​Whitbread - driving zero waste to landfill

​Whitbread - driving zero waste to landfill

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their environmental performance whilst keeping their costs to a minimum. With landfill tax rising year on year, Veolia has been working closely with customers to find the best solutions for their commercial waste management needs through a wide range of collection and treatment methods.

A case in point is Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, the UK’s largest hospitality company, which in partnership with Veolia won the 2011 Best Initiative for Large Business at the Climate Week Awards for its innovative landfill diversion initiative.

The hospitality and leisure industry has the third largest area of consumption after the home and transport. Waste management contributes 3% of global carbon emissions.  Therefore a radical boost in carbon performance covering both these areas offers the opportunities for significant long-term improvement.

Our contract with Whitbread covers 590 Premier Inn hotels with more than 43,000 rooms and 376 restaurants. There are three strands to the joint strategy;
  • A food waste recycling service has been rolled out to over 60% of the estate that generates food waste with a target to have 100% of the Whitbread estate diverting food waste from landfill by February 2012 to anaerobic digestion and in vessel composting
  • Introduction of a mixed recycling service to 100% of the Whitbread estate which results in adding plastic, paper and tin to the existing card recycling services
  • Diverting residual waste to Energy Recovery Facilities from 50% of the Whitbread estate to generate electricity for the National Grid.
The strategy has already seen a dramatic increase in landfill diversion from 49% in November 2009 to 66% in January 2011 via different recovery techniques. And the target is to achieve 80% landfill diversion by February 2012. Through our Greenhouse Gas tracker we have calculated that this hard work has resulted in 4,575.577 tCO2e avoided emissions - 533% in volume of the direct and indirect emissions.

This approach is not just exclusive to Whitbread.  We believe that we can help other businesses move in the same direction to reduce their carbon emissions and move towards zero waste to landfill.