-stressed areas per occupied room by 12%. 

Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China - Water conservation

Like many cities around the world, Chengdu, has a high level of exposure to water stress. In partnership, with Water Footprint Network (WFN) we are working with four IHG branded hotels in Chengdu to develop tailored Water Stewardship Implementation plans that can be incorporated in to everyday hotel operations.

Together in 2016, we completed the hospitality industry’s most comprehensive water risk assessment across our global estate of more than 5,000 open IHG branded hotels and pipeline hotels. Through a mapping exercise we have identified risks related to both water quantity and quality and this has set the foundation to develop tailored water stewardship action plans to apply best practice techniques for each of our hotels, particularly those in water-stressed areas.

Through our partnership with the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) we played a leading role in the development of the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) which was launched in World Water Week, Stockholm, August 2016. The HWMI represents a common methodology for hotels globally to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent manner across the hotel industry. This follows on from the successful implementation across the hospitality industry of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), that launched in 2012.