IHG Hotels & Resorts launches ESG program

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 18 February 2021

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Worldwide: The program, called Journey to Tomorrow, outlines a series of commitments that IHG will strive to achieve over the next 10 years, aimed at making a positive impact to its people, communities and planet.

The program has been formed through an assessment process involving external experts, stakeholder consultation and industry collaboration. It also contributes to the universal framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to provide a blueprint for a sustainable future by 2030.

Journey to Tomorrow sets out five commitments:

Champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive - including gender balance; diversity and inclusion; advancing human rights; and prioritising wellbeing 

Improve the lives of 30 million people in our communities around the world - driving economic and social change through skills training; supporting communities when natural disaster strikes; and  aiding those facing food poverty

Reduce IHG's energy use and carbon emissions in line with climate science - achieve a 15 per cent absolute reduction in direct operations, and a 46 per cent per metre-squared reduction in franchise operations; target 100 per cent new build hotels to operate at very low/zero carbon emissions; and maximise the role of renewable energy

Pioneer the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry - eliminate single use items, or move to reusable or recyclable alternatives; minimise food going to waste through a "prevent, donate, divert" plan; and achieve a circular solution for major hotel commodity items

Conserve water and help secure water access in those areas at greatest risk - implementing tools to reduce the water footprint of IHG hotels; mitigate water risk through stakeholder collaboration to deliver water stewardship at basin level; ensure adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions for operation

IHG’s CEO, KeithBarr, said: "Journey to Tomorrow embodies IHG's strengthened commitment to make sure we do what's right, not just what's needed. We want every IHG stakeholder to see that we're on a journey to be successful in every sense of the word, and we are determined to contribute towards positive social and economic change, to stand up for key issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and human rights, and to make more responsible environmental choices.

"I believe that how we grow as a company and work to be a greater force for good are inextricably linked,” he continued. “So, we are empowering our colleagues, and working together with our hotel owners and our industry to help shape the future of responsible travel. It's never been more crucial that we do."

Gloria Guevara, CEO and president, The World Travel & Tourism Council, commented: "The Travel & Tourism sector plays a huge role in enriching livelihoods and economies around the world, and we must ensure its growth contributes positively to the communities, natural ecosystems and cultural heritage upon which it depends. I'm pleased to see the clear, achievable, and actionable 10-year ambitions outlined in IHG Hotels & Resorts' Journey to Tomorrow plan, which will help support the sustainable development of our sector.

"IHG is a key contributor to our Sustainability Taskforce, and we are delighted to come together once again on this important initiative, which aligns with our broader sustainability goals. It will play a crucial role in our sector in a post-Covid world, and this initiative will help push forward that agenda. By working together towards these common goals, we can ensure that the communities and destinations that make this world so special will continue to thrive for many generations to come,” she said.

Wolfgang Neumann, chair of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, added: "This ambitious 10-year plan set out by IHG Hotels & Resorts is exactly the type of action needed to drive meaningful change from within the hospitality industry, and to leave a lasting, positive impact on the world around us. The Alliance has been proud to have IHG as a founding member since our inception, and to work closely on joint efforts and projects that have helped our industry improve social equity and combat climate change. Collaboration will continue to be key as we press ahead to 2030, and we look forward to working together with IHG in support of its new ambitions.”

Further information about IHG’s Journey to Tomorrow program can be found here. 

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