Hotels

IHG outlines decade-long plan for sustainable tourism

IHG Hotels & Resorts has committed to a spate of new programs to promote sustainable tourism with its new ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ campaign.

Over the next decade, the hotel giant plans to work alongside those who stay, work and partner with them to shape a responsible future for its business and the communities it impacts.

In an open letter, IHG chief executive Keith Barr said the global response to COVID-19 has shown what can be achieved when organisations bring together expertise, resources and compassion for the greater good.

“Journey to Tomorrow embodies IHG’s strengthened commitment to make sure we do what’s right, not just what’s needed,” he said.

“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.”

Formed through a comprehensive assessment process involving external experts, stakeholder consultation and industry collaboration, the plan contributes to the universal framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to provide a blueprint for a better, more sustainable future for us all by 2030.

The plan sets out five areas for improvement, building on IHG’s long-term commitments and achievements, including the progress made against 2018-2020 targets:

People: Champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive

  • Achieve a gender balance and a doubling of under-represented groups across the leadership team.
  • Cultivate a culture of inclusion for colleagues, owners and suppliers.
  • Support all colleagues to prioritise their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
  • Drive respect for and advance human rights.

Communities: Improve the lives of 30 million people in our communities around the world

  • Drive economic and social change through skills training and innovation.
  • Support communities when natural disasters strike.
  • Collaborate to aid those facing food poverty.

Carbon and energy: Reduce energy use and carbon emissions in line with climate science

  • Implement a 2030 science-based target that delivers 15 per cent absolute reduction in direct operations and a 46 per cent per-square-metre reduction in franchise operations.
  • Target 100 per cent newbuild hotels to operate at very low/zero carbon emissions.
  • Maximise/optimise the role of renewable energy.

Waste: Pioneer the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry

  • Eliminate single-use items, or move to reusable or recyclable alternatives across the guest stay.
  • Minimise food going to waste through a ‘prevent, donate, divert’ plan.
  • Collaborate to achieve circular solutions for major hotel commodity items.

Water: Conserve water and help secure water access in those areas at greatest risk

Focus on those hotels operating in the areas of highest water risk to:

  • Implement tools to reduce the water footprint of hotels.
  • Mitigate water risk through stakeholder collaboration to deliver water stewardship at basin level.
  • Collaborate to ensure adequate water, sanitation and hygiene conditions for our operating communities.

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