Hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator Whitbread has become the first UK hospitality firm to supply its own water and wastewater services.
Whitbread was granted a self-supply licence by economic regulator Ofwat meaning it can manage its own water retail services, which will enable it to cut down costs.
On 1 April, the retail water market opened in England, allowing businesses to choose the best water, waste and service drainage supplier for them, rather than having to use the local water supplier.
The first self-supply licence was granted to pub retailer and brewer Greene King.
Ofwat senior director of strategy, planning and policy John Russell said: “The new retail water market has only been open since April, but already many businesses across England have taken full advantage of it by renegotiating with their existing supplier or shopping around for a better deal. For a large, multi-site business like Whitbread, opting to become a self-supplier offers a range of benefits such as: reducing administration costs, cutting out the margin that goes to others in the supply chain and having more control over the service they get”.
Whitbread senior procurement manager Sean Lavis said: “Self-supply will enable us to build on the efficiency works already undertaken, whilst driving cost and consumption control in the next phase of our water management strategy”.
A spokesperson for the company declined to divulge how much the initiative will financially benefit Whitbread.
At the beginning of last month, a report from MOSL, the private company set up by Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water and United Utilities, estimated that over 36,000 businesses had switched energy suppliers.
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