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In a spate of recent announcements, Whitbread PLC has committed to a range of new targets for 2020 under its corporate responsibility programme, Good Together.
The key targets Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants has signed up to include: Creating 15,000 new jobs and 6,000 apprenticeships, Raising £25 million for charitable causes Reducing carbon emissions by a further 15%.
The Good Together programme was launched in 2009 and is built around three pillars of Teams & Communities, Customer Wellbeing and Environment. Having made significant progress towards its existing 2017 goals, Whitbread has created new targets to challenge its business further. The announcement follows a successful year of growth for the wider business across all its brands.
Making the commitment, Andy Harrison, CEO of Whitbread said, “As we grow, we have an even greater responsibility to consider our wider environmental and societal impact. Our Good Together programme is an integral part of how we do business at Whitbread and as the UK’s largest hospitality company, we aim to be a leader in developing sustainable business practices within our sector. We have set new stretching targets for the next five years to help deliver a sustainable future for our company and be a force for good in the communities in which we operate.”
Teams & Communities
Following an announcement in April that it will create 6,000 apprenticeships by 2020, Whitbread has committed to further increasing employment opportunities in the hospitality industry with plans to create 15,000 UK jobs, 7,500 work experience placements for school and college pupils and 6,500 structured employment placements over the next five years.
Achieving these goals will contribute towards the growth of a skilled workforce in the sector, safeguarding against future skills shortages while supporting young people seeking to enter into employment in the hospitality sector.
To enhance the business’ positive societal impact, Whitbread also aims to raise £10 million for its chosen charity of which £7.5 million will go to build the Premier Inn Clinical Building at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The Costa Foundation has already raised £7 million and has set a target to increase this to £15 million to deliver 100 school projects in coffee growing communities helping to relieve poverty and increase education opportunities for thousands of children and their families.
Furthering its Public Healthy Responsibility Deal pledges, Whitbread has also committed to setting relevant salt and sugar reduction targets across its business as well as addressing its supply chain and seeking to achieve 100% accredited supply for ten critical product sourced commodities (cocoa, coffee, cotton, fish, meat, palm oil, soy, sugar, tea and timber).
Energy & Environment
As one of the UK’s fastest growing FTSE 100 companies Whitbread has challenged itself to minimise energy usage, water consumption and production of waste as it grows. Having already exceeded its 2017 carbon, water and waste targets, Whitbread has set new 2020 targets to reduce carbon by a further 15% and water by 20%, both against a 2014 baseline, and to increase the direct operations recycling rate across the estate to 80%.
Simon Ewins, Director of CSR at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants said, “At Whitbread, we set ourselves stretching targets across our business and our corporate responsibility commitments are no exception. We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made towards our existing 2017 targets, and in line with our wider business approach, it was important for us to review these achievements and push ourselves further to achieve more.
“We would encourage all businesses to look at how they can further enhance their environmental and societal impact and would invite business leaders to work with us to share best practice across this common aim of a more sustainable future.”
Communicating their CR commitment to the industry and their customers is a great way to hold themselves accountable and to ensure the company continues to strive to achieve more in its sustainability journey.
If you would like to learn more about why and how you should be communicating your sustainability programmes, sign up to ITP’s free webinar on Communicating Sustainability.