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Whitbread joins Zero Carbon Forum

Whitbread plc, leading hospitality company and owner of Premier Inn, is the latest member to collaborate with Zero Carbon Forum on its journey to achieving net zero in hospitality.


The company, which operates a vertically integrated model combining the ownership of property and operation of hotels and restaurants, has made a commitment to reduce operational emissions through its ‘Force for Good’ programme. Split into three pillars – opportunity, community and responsibility – the programme aims to ensure positive impact on all stakeholders and communities. Gaining SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) validation in 2023, Whitbread has set targets to bring directly controlled (Scope 1 and 2) emissions to zero by 2040. Its target for Scope 3 emissions is to reduce by 90% by 2050. 


Already, 98% of Whitbread’s UK electricity is sourced from renewable energy with a goal of 100% renewable electricity purchased across the entire estate by 2026. October 2023 saw the opening of the first all electric Premier Inn hotel, in Swindon. Heat pumps are installed in 40 Premier Inn hotels and solar photovoltaic (PV) for renewable energy generation is included across 20% of its estate. The company has also worked to reduce waste, saving over 76,000 m3 of water through internal water auditing and leak detection and diverting 99% of operational waste from landfill. Surplus food is donated to a range of charity partners. Over 42,000 meals were delivered between 2022 to 2023 through its partner, FareShare, as part of Whitbread’s goal to reduce food waste by 50% compared to 2018.


Will Silverwood, head of sustainability at Whitbread, said: ‘We are extremely proud of the progress we have made at Whitbread, which stems from a company wide passion and firm belief that net zero is attainable. But we know there is still much to do. Alongside setting stretching targets to help us meet our goals, working collaboratively with Zero Carbon Forum will give us the guidance needed, particularly related to our Scope 3 emission reduction activity, that will be key to achieving our aspirations.’


Mark Chapman, founder and CEO of Zero Carbon Forum, added: ‘We are thrilled to have Whitbread plc officially on board with the forum as the number one hotel operator in the UK. This is testament to the increasing output of the work that we do at Zero Carbon Forum to help operators understand the many complexities of net zero transition and achieve on their targets. With Scope 3 the biggest challenge on the horizon, sharing guidance and best practice is the only way to move forward and ensure that we tackle the climate crises, at pace, together.’






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