Whitbread is targeting a 20 per cent reduction in water usage per Premier Inn guest by 2030, as part of its ongoing Force For Good strategy.
The group has been trialling water-saving technologies at a number of hotels in water stressed areas, with results showing the potential to cut gas consumption and related carbon emissions by 5 per cent, following a reduction in water use of just over 20 per cent.
Whitbread now plans to roll out the initiatives – which include upgraded WC valves, water-efficient showerheads, and flow restrictors on taps – across its 845 UK hotels, prioritising those in areas at higher risk of water stress.
The group cited the UK government’s similar goal to cut household water consumption by 20 per cent by 2037, and said that “For the duration of their stay, water used by guests at Whitbread hotels is water they will not be using at home”.
Whitbread launched its Force for Good sustainability programme in 2019, with targets including eliminating the use of “unnecessary” single-use plastics by 2025.
Premier Inn’s first all-electric hotel is currently under construction in Swindon town centre – and last year Whitbread brought forward its net zero carbon target from 2050 to 2040.
Commenting on the news 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.”