Over 800 Premier Inn hotels to remove mains gas in net zero drive

01 June 2023 by
Over 800 Premier Inn hotels to remove mains gas in net zero drive

Whitbread plans to stop using mains gas across more than 800 of its Premier Inn hotels as part of a drive to become net zero.

The company will switch to more eco-friendly energy sources throughout its estate, which includes the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurant brands, as it looks to cut its directly controlled greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040.

This will see the installation of air source heat pumps, which use electricity to feed warmth from outside into internal central heating systems, as well as solar panels and more energy efficient kitchen equipment.

The first ‘all electric' Premier Inn is due to open in Swindon this year with no connection to a natural gas supply. The 195-room hotel will be fully heated and powered by renewable electricity and on-site solar panels.

It forms part of a wider commitment by Whitbread to become net zero across its entire business by 2050. This includes Scope 3 emissions, which are created by its suppliers such as food and drink producers.

Air source heat pumps have already been installed in 40 Premier Inn hotels and solar panels are used across 20% of Whitbread's estate.

Whitbread's entire corporate car fleet will be electric by 2030 and the company hopes that 100% renewable electricity will be used across its entire hospitality estate by 2026 ‘where possible'.

Rosana Elias, head of sustainability at Whitbread, said: "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."

Other hospitality companies are also taking steps to move towards net zero as customers become more environmentally conscious. Accor is aiming to reach net zero by 2050 while Hilton has pledged to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Nando's claims to have been carbon neutral since 2021 and will roll out an energy recycling scheme across its 475 UK restaurants following a successful trial.

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