Whitbread: 10 years of water management


”Our vision is to lead the hospitality industry to become more sustainable and we want to work with our suppliers who share these key values, have strong environment policies and can help us reduce our water footprint and environmental impact. Waterscan’s reporting, monitoring and greywater recycling system reduces water usage on average at Premier Inn hotels by 30% compared to the water consumption of a similar hotel.” Chris George Head of Energy and Environment, Whitbread

Waterscan has been providing water management services to the Whitbread Group for over 10 years. In addition to identifying refunds and savings through invoice validation, various other water efficiency projects have been implemented. These include the installation of AMR devices at 600 hotels and restaurants; greywater recycling system installations in all new build Premier Inn hotels; and the development of a water strategy that is targeting a 25% consumption reduction versus a 2009 baseline.

‘…Water is a valuable resource to our business, in partnership with Waterscan our water strategy is a key element of our ‘Good Together’ CR program’ Chris George Head of Energy and Environment, Whitbread

Actions & Solutions

The partnership initially begun with the supply of water bureau services such as invoice validation, historical auditing and on site water audits to establish existing water consumption and costs. This enabled savings to be identified and recommendations provided for future
water efficiency.

Once the benefit of effective water management was demonstrated, resource was committed to automating measurement of each sites water usage through the deployment of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices. The AMR devices send regular consumption readings back to Waterline©, a unique online water management software package, which enables leak detection and unusual consumption patterns to be noted, plus allows for accurate reporting to be completed.

The partnership progressed to building water sustainability into everyday operations with greywater recycling becoming ‘design standard’ for all new build Premier Inn hotels. This initiative enabled consumption to be reduced by up to 30% at each hotel when compared to that of a similar hotel. The most recent initiative saw the development of a water strategy which set targets for water consumption reduction, delivered an implementation plan to enable success and gives regular reporting and tracking to target. The water strategy formed a key part of the Whitbread Group’s CR program ‘Good Together’.

Lessons & Results

During the partnership, significant cost savings, refunds and consumption reductions have been achieved through account investigation/validation, surface water and leak refunds, duplicate billing and tariff transfer initiatives. The partnership has also contributed to improved water availability for the regions in which the Whitbread sites operate and enabled the Group to be recognised pioneers of water sustainability in the hospitality industry.

  • 6.6% Reduction in water use year on year relative to sales
  • 21.2% Water consumption reduction relative to sales against a 2009 baseline
  • 39 Greywater recycling systems installed across Premier Inn estate
  • 30% Average reduction in hotel potable water use

Monitoring & development
Over the past 10 years, the relationship has grown into a solid partnership and this will be pivotal as Waterscan continue to support Whitbread in achieving their new target of 25% water consumption reduction versus a 2009 baseline by 2017.

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