Jurys Inns looks set to be the UK's greenest hotel group when it becomes the first operator to have all its properties awarded either a gold or silver award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).
The 30-strong hotel group has just received its 14th gold award from the GTBS, a feat no other large hotel group has achieved.
John Brennan, chief executive of Jurys, says the commitment to green issues has been achieved through the support of both staff and customers. "Our employees are telling us they want to be involved with implementing this, while at the same time guests are saying that environmental issues are becoming increasingly relevant when considering a hotel booking."
Considerable investment is made by Jurys in training and educating its staff in adopting green working practices, as well as installing energy-efficient light bulbs and monitoring each hotel's energy consumption.
Simple steps taken by Jurys which have proved to have had a big impact include reducing the number of toilet flushes by a housekeeper when cleaning bathrooms. A total of 79 million litres of water have been saved in this way.
Brennan believed the wider hotel industry should now be delivering increased environmental performance. "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," he said.
It has also been confirmed that Jurys will add to its portfolio of 29 hotels in the UK and Ireland and one hotel in Prague with the opening of four new properties in Bradford, Portsmouth, Gasteshead and Glasgow in 2010-11.
By Janet Harmer
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