InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced that its in-house sustainability system, ‘Green Engage’ has been awarded with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). In doing do, IHG becomes the first hotel company to receive this award for an existing hotels programme.
A LEED designation is earned by the most sustainable buildings and gives an independent, internationally recognised rating against standards including energy savings, water conservation, and sustainable construction materials.
In the US alone, an average hotel has in excess of US$500,000 in energy expenses every year. As energy prices continue to rise, IHG promises that Green Engage can deliver in excess US$90,000 in annual energy savings by making hotels 15-20% more energy efficient. This means IHG’s portfolio of 4,500 hotels has the potential to save over US$300 million in reduced energy costs annually. Additionally, Green Engage helps hotels attract the growing market of guests who are looking for hotels that manage their environmental footprint.
IHG will shortly launch an enhanced Green Engage Version 2.0. First launched in late 2009, the online tool allows hotels to measure, manage and report their environmental impacts. The tool takes guest experience and return on investment into account. The company now has more than 1,000 hotels registered for Green Engage and expects to grow this user base throughout 2011.
“On average, energy is the second largest cost in hotels and our hotel owners want help to manage this. Green Engage aids hotels in becoming more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable while delivering significant cost savings to them. The extra boost of LEED certification will be of real value, to owners as it provides a stamp of approval recognized by industry and corporate clients,” said Jim Abrahamson, President of IHG’s Americas region. “This external recognition is further evidence that IHG’s approach, Green Engage, leads the industry on its journey to become fully sustainable.”
“The built environment has a tremendous impact on our health, our quality of life, our environment and our economy,” said Doug Gatlin, Vice President of LEED Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. “IHG recognises the importance of this area and they are innovating to deliver sustainable hotel solutions. LEED certification of these hotels will help remind IHG’s customers, neighbors and competitors that building green is the smart choice.”