May 01, 2008 // Franchising.com // This could be the world's first ever 100 per cent ecologically-friendly hotel - and its 'green' credentials will set the benchmark for hoteliers around the world.
The solar powered 'Innovation Hotel' - which is the brainchild of the InterContinental Hotels Group - outlines the latest technology in energy and water conservation and recycling.
Among the 'green' features of the futuristic hotel:[[u]
Hotel chiefs say the Innovation Hotel's features could be earmarked as standard across all IHG brands within the next few years. The virtual property has been put on the company website to get guests views on its features.
David Jerome of IHG, who were also the first hotel chain to introduce a set of 'green' guidelines for hotels in 1991, said:
''People who do their bit for the environment when they're at home are likely to be interested in doing the same when they're staying in a hotel.
''Responsible tourism is about growing in a way that makes sense for business while managing our impact on the environment and community. We want to know what 'green' features are important to guests before making them part of brand standards. This gives them a chance to weigh in with their ideas."
The first inkling a guest will get of the Innovation Hotel's green attributes is the green roof - planted with low-maintenance plants - which improves the thermal performance of the hotel and helps keep it cool in warm weather and insulate it in winter.
The plants and thin layer of soil work like a sound barrier, particularly when they're wet, helping to reduce noise pollution.
Other environmental benefits include improvements to air quality, biodiversity and storm water run off.
Natural lava stone signage at the entrance and on the lawns replaces traditional plastic and metal signs.
All the furniture in the reception is made from recycled material and all the paper used by the receptionists will also be recycled.
The decor is low emission paint, all the artwork produced by local artists to ensure a low carbon-footprint and there are recycling bins for guests to use.
All unused food from the kitchens is packaged and delivered to local charities or food banks to cut wastage.
And left over scraps are composted to create a rich fertiliser for use on hotel plants and lawns.
In the bedroom all furniture and fittings including towels are made from recycled materials, mattresses consist of natural fibre such as horsehair, as will carpets.
Bathrooms feature low-flow showerheads and dual flush toilets.
On the roof there will be up to four huge solar panels drawing energy from the sun to heat water and help cut back on non-renewable energy use.
Harvesting systems collect rainwater in tanks either on the roof or underground.
In regions where there's plenty of regular rain, harvesting is an effective and low-cost way of reducing demand on local water supplies.
The hotel uses the rain water to flush toilets and water grounds, as well as for dishwashers and washing machines.
Oil produced from household waste can be used as bio-fuel instead of fossil fuels to generate heat and power.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at IHG, David Jerome, added:
''We have some excellent examples of responsible tourism already underway in our hotels. Now we're looking at setting company-wide goals for our business to deliver real benefits to the environment, based on clear understanding of where we can make a difference and on guests' needs.''
IHG, owner of Holiday Inn, has 200 new build Holiday Inn prototypes open or under construction - which use 30 per cent fewer materials to build and requires 20 per cent less energy to run.
And a number of environmental initiatives exist at its 4,000 hotels around the world.
The InterContinental Thalasso Spa, Bora Bora has the world's deepest underwater pipeline, feeding cold sea water to an eco-friendly air-conditioning system and The InterContinental Willard Washington is entirely powered by energy from wind farms.
But the Innovation Hotel initiative will ensure IHG is the first hotel group to roll-out its 'green' credentials company-wide.
Please click on this link to see how the Innovation Hotel showcases some of the best ideas on how the hotel industry can implement sustainability in the design, development and operation of its hotels.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, almost 4,000 hotels and more than 585,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. IHG owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.
The company pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The IHEI formed the foundations of the Tourism Partnership launched by the International Business Leaders Forum in 2004, of which IHG is still a member today. The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus.
IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at http://www.ihg.com/ and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at http://www.priorityclub.com/.
For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media
InterContinental Hotels Group is a registered company. For more information go to: www.ihg.com/legal