IHG to reduce environmental impact
IHG, the world’s largest hotel company by number of rooms, is trialling a new on-line system called ‘Green Engage*’, which will help hotel general managers manage energy consumption more effectively. Early trials have shown potential energy savings of up to 25%. If fully adopted by all hotels across the 4,000 strong IHG portfolio, it is estimated that the savings for hotel owners could be as much as $200 million.
The system, which was developed by IHG, will be rolled out across IHG’s seven brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental following final trials in 650 hotels which will start late January 2009. It is expected the system will be offered as an option to all 4,000 hotels across the IHG estate from mid 2009.
The IHG ‘Green Engage’ software works by hotels directly inputting data on site. The system automatically compares hotels of a similar nature across the world and lists a series of actions that each hotel can take to reduce waste and the consumption of energy and water.
Green Engage responds to growing levels of interest from guests who are looking for sustainable hotels that manage their environmental impact. As well as location, price and amenities, guests are now factoring in a hotel’s environmental credentials when booking a place to stay.
By utilising ‘Green Engage’, hotels will now have for the first time, a comprehensive on-line system which gives them the means to:
* Measure - their usage of energy and water, waste produced and their carbon emissions. They can then benchmark themselves against other hotels and set demanding, but achievable reduction targets.
* Manage - the elements of their hotel that most impact the environment. These can range from insulating the hotel’s hot water pipes to introducing a recycling programme and switching to organic cleaning materials to appointing one of the employees as a green champion.
* Report - on progress to date both internally and to guests and corporate clients.
Andy Cosslett, IHG Chief Executive, said “This is an important initiative for IHG, our hotel owners and our guests. Green Engage is a practical tool designed to help improve environmental performance, reduce costs and respond to our guests increasing awareness of this issue. Across our estate we estimate Green Engage has the potential to drive up to $200 million of savings for our hotel owners and significantly reduce energy consumption.”
Tom Corcoran, Chairman of the IAHI Owners’ Association, and owner of a number of hotels taking part in the Green Engage pilot commented “Green Engage is not only good for the environment, but is also good for business. In the current economic climate and with rising energy bills, this tool will help us to identify significant cost savings. At the same time it delivers what our guests want - a greater sense of well-being and less impact on our planet when travelling.”
In 2008 IHG launched Innovation Hotel, an online example of what a future hotel might look like if it used new green technologies. Guests can provide feedback on which of these they feel are important, allowing IHG to consider how they can be implemented as part of the Green Engage programme.
For more information about corporate responsibility at IHG, visit: www.ihg.com/responsibility
* Green Engage - patent pending
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