InterContinental Hotels Group has set a goal to reduce water use in water-stressed areas by 12 percent globally by 2017, compared to a 2012 baseline.
To support the global effort while addressing the California drought, IHG sent Green Engage Water Conservation Kits to 230 of its hotels in California, including Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn hotels. The resources in the kits include water-saving tips and details on how hotels can conserve water, as well as examples of how other hotels have been successful in their water conservation efforts.
The kits also include aerators to install on water faucets. IHG says the aerators can potentially save more than 7 million gallons of water per year in California, based on Best Foot Forward’s assessment. Guestrooms are the primary source of water usage in hotels (about 30 percent), and aerators can help save water used in guestroom sinks.
Some of the water-saving tips include installing energy-efficient appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers; low flow showerheads, toilets and waterless urinals. Others include water zoning for irrigation, rainwater harvesting and treatments and native plants. For example, the Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter property has a garden with native plants, requiring little water, covering nearly 40 percent of the rooftop to create a greenhouse effect.
As another example, the InterContinental San Francisco, a LEED Gold hotel, saves about 2 million gallons of water a year with low-flow faucets, toilets and other back-of-house water restriction features. The hotel implemented a sustainable HVAC cooling water treatment system that has contributed to about 1 million gallons of water saved per year. The hotel is also installing waterless urinals in all public restrooms, estimated to save another half million gallons of water per year.
And the Crowne Plaza San Diego – Mission Valley hotel is almost 100 percent below its average water benchmark in the IHG Green Engage system (measured against hotels with a similar footprint) and has targeted another 1 percent water savings this year with the potential to add $5,000 to the bottom line. The hotel installed the aerators on kitchen sinks and has found that timers on water features such as filtration and sprinklers have also assisted with conservation efforts.