InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) in-house sustainability system Green Engage has been awarded with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). IHG is the first hotel company to receive this award for an existing hotels program.
A LEED designation is earned by the most sustainable buildings and gives an independent, internationally recognized rating against standards including energy savings, water conservation, and sustainable construction materials.
In the U.S. alone, an average hotel has in excess of $500,000 in energy expenses every year. As energy prices continue to rise, Green Engage can deliver more than $90,000 in annual energy savings by making hotels 15% to 20% more energy efficient. This means IHG's portfolio of 4,500 hotels has the potential to save more than $300 million in reduced energy costs annually. Additionally, Green Engage helps owners respond to the growing interest from guests who are looking for sustainable hotels that manage their environmental footprint.
About the system
IHG continues to seek innovative and collaborative solutions on smart green hotel design, construction and operations and will shortly launch an enhanced Green Engage Version 2.0. Launched in late 2009, the online Green Engage tool allows hotels to measure, manage and report their environmental impacts. The tool takes guest experience and return on investment into account. Green Engage is suitable for IHG's 4,500 hotels, across its seven brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental. IHG 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," says 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," says Doug Gatlin, vice president of LEED Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. "IHG recognizes 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."