IHG streamlines green certification for new-builds

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced that its IHG Green Engage program, an online sustainability program used by more than 2,600 IHG-branded hotels worldwide, is now recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council under its LEED Volume program and Green Key Global (GKG) as providing streamlined pathways to certification.

IHG says it is the first hotel company to provide an approach to precertification for new-build hotels under the LEED 2009 for new construction rating system.

Sustainability certifications like LEED and GKG can improve hotels' bottom line, as government and corporate clients increasingly request hotels' environmental credentials through the RFP process. IHG says its Green Engage program provides an accurate and streamlined approach for responding to RFP questions on sustainability by helping hotels track their carbon footprint; energy consumption; water consumption; and waste diversion rate. The IHG Green Engage program easily feeds this information into the RFP format for hotels.

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"Our research shows that over 70 percent of frequent travelers prefer hotels that are engaged with their environment, and we expect a growing number of guests who want to book greener hotel rooms," said Paul Snyder, VP, corporate responsibility and sustainability, IHG. "We are the only hotel company to build a comprehensive environmental management system for our hotels, helping them drive revenue through sustainability, and, ultimately, traveler preference. LEED and GKG are well-respected industry certifications and a 'stamp' of approval that highlight hotels' 'green' achievements. We are proud to be recognized by both organizations for helping our hotels obtain certification."

The IHG Green Engage program assists IHG-branded hotels in meeting and tracking several of the LEED and GKG metrics, providing an expedited pathway to certification. LEED is a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies. The Green Key Global certification is an Eco-Rating Program that evaluates, inspects and certifies hotels based on their commitment to sustainable "green" operations.

"On average, energy is the second largest cost to hotels, and we need help managing this challenge," said Robert Lamoureux, GM, Holiday Inn & Suites Windsor. "Through IHG Green Engage, we have been able to easily track our progress in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable with the added benefit of achieving significant cost savings. The Holiday Inn & Suites Windsor is also a GKG certified hotel, which is recognized by government and corporate clients, and has helped us grow our group bookings business."

IHG recently announced that IHG Green Engage hotels exceeded the three-year target (2010-2012)1 to reduce energy, per available room, by between 6 percent and 10 percent in the managed and owned estate with a reduction of 11.7 percent. IHG also said it reduced the carbon footprint across the global estate by 11.7 percent, per occupied room, over a two-year period (2011 and 2012). The new IHG Green Engage targets for 2013 – 2017 include reducing carbon footprint, per occupied room, by 12 percent across the entire portfolio; and reducing water use, per occupied room, in water-stressed areas by 12 percent.

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