Whitbread to replace gas with heat pumps and solar panels at Premier Inn hotels – Business Traveller

Whitbread has published what it called “a comprehensive guide to its long-term decarbonisation plans”, including bringing the group’s directly controlled emissions to zero by 2040.

The owner of budget hotel chain Premier Inn said that its net zero target had been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and would also include 100 per cent renewable electricity being purchased across the entire Whitbread estate by 2026 (where possible).

The group’s Net Zero Transition Plan includes a commitment to remove mains gas supply from over 800 Premier Inn properties by 2040, with alternative energy sources being installed including Air Source Heat Pumps and solar panels.

As previously reported, Premier Inn is set to open its first all-electric hotel in Swindon later this year.

Premier Inn to open first all-electric hotel

Whitbread also wants to reduce scope 3 emissions (those from suppliers and others in the value chain) by 58 per cent per sqm by 2030, and by 90 per cent per sqm by 2050.

The group said it would undertake a Net Zero Audit of all sites, so that it can “set its priorities for climate retrofitting”.

Last month Whitbread announced plans for a 20 per cent reduction in water usage per Premier Inn guest by 2030, as part of its ongoing Force For Good strategy.

Premier Inn wants to cut guest water usage by 20 per cent by 2030

Commenting on the latest targets Rosana Elias, head of sustainability, said:

“We have been working on reducing our climate impact for a while and have successfully trialled the installation of air source heat pumps in 40 of our hotels and use solar power across over 20 per cent of our estate. Today’s plan doubles down on our commitment to reinvent budget hotels for the net zero age.

“We have taken a holistic approach – from how we build and operate our buildings and restaurants to how we power them through renewables, and we will work with suppliers, employees and customers to support a just transition.

“We want to provide sustainable and affordable accommodation and dining options, allowing our guests to make choices that align with their values without having to compromise on the product and service they receive.

“We don’t claim to have all the answers now, but our plan will evolve over time and evolve as the technologies and policies that we rely on for success develop further.”


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