Premier Inn to open first all-electric property this year

UK: Premier Inn will open its first all-electric property this year, as its owner Whitbread’s net zero target is validated by SBTi.

UK: Premier Inn will open its first all-electric property this year, as its owner Whitbread’s net zero target is validated by SBTi.

The company, which owns Premier Inn, has released The Whitbread Net Zero Transition Plan, which outlines priorities, plans and projects to reach its newly validated SBTi carbon target. 

Whitbread’s net zero target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). To achieve SBTi validation, the ambition of the Scope 3 targets is greater than in the published Net Zero Transition Plan, although the actions within the plan remain unchanged and equally valid. Scope 3 emissions are, after all, the tricky ones and the biggest emission area to harness and reduce.

Part of the Net Zero Transition Plan includes 100 per cent renewable electricity to be purchased across the entire Whitbread estate by 2026, where possible. Before that date, however, the first all-electric Premier Inn hotel will open in Swindon later this year. The Swindon hotel (pictured above) will be fully heated and powered by renewable electricity (grid and on-site), is built with market-leading insulation, energy efficient equipment and new water-heating technology such as the Mitsubishi Q-ton heat pump.

The Net Zero Transition Plan also goes into the details of how Whitbread is bringing its directly controlled (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) to net zero by 2040, and removing mains gas connection from the existing estate by 2040. 

The plan cites removing mains gas from its existing estate where possible, including more than 800 Premier Inn hotels, using a wide range of initiatives to embed decarbonisation throughout the business. Initiatives include the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, only using renewable energy and the installation of more energy-efficient kitchen equipment. 

Dominic Paul, Whitbread CEO, said: “Our Net Zero plan is integral to our business plan. Setting ambitious carbon reduction targets across Whitbread supports our people recruitment and retention, attracts more customers and has a positive impact on our local communities and suppliers. We are in a strong position as one of the few hospitality businesses to own its assets to leverage our rate of change and be confident of delivering our low carbon ambitions.”

The release of the Net Zero Plan follows more than a decade of activity to drive down emissions, which has seen the company reduce its direct operational GHG emissions by 52.5 per cent so far. Earlier this month Sustainable Hotel News reported on Premier Inn cutting water consumption by 20 per cent per guest.

Rosana Elias, head of sustainability, added: “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.”

The plan is being driven by the firm’s Force for Good sustainability programme, and its commitments and initiatives include:

Interim targets by 2030 to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 80 per cent per m2 and Scope 3 emissions by 58 per cent per m2 by 2030
100 per cent of new UK self-build developments constructed to net zero specifications from 2026.
Trial of a shadow cost of carbon in selected investment decisions.
Entire corporate car fleet in operation to be 100 per cent EV by 2030.
Working with a specialist food consultancy to measure the impact of embedded soy in Whitbread’s supply chain

Elias added: “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.”

Image: All-electric Premier Inn Swindon to open later this year. Courtesy of Whitbread.

Mansley Serviced Apartments achieves Silver rating from Green Tourism

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

Green Tourism is a certification programme, which recognises and promotes sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The accreditation criteria are based on internationally recognised sustainability standards and guidelines, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The assessment process involved looking at Mansley’s energy and water consumption, as well as how it communicated awareness for ESG, how staff are treated, the guest experience and the low carbon and eco-friendly activities the business promotes. 

Mansley had to demonstrate its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, implement energy-efficient measures and adopt sustainable waste management solutions. The business was also evaluated on its commitment to protecting local ecosystems, promoting biodiversity and supporting local communities.

As well as operating serviced apartments, By Mansley owns more than 1,200 acres of commercial forest, which are part of the Forestry Stewardship Council and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. The idea is that the forests offset the carbon emissions from the business, as well as Mansely practising carbon capturing, which has resulted in 9,000 m3 carbon captured since 2021.

Mansley will be assessed on an annual basis to ensure the standard is maintained or improved. The business will use Green Tourism’s Green Check Action Plan to review targets and progress and the plan will be reviewed regularly and shared.

A spokesperson said: “We are delighted to announce that all seven Mansley Serviced Apartments properties have received Silver rating from Green Tourism. We take our ESG responsibilities very seriously and will be taking on board the assessors reports and aiming for gold next time around. The assessment looks at every area of the business and it has been a big team effort to collate all of the information. Well done to all those involved in gaining this achievement.”

Mansley Serviced Apartments are located in London, Edinburgh, Inverness and Cheltenham. The company has another site coming soon in York, with construction beginning this year.

Image: Pexels Free Images

Nature-inspired 1 Hotels to open in Mayfair

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

SH Hotels & Resorts manages the 1 Hotels brand, as well as Baccarat Hotels, Treehouse Hotels and SH Collection. 1 Hotels is its sustainable offering and the Mayfair property is described as a nine-story “sustainable sanctuary” overlooking Green Park. 

Barry Sternlicht, 1 Hotels founder and chairman of SH Hotels & Resorts said: “We are delighted to bring nature and our mission of sustainable luxury to Mayfair, the very heart of London, one of the most important travel markets in the world. We are thrilled to bring our unique fusion of fresh comfort, conscious sustainability, exceptional bespoke service, understated elegance, wellness and nutrition to London.”

Opting for reconstruction over new construction, the hotel has been built to BREEAM Excellent standards, and has utilised 80 per cent of the existing structure.

All of 1 Hotels US operated properties are 100 per cent certified carbon neutral since 2018, and the brand has offset 19,171 tons of C02 (the equivalent of 49,145,794 miles driven by an average diesel car).

