IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, announced that its in-house sustainability system Green Engage* has been awarded with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) volume pre-certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). IHG has become the first hotel company to receive this award for an existing hotels program.
The USGBC's LEED rating system is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Volume pre-certification is a preliminary step that provides a streamlined path to LEED certification for a large group of hotels based on a pre-approved prototype and process.
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 over $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 over $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.
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 1000 hotels registered for Green Engage and expects to grow this user base throughout 2011.
Green Engage gives hotel owners added value through both bottom line and top line benefits. Gaining this coveted endorsement for IHG's Green Engage tool means our hotels can expedite their own LEED certification, should they choose, by using Green Engage.
"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 pre-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. He added, "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 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."
* Green Engage - patent pending
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns, through various subsidiaries, over 4,500 hotels and more than 650,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well-recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. We also manage the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club Rewards with 52 million members worldwide.
IHG has over 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline, which we expect to create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.