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Environmental impact

We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment.

From everyday efficiencies to bold new innovations, we will always look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle the resources we use and the waste we create. And we are working hard to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions across all our operations. This helps us to make sure we’re playing our part in taking care of the planet that we all depend on, as well as helping us to be more efficient.

  • We have over 180 Premier Inn sites with Solar Panels
  • We’ve committed to remove unnecessary single-use plastic from across our business by 2025
  • The sites we own are powered by 100% renewable energy
  • We are part of the Refill campaign allowing anyone to refill their water bottle for free in over 3000 of our sites.
  • We have set a new Science Based Carbon Target to reduce our carbon emissions intensity by 50% by 2025 and we're aiming to reach net-zero on our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2050
  • We replaced 10 million plastic straws with paper alternatives
  • 100% of our waste from Premier Inn, Restaurants site is diverted from landfill*

*excludes landlord sites where we do not own the waste contract.

Single use Plastic Reduction

Diversion from land fill, recycling and reduction of plastics are at the centre of our strategy to minimise our use of resources. Reducing the use of single use plastics and packaging are two key areas of focus for Whitbread.

We are in the process of forensically examining our supply chain in order to identify what single-use plastics are unnecessary and the changes that we can make – from the products consumers will notice, to those behind-the-scenes that they won’t.

As with any meaningful commitment to change – it won’t happen overnight but we’re unwavering in our belief that eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics is absolutely the right thing to do for our business, our guests and the environment.

Reducing our Carbon Emissions

As part of our everyday efficiency strategy, we are committed to energy efficiency. We continue to invest in energy efficient equipment, buildings and operations to ensure we minimize our consumption.

Science Based Carbon Target

After meeting our 2020 carbon targets three years early, Whitbread have committed to an industry leading sustainability commitment to cut our carbon emissions intensity by 50% by 2025 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our Science Based Target (SBT) is in line with the COP 21 Paris Climate Accord. We are the largest hotel company in the world to set an SBT.

As well using 100% renewable energy for our UK owned hotels, we have solar panel installations on over 120 of our sites, and we continue to invest heavily in the efficiency of our estate, with a focus on improving our control of what we use and when. We now have over 300 building management systems that actively monitor and control consumption on each site, allowing us to avoid wasted energy and quickly pick up any excessive energy use.

Our carbon targets will also drive us to continue our work on reducing the carbon impact beyond our buildings and look at how we can improve our deliveries through the supply chain and to our sites. By working closely with our distributor, we achieved a 17% reduction in carbon emissions per tonne delivered to Whitbread sites through improved vehicle efficiency.[i]

As well as a continuing drive for efficiency, we are working to develop an industry leading low carbon supply chain:

  • Demonstrating zero emission capable trucks and refrigeration in urban environments.
  • Testing fully electric, range extended electric and liquid nitrogen cooled refrigeration vehicles.
  • Fleet trialling of latest biomethane fuelled trucks.

These industry leading trials are designed to encourage wider uptake of low carbon solutions in the national food delivery network, with the project outcomes to be shared amongst the logistics community.

[i] Measured in 2017 against a 2012 baseline.


As a customer driven business, water is a vital to the operation of our sites. Without water we are unable to prepare and serve food and drinks or operate any of our hotels, but we do try to minimise our water use without affecting our customer experience by finding and fixing leaks and using water efficient devices.

  • We monitor our water consumption through a combination of automatic and manual meter readings to proactively locate and fix leaks across the estate.
  • We install low flow taps, low flush toilets and low flow shower heads as standard in all our new hotel rooms and new build sites are fitted with Eco Dish washers, which use a small amount of water, which is continually recycled, saving an estimated 150,000 litres a year. (That’s as much nearly 2,000 baths full!)

We know the importance of reducing our waste. And we know that we can minimize our impact on the environment by reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place and ensuring we then recycle any waste we generate.

Diversion from land fill, recycling and reduction of plastics are at the centre of our strategy to minimize our use of resources. Reducing the use of single use plastics and packaging are two key areas of focus for Whitbread.

Within Premier Inn and restaurants, we recycle 100% of our beds, pillows and duvets in our attempt to ensure nothing goes to waste and we make sure that none of our waste goes to landfill.

Managing our waste is important to our customers, our teams and the environment, and we are committed to minimising waste at in the first place wherever possible.

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