Whitbread - Being Good Together

Climate Change Award in association with the Mayday Journey supported by the Environment leadership team, Big Tick 2011, Reaccredited 2012, 2013

Whitbread launched “Good Together” in 2009 as a way to drive sustainable performance. It is an overarching strategy and programme of initiatives to help Whitbread‘s employees, customers and supply chain partners make changes to how they work and how they 'eat, sleep and drink'.

Business impacts

  • £2 million were saved in energy costs on a like-for-like basis across our portfolio during the 2011/2012 financial year.
  • Basingstoke Costa has saved a total of £5671 through energy efficient store features including LEDs and PIRs, Eco Water boiler, low energy coffee machine, ceramic grill and enhanced controls on A/C.
  • Whitbread received approximately 50 positive articles in local, national and trade media for their work in sustainability. They were featured in the Caterer and Hotel Keeper as experts in the hospitality sector and are widely considered as leaders in their industry.

Environmental impacts

  • Reduction of Whitbread's relative carbon emissions by 3.28% in 2009/2010 (a 6% reduction is expected in 2011/2012).
  • From 2009 to 2011 Whitbread’s carbon efficiency has been improved by around 10%.
  • The green hotel in Tamworth has demonstrated significant carbon and water savings, with the carbon footprint now circa 81% and water footprint circa 66% lower than a standard Premier Inn.

Good Together has become an integral part of how they make decisions, measure performance, choose their partners and express their core company values.


Through research and trials in energy efficient new-builds, and investing in their existing estate with proven technologies, Whitbread has reduced its overall energy signature and impact on the environment while remaining a competitive business.

Whitbread Premises

The green hotel in Tamworth was an exciting development for Whitbread, and a first for budget chain hotels. The hotel represents, as far as possible, a lifecycle project as carbon efficiency was factored into the design, the materials used and also the operational phase of this hotel. The site was designed as a test-bed to trial the best green technologies currently available, to see which were viable for future use within the estate. It includes LED lighting, heat recovery, natural insulation, sustainably sourced timber, solar powered hot water, ground source heat pump, locally sourced clay roof tiles and 100 tonnes less concrete in the foundations, greywater and rainwater recovery.  In 2011 investments included, Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to recharge electric car charging ports in a Premier Inn and biomass boilers.

In April 2010 Costa opened its first low carbon store in Basingstoke. Based on the learnings from other areas of Whitbread the store features; LEDs and PIRs, Eco Water boiler, low energy coffee machine, ceramic grill and enhanced controls on A/C.  

In November 2011, energy-efficient trailers were introduced into Whitbread’s logistics fleet, which are expected to save 1,150 tonnes of CO2 a year.
An external company carries out biodiversity ecology reports on its new development sites, also considering green roofs when possible and respecting the local species in landscaping.
Whitbread has also trialled other technologies within the existing estate to determine how they will reduce the impact of their business on the environment. An energy action plan with over 50 key initiatives and optimisation solutions relevant to the hospitality sector has been formulated from the detailed list of proven case study activities and actions in order to deliver the combined 26% reduction in CO2 and a 20% water reduction by 2020 against a 2009 baseline.


Whitbread is keen to understand and measure the environmental impacts of its new developments. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has developed the leading and most widely used tool to do this – BREEAM (Building Research Establishment‘s Environmental Assessment Method). Unfortunately, there was no standard BREEAM tool in existence for the hotel and restaurant sector. Whitbread took the initiative to develop, in conjunction with the BRE, a BREEAM assessment tool that they could apply to all of their new hotel and restaurant developments.