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Responsible sourcing

Across our brands, we source a number of commodities and raw materials, each with their own sustainability and social issues. We treat each commodity individually and have specific programmes for each of our critical commodities. Please click on each below to find out more and to read our full Sourcing Policies for each raw material.

Responsible Sourcing Commodities

Cocoa, Tea and Coffee


Timber is at the heart of many properties that we build and operate. Our new Premier Inn hotels and restaurants regularly utilise timber frames in their design and construction.

We are committed to promoting the sustainability of forests and responsible sourcing of natural resources, whilst complying with national and local legislation relating to sourcing practices. We welcome the enforcement of the EU Timber Regulations and consider the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC to be the most comprehensive, widely recognised and accepted forest products certification systems globally. In April 2014, we announced our commitment to only use the products and services of Structural Timber Association members in all future timber-based projects, which ensure materials and services of the highest quality are certified to FSC and PEFC standards and are priced competitively.

Timber Policy

Palm Oil

Palm oil production poses significant social and environmental risks, including land conversion leading to loss of biodiversity, and carbon dioxide generation. It is also a highly complex supply chain, where supply is often intermingled at every stage of production, making it difficult to trace and influence the conditions under which 100% of palm oil supply is sourced.

Although all our restaurants’ kitchens now use rapeseed oil for cooking, we remain consumers of palm oil, as it is included in many of the products we source. We’re committed to continually increasing the amount of sustainable palm oil in our supply base and using an independently verified international multi stakeholder certification process (RSPO) to assure procurement of the most sustainable materials. In the past year we have been working with AAK (one of the world’s largest vegetable oil manufacturers) to build a sustainable Palm Oil Policy. This collaborative approach is to ensure that our Palm Oil Policy is both realistic and achievable for our suppliers to adhere to.

Palm Oil Policy


World fish stock and marine habitats are increasingly vulnerable due to an increase in fishing and in particular, the use of irresponsible and unsustainable fishing methods. We are working alongside our suppliers to ensure that all fish and seafood in our supply chain continues to be sourced sustainably, using responsible fishing methods that ensure marine ecosystems and healthy population levels of targeted species are protected in order to safeguard future fish and seafood supplies.

On our menus, we have both wild-caught and farmed fish, which are certified by different organisations. Where we source wild-caught fish such as cod and haddock, this is always certified against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard. For our farmed fish such as prawns, we make sure that this is certified to the equivalent Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), GlobalGAP or BAP standards.

Ensuring the fish we source comes with this third party accreditation of sustainability provides a level of assurance to both our customers, and us, but we like to go one-step further. Our responsible sourcing policy for fish outlines the specific conditions we expect our fish to be sourced under, beyond the certification schemes. We work with our suppliers through our responsible sourcing platform, cr360, to measure performance against this policy, and drive improvement where required.

Fish Policy


Animal Welfare

At Whitbread, we have undertaken a number of measures to ensure our customers can be the utmost confidence in the integrity of our meat products. This includes imposing an industryleading set of quality control standards on our suppliers, which means we can trace the origin of all of our meat products. We also conduct rigorous and regular independent testing of our products and, as a result, have one of the strictest testing regimes in the industry.

We require that all of our suppliers comply with animal welfare legislation as a minimum requirement and they are expected to source their products from farms that uphold the principles of the RSPCA’s Five Freedoms to ensure the health and welfare of animals throughout our supply chain.

Animal Welfare Policy


As a responsible company, we understand that animal welfare is important and that our guests expect us to work with our suppliers to ensure that responsible welfare standards are in place.

Our animal welfare policy is applicable to all suppliers of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, dairy, eggs and fish, and they are required to demonstrate management of good animal welfare back to farms. We will only buy meat from suppliers who can demonstrate that they comply fully with UK and EU animal welfare legislation and that they adhere to the Farm Animal Welfare Council's (FAWC) Five Freedoms, a globally recognised set of principles which supports the protection of animals for farming purposes.

Beef Welfare Policy



Cotton represents nearly half the fibre used to make clothing, linen and textiles worldwide and 75% of the world’s production comes from developing countries in Asia and Africa. With massive quantities of water and chemicals needed for cotton production, it is important that the cotton used within our supply chain is ethically and sustainably sourced. Working with key expert organisations such as the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), we are ensuring that our Responsible Sourcing and Sustainable Cotton policies reflect industry best practice and that our suppliers comply with them at all times.

Cotton Policy

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