Whitbread cuts carbon emissions despite rapid expansion

9th Aug 2012
Whitbread cuts carbon emissions despite rapid expansion

Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant group, continued to deliver on its sustainability strategy by saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 across its hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops in 2011. The carbon savings were revealed in Whitbread’s tenth annual Environment Report, published on the 1st June 2012.

The owner of the Costa and Premier Inn brands achieved an absolute reduction of CO2 emissions of more than 1,579 tonnes in 2011 – equivalent to taking approximately 250 medium-sized cars off the road – whilst opening 29 new hotels and more than 100 coffee shops across the country.  The savings represent an 11% reduction in carbon emissions relative to sales revenue.

Chris George, head of energy and environment at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said:  “Our ambition at Whitbread is to lead the hospitality industry to a more sustainable future.  To do that we have set ourselves stretching targets to reduce our energy and water consumption and cut waste across the business.  Our recent performance shows we can hit the numbers whilst delivering strong returns to our shareholders.” 

Installing energy saving technologies at existing Whitbread sites, investing in new sustainable hotels and restaurants and educating staff to save energy and water all contributed to the reductions. 

Every existing Whitbread hotel and restaurant has electricity, gas and water data logging meters installed to record consumption and eliminate unnecessary wastage.  At new sites, Whitbread is continuing to lead in the design of new sustainable hotels and restaurants and the business opened its tenth sustainable hotel and restaurant in Camborne, Cornwall in January 2012.


Whitbread employs over 40,000 people and serves 19 million customers every month in its 2,200 outlets across the UK.

Chris continued:  “Given the scale of our business, the small changes we make at our sites to mitigate our energy consumption can yield huge carbon reductions across the UK and minimise the impact of our business on the environment.”

The Environment Report also outlined Whitbread’s progress in other key corporate responsibility areas including cutting water consumption by 5% relative to sales and diverting 83% of its site waste from landfill, whilst continuing to deliver its aggressive expansion strategy.

As part of its strategy to lead the hospitality industry to a more sustainable future, Whitbread has set itself the target of delivering a 25% reduction in carbon emissions, a 15% saving in water consumption and zero waste to landfill from direct operating activities by 2017, relative to sales and measured from a 2009 baseline.

Whitbread is also working with its suppliers to lower the carbon emissions generated from its supply chain and has published a new target to deliver a 10% carbon reduction across supply chain activities by 2017 as part of this latest Environment Report.

The tenth Whitbread Environment Report can be found on the Whitbread website: 2012 Environment Report


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