Priority Club® Rewards, the loyalty program for IHG, InterContinental® Hotels Group, and its Family of Brands, is changing its name to IHG® Rewards Club. You'll still receive the same great benefits you have today, plus new ones like free Internet for members globally in 2014, starting with Elite members in July 2013.
Corporate Responsibility Report
Chief Executive message
Grounding corporate responsibility in the way we do business
I'm often asked to talk about why IHG places such importance on corporate responsibility (CR). The answer is that we believe embedding CR in our business strategy and operations is vital in the long term, both for our business and the travel and tourism sector.
Being a responsible business underpins our vision to become one of the world's great companies by creating Great Hotels Guests Love. Quite simply, the way IHG and our hotels act in our communities and towards the environment is inseparable from our business priorities of preferred brands, talented people and best in class delivery.
When it comes to acting on our beliefs, one of the many benefits of being a leading hotel company is our size and scale. We have more rooms than any other hotel company in the world, spread over 100 countries and territories. That gives us an unrivalled opportunity to bring about positive change, both at a local and global level.
Each one of our 4,600 hotels around the world is a central part of its local community. Locally, each and every one has an important role to play, creating jobs and stimulating economic opportunity, managing their environmental impacts in a responsible way and providing shelter in times of need. Globally, we harness those efforts to achieve our CR mission, which is to transform hospitality for more sustainable communities and better lives. That means developing new and better ways to build and run our hotels, which create sustainable value for our brands, business and stakeholders as well as addressing our social and environmental challenges.
To translate our aims into action we run three core programmes – Green Engage, the IHG Academy and the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme.
When we launched our pioneering environmental management platform Green Engage in 2009, we set a three year target to reduce energy use in our owned and managed estate by between 6 – 10%. I'm delighted to say that in 2012 we exceeded that target with a reduction of 11.7%. It's equally gratifying to report that our latest carbon footprint assessment showed significant progress, especially in our owned and managed hotels where we reduced our carbon footprint by 19% per occupied room between 2010 and 2011.
On the matter of bringing about change at a global level, we played a lead role in the International Tourism Partnership (ITP)/World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) working group, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), which led to the launch of a global carbon standard for hotels in 2012. As well as being a big step for our industry this is a good example of the way we work with leading organisations and industry peers to find solutions to the pressing issues of our times.
The IHG Academy goes from strength to strength with 100 new programmes added during 2012. We now have over 150 IHG Academy programmes in 37 countries. This unique collaboration sees hotels joining forces with local schools, colleges and community organisations to help people develop the skills they need to secure a job in today's hotel sector, often with one of our hotels. While the IHG Academy operates within a global framework each programme is distinctive, reflecting local needs. Through the IHG Academy we're able to build skills and raise aspirations across hundreds of communities and we will continue to develop the programme, enhancing the opportunities of more people in the places where we operate.
IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme
Just as the IHG Academy built on and formalised the partnerships many hotels had already forged with local organisations, so the IHG Shelter in a Storm Programme developed out of one of the roles hotels have long played in society – providing shelter and vital assistance when disaster strikes. In 2012, we allocated funds from the IHG Shelter Fund to support 10 disasters across six countries, providing our guests, employees and local communities with financial support, essential supplies and accommodation. The disasters we supported included severe flooding and a cyclone in Fiji, Superstorm Sandy on the US East Coast, flooding in Manila and the UK, wildfires in Colorado, and Hurricane Isaac on the US Gulf Coast.
This report details our CR approach, priorities and achievements in these programmes and more. We're proud of everything we've achieved, but acknowledge that our journey to embed corporate responsibility across IHG is an ongoing one. Therefore we will continue to set standards and expand our activities in the only way that makes sense to us – by making our CR aims and activities a fundamental element of our overall business vision and strategy. For us it's not a question of whether you choose to make returns for shareholders or support the community – great companies do both and that's what we are committed to doing, now and in the future.