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Jurys Inns is set to be the UK’s greenest hotel group by becoming the first in the UK to have all its 29 UK and Ireland ‘everyday exceptional’ city centre hotels awarded either a gold or silver award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).
The hotel group has just received its 14th Gold award from the GTBS and the remaining 11 hotels to be assessed will all be completed by the end of December – with the aim to achieve gold in all of them. No other large hotel chain has reached this level of environmental recognition from the GTBS – most hotel groups receive only a handful of gold awards.
Commenting on the award, Andrea Nicholas from Green Business UK, said: “We’re really pleased to award Jurys Inns their 14th gold - they deserve to be recognized. They set consistently high standards with their green management programme and they’re unquestionably one of the UK’s leading groups in sustainable tourism.”
However, ahead of World Responsible Tourism Day (Nov 11), the group is also calling for the wider hotel industry to deliver increased environmental performance. John Brennan, CEO at Jurys Inns, said: “With the UK’s commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions by 42%, quite simply the hotel sector as a whole needs to lift its game if it’s going to contribute to these stiff targets.”
Over 76% of UK consumers are more likely to take environmental issues into account when booking their holiday this year while 54% of guests say that hotels should use sustainable energy sources , making Jurys Inns’ initiatives timely. A warm and friendly service is the second highest driver of guest satisfaction at the hotel group and the energy, attention to detail and ‘buy-in’ from staff is one of the main reasons Jurys has been able to achieve so many gold and silver awards.
The group is already seeing a recognizable return on its investment to become more green. In fact, the target is a cost saving of £1m over three years - savings which are then passed on to guests via low rates.
Across all its hotels, Jurys Inns has implemented a range of green programmes, from installing energy efficient light bulbs to monitoring each hotel’s energy consumption using an external assessor. The group has also taken simple steps which have had a big effect – reducing the number of toilet flushes when cleaning bedrooms for instance – these have helped make annual savings of 79 million litres of water.
Sean Twohig, group risk, health and safety manager (and responsible for delivery of the green programme), commented: “We’re thrilled to be recognized for our efforts to help the environment. We’ve achieved it through the support of not only our staff but also our customers. By encouraging creativity and a sense of fun in coming up with new ideas to improve each hotel’s green performance we’ve ensured that everyone has really bought into the concept and understands the need to better look after the environment.”
The GTBS demands all its participants adhere to strict criteria covering energy, water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity. Jurys Inns is also a supporter of World Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday November 11, part of the World Travel Market.