SH Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer Raul Leal said: “We’ve reimagined the traditional luxury hotel experience for Mayfair by infusing our love for nature with effortless sophistication. With this opening we celebrate our distinctive brand’s entry into Europe and the dynamic and culturally rich city of London.”

All 181 rooms, including 44 suites of the Mayfair hotel, has walls lined with native British moss and there are more than 200 local and regional plant species throughout the property. Living green-trellised exterior walls transform former hard surfaces into natural vertical landscapes. 

The restaurant, Dovetale, from two Michelin starred chef Tom Sellers will feature seasonal, organic, locally sourced ingredients. 

For the full list of locations of the 1 Hotels brand as well as hotels coming to Europe and the US soon, click here.

Image: 1 Hotels, Mayfair

easyHotel to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent in UK hotels

UK: Budget brand easyHotel is planning to spend £4.5 million to reduce its carbon emissions in UK hotels this year.

UK: Budget brand easyHotel is planning to spend £4.5 million to reduce its carbon emissions in UK hotels this year.

The chain is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by 45 per cent at twelve of its properties in the UK by 2025. easyHotel says its aim is to become the leader in low-cost, low-carbon hotels throughout Europe and the UK and it doesn’t want to store carbon in the earth (which is what happens when you offset carbon emissions), and instead take the necessary steps to reduce its carbon emissions in the first place.

Karim Malak CEO easyHotel said: “The hotel industry accounts for about 1 per cent of carbon emissions globally and we have a collective responsibility to do all we can to reduce these emissions. Our business is naturally low-carbon thanks to our size-efficient room design which uses less raw materials, but it’s important for us to look at every area of our operations and try where we can, to be as low-carbon as possible.”   

To achieve this easyHotel has already removed single-use plastic bottles from its properties and instead guests can fill up their water bottles with free filtered-water (they can also buy aluminium reusable bottles from reception).

Plastic key cards are being phased out to be replaced by wooden key cards (pictured above). The chain produces 55,000 plastic cards a year.

The chain already has the opportunity to have a lower carbon footprint than full service hotel chains. Most of its properties don’t have restaurants, gyms, meetings and events spaces, and breakfast is a Continental offering, which doesn’t use ovens. easyHotels are also centrally located cities and easy to access via public transport.

The UK locations benefiting from the investment £4.5m investment are London Shoreditch, Croydon, Birmingham Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Ipswich, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow. The hotels will remain open whilst the work is completed. 

Operational initiatives already in place to reduce easyHotel carbon footprint

  1. As part of easyHotel’s plan to be as low carbon as possible, the Group has also partnered with Kanso, a carbon-neutral facilities management company, for all cleaning across its owned and leased UK hotels. easyHotel rooms are cleaned every four days rather than every day, to reduce unnecessary washing of towels, which wastes water. Initiatives such as removing plastic bin liners from rooms and using refillable recycled bottles has led to a 42 per cent decrease in easyHotel’s plastic waste associated with hotel cleaning since September 2022
  2. Recyclable and recycled toiletry dispensers
  3. Recyclable and sustainable materials throughout newer properties, and use fewer building materials like concrete (the production of which emits lots of CO2)
  4. Investing in Green CAPEX (capital expenditure made in environmentally sustainable economic activities) when renovating selected properties (such as Croydon, Nice and Glasgow) as well as new properties.
  5. Implementing measures to follow the decarbonisation trajectory of Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) on our existing portfolio in England. This includes studies on solar panels as well as advanced monitoring to note what consumes the most gas, water etc. CRREM aims at developing a tool that allows investors and property owners to assess their assets and risks based on energy and emission data alongside the analysis of regulatory requirements. 
  6. New hotel room concept uses fewer raw materials and low-carbon materials, (new bedroom flooring is Cradle to Cradle Certified), meaning that it is both a recycled materials and it is easily recycled, and is manufactured using renewable energy
  7. Timber for the bed frames, skirtings, door frames etc., which is sustainably sourced. Timber is an inherently a low carbon material
  8. The stools in the rooms are manufactured from 100 per cent recycled household and industrial plastic waste

easyHotel will roll out these initiatives for its hotels in Belgium, France, Netherlands and Spain by the end of this year.

Image: easyHotel – wooden keycard

The Eden Hotel Collection achieves zero waste and launches Green Champions

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

The group is now taking steps to get the accreditation by Green Tourism.

The Eden Collection recycled 313 tonnes of waste across all of its hotels in 2022. Of that 30 per cent was recycled, and 50 per cent was converted into renewable energy through incineration. The final 20 per cent of the group’s waste was food waste and this was broken down to create organic matter through the process of anaerobic digestion – where the bacteria breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen.

The group has also announced the launch of its ‘Green Champions’ at every hotel, which achieves the Green Tourism accreditation this year. One member of staff from each of those hotels has volunteered to be responsible for taking the lead on environmental initiatives. This includes using more energy-efficient light bulbs, sourcing local produce, and encouraging paperless bills. 

Jayne O’Malley, group operations manager at The Eden Hotel Collection said: “We are so proud of the work that has taken place across the Group over the past 12 months and we’re really looking to build on that in 2023. We are aiming to be a collection of environmentally responsible hotels, providing intelligent luxury and to assist in achieving a cleaner, safer and healthier world for ourselves, our families and that of future generations.”

The group is working with the Carbon Trust and 1st Waste Management Consultants Ltd, as well as in tree planting and wind turbine projects in the UK.

The Eden Hotel Collection has hotels across the UK, including Bovey Castle in Devon, The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham, Brockencote Hall Hotel in Kidderminster, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington, and The Arden Hotel in Stratford.

In other UK hotel news, Kent’s first eco hotel opened late last year.

Image: Bovey Castle, Devon – The Eden Collection