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26th April 2024

Whitbread PLC joins Zero Carbon Forum

As the UK’s biggest hospitality company continues to drive towards net zero

25th April 2024: Whitbread PLC, the leading hospitality company and owner of Premier Inn, the UK’s largest hotel brand, is the latest member to collaborate with Zero Carbon Forum on its journey to achieving net zero in hospitality.

The PLC, which operates a vertically integrated model combining the ownership of property and operation of hotels and restaurants has made a commitment to reduce operational emissions through its ‘Force for Good’ programme. Split into three pillars, Opportunity, Community and Responsibility, the programme aims to ensure positive impact on all stakeholders and communities. Gaining SBTi (Science-Based Targets initiative) validation in 2023, Whitbread has set targets to bring directly controlled (Scope 1 and 2) emissions to zero by 2040. Its target for Scope 3 emissions is to reduce by 90% by 2050.

Already, 98% of Whitbread’s UK electricity is sourced from renewable energy with a goal of 100% renewable electricity purchased across the entire estate by 2026. October 2023 saw the opening of the first all-electric Premier Inn hotel, in Swindon. Heat pumps are installed in 40 Premier Inn hotels and Solar photovoltaic (PV) for renewable energy generation is included across 20% of its estate. The company has also worked to reduce waste, saving over 76,000 m3 of water through internal water auditing and leak detection and diverting 99% of operational waste from landfill. Surplus food is donated to a range of charity partners. Over 42,000 meals were delivered between 2022 – 2023 through its partner, FareShare, as part of Whitbread’s goal to reduce food waste by 50% compared to 2018.

Will Silverwood, Head of Sustainability at Whitbread said: “We are extremely proud of the progress we have made at Whitbread, which stems from a company-wide passion and firm belief that net zero is attainable. But we know there is still much to do. Alongside setting stretching targets to help us meet our goals, working collaboratively with Zero Carbon Forum will give us the guidance needed, particularly related to our Scope 3 emission reduction activity, that will be key to achieving our aspirations.”

Mark Chapman, founder and CEO of Zero Carbon Forum added: “We are thrilled to have Whitbread PLC officially on board with the forum as the number one hotel operator in the UK. This is testament to the increasing output of the work that we do at Zero Carbon Forum to help operators understand the many complexities of net zero transition and achieve on their targets. With Scope 3 the biggest challenge on the horizon,  sharing guidance and best practice is the only way to move forward and ensure that we tackle the climate crises, at pace, together.”


Link to newsroom and assets here for:

  • Headshot of Mark Chapman, CEO and Founder of Zero Carbon Forum
  • Headshot of Will Silverwood, Head of Sustainability at Whitbread
  • Zero Carbon Forum backgrounder
  • Copy of this news release

For further information please contact: Jo McConnell/ Verity Blake at HeadOn PR


T: 01242 335 246

About Zero Carbon Forum

Zero Carbon Forum is a non-profit organisation which builds on over 10 years of carbon reduction collaboration in the UK’s hospitality and Brewing sector. It enables members to reach their decarbonisation targets faster, more efficiently and more cost effectively than acting alone.

By combining expertise and resources the forum helps to identify all possible actions to decarbonise operations across tens of thousands of outlets and their supply chains. Forum members, which represent over 35% of the sector’s outlets, pledge to work collaboratively, by sharing carbon reduction plans and initiatives.

In October 2021 Zero Carbon Forum published its publicly available roadmap for hospitality to achieve net zero carbon. The sector is working towards targets as set out in the roadmap of net zero emissions by 2030 on their own operations and 2040 across their supply chain.

This was followed by the launch of its Overnight Energy programme, a simple and impactful two-stage ‘10-minute’ shutdown process, combined with analytics from members’ energy smart meters to achieve substantial cost reductions and reduce emissions.

In April 2022 the forum launched a Carbon Calculator and Toolkit, developed in collaboration with UKHospitality, BBPA, and powered by Sky and the Brewer’s company, which enables hospitality operators and brewers to calculate their carbon footprint and identify achievable key actions to reduce emissions.

In March 2024 the forum launched Marketplace, a new directory to connect and showcase innovative sustainable suppliers to hospitality and brewing operators.

Zero Carbon Forum is backed by trade associations UKHospitality, The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII). Forum members include leading UK and global Brewing and Hospitality organisations.

About Whitbread

Whitbread PLC is the owner of Premier Inn and restaurant brands including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Bar + Block, Whitbread Inns and Cookhouse + Pub.

From booking to bed, Premier Inn is here to help its guests rest easy. Whether it’s a choice of 80,000 rooms across 800+ hotels, beds guests won’t want to leave, tasty food, flexible rates or friendly team members who genuinely care, these are just some of the reasons Premier Inn is one of the most-loved hotels in the UK and beyond. Outside of the UK, Whitbread’s expansion plans are focused on Germany.

Whitbread is committed to being a force for good in the communities in which it operates. Its sustainability programme, ‘Force for Good’ is focused on enabling people to live and work well and is built around three pillars of Opportunity, Community and Responsibility.

Whitbread PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE.

For further information please contact: Jo McConnell/ Verity Blake at HeadOn PR


T: 01242 335 246

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