Responsible Business Week

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Responsible Business Week ran from 17-23 September 2012

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InterContinental Hotels & Resorts embarked on a week-long programme of activities around the world to help protect and preserve unique and cultural heritage sites as part of Responsible Business Week 2012. This marked the third year of InterContinental’s Responsible Business Week in partnership with National Geographic.

The theme for Responsible Business Week 2012 was inspired by National Geographic's support of UNESCO’s World Heritage and sustainable tourism initiative ‘People Protecting Places’. During Responsible Business Week, InterContinental properties were invited to emulate UNESCO’s mission to protect and preserve unique natural and cultural heritage sites close to their hotels. 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention during which special focus is placed on the links between World Heritage and sustainable development, and in particular the role played by local communities.
 
“Hotels play an important role in communities all around the world. We’re thrilled that InterContinental Hotels & Resorts made such a commitment to look after their local heritage sites via Responsible Business Week for the third year in a row, and we’re looking forward to working with the hotels in the conservation of a number of UNESCO's World Heritage sites beyond this week,” says Kimberly Connaghan, V.P. National Geographic Global Media, Travel, and publisher of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

InterContinental Sandton Towers’ conservation partner FreeMe is a self-funded registered non-profit organisation, relying solely on the generosity of the public. FreeMe does amazing work with the care and rehabilitation of animals and birds – all of whom have an equal right to share the planet with us – which are then released back into the wild.  One of their very worthwhile projects is tortoise rehabilitation and the hotel committed to upgrading their tortoise enclosure and thereafter to offer their assistance with other areas of the Centre.

InterContinental Johannesburg, OR Tambo Airport chose to fight for the plight of a unique, one of its kind wetland in the East Rand, Johannesburg area of South Africa.  Korsman’s Bird Sanctuary is a fenced off 100 hectare sanctuary that preserves in perpetuity the natural environment for the benefit of the creatures and plants occurring there. It was their aim to help conserve this wetland in many years to come and the birdlife in it. Birds that occur there range from the white pelican to the long crested eagle and most recently, flamingos have come to call this sanctuary home.

David Jerome, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, IHG says: “IHG understands that acting responsibly reinforces trust in our brands, builds competitive advantage and strengthens our corporate reputation whilst doing the right thing for our communities. And with hotels all over the world, we have a tremendous opportunity to make travel and tourism more responsible and successful".
 
Simon Scoot, Vice President Global Brands, InterContinental / IHG Global Resorts, says: “We know that our customers want to stay with brands that are responsible, and that is why we want to do things in a responsible way. One of the ways in which we demonstrate this is our long term partnership with National Geographic, and now UNESCO. Responsible Business Week is a special time when we come together as a brand to make a difference all over the World ".
 
In 2011, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts around the world dedicated more than 10,000 hours to Responsible Business Week activities aimed at preserving the communities where they operate. Activities ranged from cleaning local beaches and historical villages and monuments, restoration projects at national parks, to refreshing urban street walks.
 
For more information on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts activities for Responsible Business Week 2012, please see www.facebook.com/intercontinental.
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