Whitbread launches green refurbishment drive
</p><h2>Investing over £7m in carbon and water saving programme</h2><p> July 13, 2010 // Franchising.com // Whitbread PLC, the UK's largest hotel and restaurant group, has today announced that as part of this year's capital investment programme it will be spending over £7m in a major sustainability programme to boost the environmental performance of its hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. The move forms an important part of Whitbread's 'Good Together' sustainability strategy and will help the business deliver against its targets of a 26% reduction in energy consumption and a 20% reduction in water use by 2020.
The investment drive will focus on Whitbread's existing estate and will see the introduction of a package of efficiency measures to help the company reduce its carbon emissions and conserve water.
As part of the programme, 20,000 low-flow showerheads will be installed at Premier Inn hotels. Extensive tests by Whitbread have helped the company develop a showerhead which delivers the feel and effect of a powerful shower while saving three litres of water a minute. This single initiative will save enough water to fill 88 Olympic swimming pools a year by 2012.
Another key element of the programme will see £2.6m go towards low-energy LED light bulbs, replacing 75,000 energy inefficient light bulbs. This investment will save an estimated 6200 tonnes of carbon each year as well as reduce Whitbread's energy bill.
Additional energy and water saving measures include investment in voltage optimisation, thermal building insulation, automated lighting systems, bathroom tap restrictors and dual flush toilets, renewable technology such as solar panels and micro combined heat and power and solar film (window film which allows light in but reduces the need for cooling by keeping heat out in summer).
Chris George, Whitbread's Head of Energy & Environment, said: "This significant green investment is a major step forward for Whitbread as we continue to drive down carbon emissions and reduce water consumption as part of our 'Good Together' commitments. By leading the way in our sector, we can show what can be achieved when you are committed to taking action on the environment. What's really exciting about our programme is its scale – we have the largest portfolio of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops in the UK. That means we have a real opportunity to make a difference and there is considerable scope for us to be innovative and bold."
Whitbread is also operating a sustainable new build programme and construction is currently underway on a second green hotel and first low-carbon restaurant. Burgess Hill Premier Inn and Beefeater in West Sussex, due to open in late Autumn 2010, follows Whitbread's pioneering green hotel pilot in Tamworth, Staffordshire – the UK's first green budget hotel which opened its doors to guests in December 2008.
To learn more about what Whitbread is doing as part of its Good Together programme, plus its energy and water saving initiatives, please view the on-line report at: http://cr.whitbread.co.uk/
Whitbread PLC is the UK's largest hotel and restaurant group operating market-leading businesses in the budget hotels and restaurant sectors. Its well-loved brands are Premier Inn, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Taybarns and Costa Coffee.
Whitbread PLC employs over 34,000 people and serves 10 million customers every month in over 2,000 outlets across the UK.
In the year ended 4 March 2010, Whitbread PLC reported a 7.5% increase in Group Revenue to £1,435.0 million and Underlying Profit before tax of £239.1 million up 6.6%.
Whitbread PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. It is also a member of the FTSE4Good Index.
Whitbread was one of the first hotel and restaurant companies in the UK to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, demonstrating Whitbread's commitment to becoming a truly low carbon leader and sustainable business in the communities in which it operates.
In March 2009 Whitbread launched the 'Whitbread Model' - a six month apprenticeship programme. The 'Whitbread Model' is an innovative apprenticeship programme where employees are eligible to be an apprentice across its UK hotel and restaurant operations. Employees can study for NVQ's in House keeping, Food processing and Cooking, Food and Drink service and Front Office. Ofsted awarded Whitbread with an 'Outstanding' grade for its Hospitality and Catering Training programme in October 2009.