InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was recognised among industry peers and sustainable leaders this week, taking home the ‘Green Hotel Chain of the Year’ accolade in the inaugural Finder Green Awards.
The award recognises IHG’s innovation and success across its entire estate, with Finder measuring all category nominees against broad environmental metrics including greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy usage and waste avoiding landfill.
Leanne Harwood, Managing Director, IHG Australasia & Japan said: “Receiving this acknowledgement for IHG’s hard work on sustainability is a much-needed boost of positivity and recognition amongst a challenging time for us all. Sustainability remains as important as ever to our business and hotels, and it makes me tremendously proud to see IHG’s commitment to green practices continue even when times are tough.
“None of us can go at this alone. Our corporate responsibility roadmap goes hand-in-hand with strong commitment and partnership with our hotel teams and owners, and we will continue to keep on testing, learning and innovating together.”
2019 was a turbo-charged year of sustainable headway for IHG. July 2019 saw a world-first as IHG pledged to migrate the global estate of over 5,900 hotels and 880,000 guest rooms to bulk-size bathroom amenities, with the transition to be completed during 2021. Locally, IHG signed an ‘Awesome Partnership’ with OzHarvest to focus on food rescue from the hotels, as well as investing in the ‘Nourish’ program to provide at-risk youth with training and qualifications in hospitality skills. From September to February, the food rescue program saw approximately 1,500kgs rescued from various IHG hotels and resorts across the country, equating to almost 5,000 meals and about 350kg of food per month rescued.
IHG’s crusade on waste continues in 2020 and beyond, with further resources and initiatives spanning across healthy and sustainable food sourcing, in-room power-saving technology, water scarcity, and reduced energy, food and plastic consumption. Investment into new technology has seen Winnow piloted across several IHG Hotels & Resort. The AI technology identifies waste weight, the dollar value of the waste and the equivalent meals that the waste could have supplied, allowing IHG restaurant and bars to reengineer their offering for greener results.
IHG’s hotels and resorts in Australasia continue to raise the innovation bar. Voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley has been championing greener travel with its own solar farm, Trees for Bees program and its onsite veggie garden (able to produce up to 60 per cent of ingredients into the restaurants), while voco Gold Coast is home to over 300,000 bees to support its produce. Hayman Island by InterContinental has rolled out innovative technology with its unique glass-to-sand crusher and resort-wide pledge against non-reef-safe sunscreen, and the Holiday Inn Express hotels have led the way in design standards in energy efficiency, drawing on a $39 million investment commitment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The Finder Green Awards were born from consumer research of 1,033 respondents that showed 47 per cent of Aussies are actively looking for ‘greener’ products or services’ while over a quarter (76 per cent) believe it’s hard to know which products or services are truly better for the environment.