InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s largest hotel groups, is leading the move to providing more sustainable hotel stays to an increasing number of environmentally savvy travelers, thanks to IHG Green Engage. IHG Green Engage is the company’s online sustainability management system designed to help all IHG’s hotels manage and minimise their impact on the environment.

By measuring, managing and reporting on their specific energy, water and waste consumption, IHG Green Engage is able to tell each property what they can do to be a ‘green’ hotel, and how to conserve resources and save money depending on their climatic location. A key feature is the more than 200 Green Solutions which hotels can implement to reduce their environmental impact and achieve energy savings of up to 25%.

“The sustainability practices of a hotel are becoming a significant consideration for travellers when it comes to deciding where to book their next holiday or business event. At IHG part of creating green solutions is designing, building and running more sustainable hotels,” says Pascal Gauvin, COO Middle East and Africa.  “We’re proud of all our hotels that are IHG Green Engage accredited, including all nine hotels in South Africa, and that they are managing their environmental impact without compromising the guest experience.”

Currently around half of the IHG estate is signed up to IHG Green Engage – and this number is continuing to increase. Through the use of this system, IHG reduced the total carbon footprint across all of their hotels and offices by 76,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in a year. This is the equivalent of providing electricity to 11,377 homes a year.  Furthermore, the initiative has cut the carbon footprint by 19% per occupied room a year (2010 – 2011) and reduced energy by 11.7% per available room night across IHG owned and managed hotels.

“Energy costs are the second biggest costs to hotels,” says Allan Cilngham, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank.  “IHG Green Engage allows each IHG hotel to track, measure and report on its energy, water and waste usage, and recommends actions that will cut energy bills without compromising the guest experience at the hotel.”

There are nine hotels under the IHG brand in South Africa: Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank; Holiday Inn Sandton – Rivonia Road; Holiday Inn Johannesburg – Rosebank; Holiday Inn Express Santon – Woodmead; InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers; InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport; Holiday Inn Express Pretoria – Sunnypark; Holiday Inn Express Durban – Umhlanga and Holiday Inn Express Cape Town. All these hotels are conveniently located in the main business hubs of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.