Whitbread sets new sustainability targets after rapid gains

The parent company of Costa and Premier Inn has today announced a new set of sustainability targets for 2020, having achieved existing goals three years ahead of schedule.

Since 2009, Whitbread PLC has cut carbon intensity by 33%, cut water use by 28%, doubled the amount of renewable energy purchased and diverted 95% of all waste away from landfill.

And according to new plans announced on Thursday, the company wants to reduce carbon by a further 15% and water by 20% against a 2014 baseline, while bumping recycling rates to 80%.

Successes so far have been driven by investments in renewables and energy efficiency, as well as a partnership with Veolia Environmental Services.

Whitbread CEO Andy Harrison said: “As we grow, we have an even greater responsibility to consider our wider environmental and societal impact. 

“Our Good Together programme is an integral part of how we do business at Whitbread and as the UK’s largest hospitality company, we aim to be a leader in developing sustainable business practices within our sector.  

“We have set new stretching targets for the next five years to help deliver a sustainable future for our company and be a force for good in the communities in which we operate.”

Supply chain

The company also announced today a new commitment to greening its supply chain with a target to achieve 100% accredited supply for ten critical product sourced commodities (cocoa, coffee, cotton, fish, meat, palm oil, soy, sugar, tea and timber).  

Whitbread hotels and restaurant CSR director Simon Ewins said: “We would encourage all businesses to look at how they can further enhance their environmental and societal impact and would invite business leaders to work with us to share best practice across this common aim of a more sustainable future.”

Whitbread’s Costa recently launched a new ‘Eco Pod’ cafe concept, incorporating an array of innovative energy-saving technologies that could reportedly have a huge impact on the future of sustainable building design in the hospitality sector. 

The company was also recognised at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Aawards 2014, earning an accolade for its innovative approach to water management. Read more here. 

 Brad Allen

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