InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the appointment of global water-use experts, the Water Footprint Network, to develop a worldwide water stewardship programme for IHG. As part of the programme, IHG and the Water Footprint Network will develop a deep understanding of IHG’s water usage at a local level, applying best practice techniques and behaviours to manage and reduce its water footprint. The partnership will build on the strong progress IHG is already making to reduce water consumption per occupied room in water-stressed areas, one of the company’s 2013-2017 Corporate Responsibility targets.
Paul Snyder, vice president, corporate responsibility – environmental sustainability, IHG said, “We are delighted to add the Water Footprint Network’s expertise to the great work we’re doing towards achieving our reduction targets around water consumption. IHG has a presence in nearly 100 countries, so ensuring we are good water stewards locally generates significant environmental and economic benefits for both IHG and the communities in which we operate.”
Ruth Mathews, executive director, Water Footprint Network added, “We are very much looking forward to partnering with IHG to develop its global water stewardship programme. IHG’s global scale gives us 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 IHG’s hotels.”
IHG helps its hotels to manage freshwater usage through the company’s online environmental sustainability tool, IHG Green Engage system. In addition to water, the system gives hotels the ability to track how much carbon, and energy they are using, as well as to assess how waste is managed. IHG’s global estate of more than 4,900 hotels is enrolled, giving them access to more than 200 specific actions– or ‘Green Solutions’ – designed to reduce hotels’ environmental impact.
There are nearly 30 Green Solutions devoted solely to water. These include the ability to track consumption on a monthly basis, as well as guidance on more specific water-saving solutions such as metering, rainwater harvesting, and the installation of devices such as low-flow taps and showerheads. Such solutions helped IHG drive a 4.2 per cent reduction in water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas to the end of 2014.