Voco Kirkton Park in the Hunter Valley.

A series of major sustainability initiatives have headlined the maiden year for InterContinental Hotels Group’s lifestyle brand, voco, which has kicked off celebrations of its first anniversary since opening its doors on the Gold Coast.

In that time, the brand has expanded globally, signing deals on future properties in the Yarra Valley, Melbourne and Sydney as well as rebranding and opening a resort in the Hunter Valley, on top of further deals all around the world including Thailand.

Operating under its ‘tread lightly’ philosophy, voco has implemented paperless checkout across its two properties open so far, an initiative which extends to all invoices, receipts and IHG Rewards Club updates.

In addition, guests staying in voco hotels have been sleeping on bedding made from 100% recycled materials including more than half a million plastic bottles, with linen sourced from sustainable cotton harvesting. Water usage in hotels has also been minimised through aerated shower heads which lowers energy consumption, while refillable amenities remove the need for single-use miniature plastic bottles.

Voco Gold Coast.

On a wider environmental level, voco’s ‘Trees for Bees’ program is emblematic of the brand’s paddock-to-plate dining standard. Both of voco’s current hotels are home to beehives, each with 300,000 bees and a resident beekeeper on staff at voco Gold Coast, with both yielding honey, honeycomb and lavender.

Through its interactive vegetable gardens, voco Kirkton Park is sourcing 60% of its fresh produce at optimum capacity with work in place to improve this to 80%. At voco Gold Coast, all food and scrap waste from the kitchens has been recycled or turned into garden mulch for use on gardens and parks both at the hotel and around the wider city.

Through these initiatives and others, voco Kirkton Park has lowered its carbon emissions by 20%, water usage by 13% and increased its recycling output by 26%.