20 April, 2022

A World of Difference

No surprise here - IHG Hotels & Resorts is incredibly passionate about this planet and giving our guests as many opportunities to explore all its wonders. We’re also passionate about doing all we can to make sure those opportunities will be around for a long time. In 2021, IHG unveiled Journey to Tomorrow - a 10-year responsible business plan to care for our planet, people, and communities.

The planet-focused elements span reducing energy use and carbon emissions in line with climate science, maximizing the role of renewable energy, and supporting efforts to conserve water. It also outlined goals to help secure water access to those at greatest risk, drive initiatives to reduce waste, and collectively work towards shaping the future of responsible travel.

This Earth Day, here’s a snapshot of just some of the incredibly cool ways – big and small – that our hotels are bringing sustainable travel experiences to life.

Renowned chef Richard Sandoval has restaurants worldwide, from California to Qatar. Right now, he’s committed to saving the bees through a unique, plant-based menu, Viva Abejas (Save the bees!). It’s being served at more than two dozen restaurants around the globe through April 24, 2022.

Two of those restaurants are at IHG properties –InterContinental Miami and Six Senses Kocatas Mansions in Turkey. “As a restaurant group focused on Latin cuisine, bees are important as major pollinators of the agave plant and avocado – both of which are used frequently in our foods,” says Sandoval. In a playful call to action, the menu also includes cocktails that come with wildflower tags that guests can take home and plant in their yards and gardens for bees to pollinate. In addition, many IHG properties house onsite apiaries and/or rooftop gardens, including voco Oxford Thames, Hotel Indigo Tulsa, and Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown to name a few. 

There is no replicating an island vacation, especially when all you want to do is soak up some sunshine. However, at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives it’s not just the guests making the most of those rays – the hotel installed solar panels on a significant portion of its resort (enough to cover seven tennis courts!) in 2020. The coolest part about this hot addition – you can see the solar power in action via its live feed.

“Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives has always been committed to preserving our natural resources and pursuing methods of using renewable sources of energy,” says Executive Assistant Manager Hussain Shahid.

“We have not only installed solar power in the resort but are also part of a first-of-its-kind Wave Energy project in the region.”

The Wave Energy project is a collaboration between the Maldives Ministry of Environment, The Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate Institution, and the Kyoko Tatemono Company Limited. It aims to harness electricity from surf waves in the Kandooma Right – one of the island’s premier surf breaks located near the resort. 

From the Maldives, we head north to India. Across the busy subcontinent, IHG Hotels & Resorts partnered with SunFuel Electric in 2021 to install EV (electric vehicle) charging stations at properties all over the country. 

“This partnership is in line with our commitments to make a positive difference for our planet. We look forward to welcoming our guests who drive electric vehicles to our properties across the country and offer them the ‘true hospitality’ we are known for,” says Sudeep Jain, managing director for Southwest Asia at IHG Hotels & Resorts.

The Indian city of Jaipuris famed for its architecture and dubbed the Pink City. At the Holiday Inn Jaipur City Centre, the staff is constantly exploring ways to conserve and be less wasteful.

“We believe running a responsible business is part of our DNA,” says General Manager Imit Arora. The hotel implemented a composting machine to recycle wet garbage, replaced all plastic wrapping in its food and beverage space with biodegradable packaging, and put in refillable, bulk bath amenities in the bathrooms. Arora says the hotel also installed a solar water heater and is currently looking to install solar panels to conserve even more energy. 

In Australia, several IHG properties are getting creative with eco-friendly policies. At voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley. This hotel’s commitment to sustainability runs deep, from bedding that’s made using 100 percent recycled materials to solar panels that power the property.

“Any non-meat food waste is fed to our animals onsite, there are no single use-plastics on our property, and we plant a tree for every meeting or event we host,” says General Manager Evan Marrinan.

Sitting on 70 acres of jaw-dropping natural beauty, the hotel is surrounded by mountain and valley views. Its onsite garden and bee farm are also one of its most delightful guest experiences, and everything harvested from fruits and vegetables to herbs shows up on the hotel’s menu. 

“We’ve also developed our own ‘chili salt’ made from the roses, rosemary, and chilies grown in our garden,” says Marrinan. “Our hotel restaurant is called Locavore, which means ‘someone who eats locally grown produce,’ so we do our utmost to source everything we need as close to home as possible.”

This includes the wine selection at the hotel – Hunter Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, and there is always a revolving selection of wines that pay homage to the region. 

From New South Wales to Queensland and to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, at the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. This hotel is fiercely committed to preserving the natural beauty of the place it calls home. “Being on the doorstep of a natural wonder is an everyday reminder of our need to protect our ocean, our reef, and marine life,” says General Manager Arpad Romandy.

Conserving energy is top of mind for the property, which reschedules and limits the use of everything from fans, AC units, and lighting during periods of low occupancy, so no devices are operating when not in use. The hotel also stringently monitors energy use and all related data across every resort facility.

In March 2021, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort began working with Anything Environmental to ensure that recyclable waste – including empty glass and plastic bottles, cans, and flavored milk containers – is sent to Airlie Beach, a locally-run business which significantly reduces landfill waste. The hotel is also a part of the Whitsundays “Healthy Heart” project, a local effort and collaboration involving hospitality and tourism to reduce its carbon footprint and collaborate on climate change mitigation.

“We have a responsibility to look after our pristine environment to share with generations to come,” says Romandy. “This motivation drives us to continue to strive and champion our conservation efforts on the island and in the region.”

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