Whitbread targets 20% reduction in water usage per guest by 2030
Whitbread, owner of the UK’s largest hotel company Premier Inn, has today announced an ambitious new target to cut water consumption by 20% per sleeper by 2030. A trial of the innovative water-saving technologies involving a number of hotels in water stressed areas revealed the potential to cut the group’s gas consumption and related carbon emissions by 5%, following a reduction in water use of just over 20%.
In order to achieve this ambitious target across its estate, launched as part of its Force for Good sustainability programme, Whitbread will roll out water-saving technologies across its entire UK portfolio of over 845 hotels – prioritising those in areas at higher risk of water stress. The programme of advancements includes installation of upgraded WC valves, water-efficient showerheads, and flow restrictors on taps.
For the duration of their stay, water used by guests at Whitbread hotels is water they will not be using at home. With the majority of Whitbread’s water consumption classed as domestic, the new target is directly comparable to the UK government’s goal to cut household water consumption by 20% by 2037 – but Whitbread raises its ambition, bringing the target date forward by 7 years for Whitbread operated hotels.
The UK hospitality sector may have to face increasing challenges around water stress. In August 2022 the Environment Agency declared a drought in 8 of its 14 areas across the UK and water restrictions are expected to become more frequent as global temperatures rise.
Rosana Elias, Head of Sustainability, Whitbread, said:
“Reducing water use and gas consumption not only benefits the environment but makes perfect business sense. Not only are we looking at potential significant savings on our water and gas bills, but our hotels will be less impacted by the water restrictions placed on drought-stricken regions which we are seeing with increasing regularity, most recently in 2022.
“This announcement, part of Whitbread’s Force for Good programme which addresses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues most material to our business, is the latest in a series that position Whitbread as a leader amongst its peer group.”
More information on Whitbread’s Force For Good strategy can be found here – https://www.whitbread.co.uk/sustainability/.