While many hotels these days use an energy performance management system to reduce energy costs and maintain a high level of comfort for guests, developing a system in-house is an option that few businesses have dared to explore.

In their hopes of raising the bar for energy-efficiency within the hospitality industry, the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has successfully introduced an online platform called Green Engage and is using it to reduce energy consumption, and costs, in a number of innovative ways. Check it out!

Green Engage leads to energy savings

Green Engage is an online environmental platform that acts as a guide to developing and managing more sustainable hotels. The tool was created in-house and allows for IHG operators to measure, manage and report on the environmental impacts across the board following recommendations that cover design, operations and technologies with the goal of reducing energy, water and waste throughout IHG properties.

The results of the program, currently used by 2,270 IHG hotels, are impressive; between 2009 and 2012, IHG achieved an 11.7% reduction in energy consumption per available room per night (according to their website). Hotel News Now reports that Green Engage has led to an average savings of 15% to 20%, or $75,000 to $100,000.

The program also works hand in hand with long term strategies that will save the company even more money in years to come. One only has to look so far as the partnership between Green Engage and LEED to see that the saving of thousands of bucks, won’t stop here. Partnering with LEED brings IHG into the realm of sustainable building and will ensure that all IHG buildings are coloured green from the bottom up. At present, the group has 6 LEED certified hotels with an additional 52 already registered.

Energy savings across the globe

According to their website, IHG aims to reduce system-wide energy consumption by 6%-10% during the next three years, and as it turns out, they are well on their way to meeting this goal. Three years into the program, hotels like the Holiday Inn Salisbury Stonehenge is using 10% less water, 15% less gas and 7% less electricity year on year, leading savings of over $19,605 on an annual basis.

Hervé Houdré, General Manager of the InterContinental New York Barclay revealed that after one year in the program, his hotel achieved a total of 6.3% in energy savings. Houdré suggests that Green Engage helps keep his team focused: “I don’t have to give them a call every first of the month and say, ‘Don’t forget to do this and that’…the tool is very practical, because it does remind you as well that you have to use it. It’s there and it should be used.”

Sustainable achievements across the board

In addition to reducing their energy consumption drastically over the course of the past three years, saving the office over $30,000 per year, the group has reduced its carbon footprint in owned and managed hotels by 19% per occupied room and the global carbon footprint of hotels and corporate offices by 76,000 metric tonnes.

From the looks of it, IHG has taken an all-round approach to lessening energy costs throughout their business. Processes at data centres that allow guests to book hotel room at over 4,600 IHG branded hotels are now being simplified and energy-efficient equipment being investigated in an effort to reduce the number of IT servers by 80% in the next few years. According to we-care.com, the company has also been investing in energy-efficient lighting design, energy-saving products, on-site power generation and effective energy controls in order to reach a potential 25% savings in energy use.

Welcome to Innovation Hotel

In order to engage customers and include guests in sustainable decision making, IHG created Innovation Hotel. The website is an online portal that allows guests to provide feedback on existing initiatives and check out what sustainable features IHG has introduced at various hotels. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the platform allows IHG to prioritize sustainability efforts and align them with guest recommendations.

Have you stayed at an IHG hotel? Visit the Innovation Hotel online and tell us about your experience. Questions or comments about IHG hotels or Green Engage? Leave them below!

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