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Client of the Year

Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants

Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants BPA 2013 Winner

In 2009 Whitbread launched its first set of public carbon targets, aiming to reduce CO2 by 26% relative to sales by 2020, using 2008/9 as a baseline. Since then, relative carbon emissions have been reduced by 20%, at a time of rapid expansion.

It has now created an even more challenging target of 25% reduction in relative emissions by 2015, rising to 50% by 2020, as well as introducing a target of 10% reduction within its supply chain, and in late 2011 achieved its first ISO50001 accredited management system.

Whitbread’s strategy is to make sure that existing hotels are refurbished to enhance their energy efficiency and new hotels are built to the highest sustainable standards. The £7.5m Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant at Barry, South Wales, which opened in October 2012, became the latest Whitbread development to be awarded BREEAM Excellent. Innovations include the use of an air-source heat pump, high-efficiency heat recovery ventilation units in conjunction with non-openable windows in bedrooms, and low-energy light fittings and lamps.

The Barry development builds on learnings from older developments such as Burgess Hill, a BREEAM Excellent site. There, a target of 70% reduction in energy in the restaurant was achieved through measures such as the use of induction hobs, high-efficiency fryers and energy-efficient dishwashers.

In April 2012 Whitbread won a Technology Strategy Board competition to investigate the disconnect between design, construction and operation. Already the project is providing valuable insights into how the company manages its existing estate of more than 600 hotels and 400 restaurants. For example, fryers are no longer used for its breakfast offering; making this practice standard across more than 550 kitchens could save over 5,500kWh a day.

The study has also highlighted that reception areas now consume up to 30% of the hotels’ total energy; these are now being redesigned accordingly.

Highly Commended

Marks & Spencer
nominated by Troup Bywaters + Anders

Marks and Spencer, nominated by Troup Bywaters & Anders, is highly commended for its strategic approach to decarbonising its whole estate and business.


  • Harrods
  • IBM nominated by Atkins
  • The Co-operative Group