Green savings by the InterContinental Hotels Group are starting to reap rewards. Whilst posting a 38% dive in profits yesterday, the hotel giant offset some of the investor disappointment by forecasting a $10 million improvement in cost savings to $80 million, having already raised the figure from $30 million to $70 million in May.
The new forecast includes $40 million of “sustainable savings”. Andy Cosslett, the chief executive, said that it was all too easy to scorn changes such as lagging water pipes and turning down the swimming pool temperature, but these savings were not only reducing the group’s environmental impact but also saving a considerable amount of money.
Launched Green Engage, an on-line system to help hotel managers manage their energy consumption more effectively. IHG estimated it could result in energy savings of up to 25%, equated to a $200 million reduction to its energy bill.
The system, which was developed in-house, is being rolled out across IHG’s seven brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental following final trials in 650 hotels which are starting now.
Mr Cosslett said: “It’s amazing how small things can make a big difference and it’s things that most people don’t notice. For example, turning a hotel swimming pool down by one degree saves a lot of money but the guest will hardly notice any difference.”
Despite a profits dive of 38 percent, IHG appears to be winning market share from rivals. The group said that although there was still “poor visibility” on forward bookings, there had been no further deterioration in demand and a rise in leisure business in July.
IHG added a net 117 hotels with almost 27,000 rooms in the first half. It opened 229 hotels and removed 112 that failed to meet brand standards and is on track to open 400 in the full year. It said that it expected to open another 25,000 rooms in the second half of the year.