The targets were announced today (7 May) following a successful year for the operator which saw pre-tax profits rise 18.5 per cent to £488.1m.
Whitbread CEO Andy Harrison said: “As we grow we have an even greater responsibility to consider our wider environmental and societal impact. As the UK’s largest hospitality company we aim to be a leader in developing sustainable business practices within our sector.”
After committing to providing 6,000 apprenticeships by 2020, Whitbread is aiming to create a further 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.
The plan is designed to help develop a skilled hospitality workforce and safeguard against future skills shortages.
The company is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 15 per cent, water usage by 20 per cent, and to increase recycling across its estate to 80 per cent.
Whitbread launched the UK’s first zero-energy eco-pod Costa restaurant earlier this year, with plans to use aspects of the design in future sites.
The company has committed to setting salt and sugar reduction targets across its business and to achieve a 100 per cent accredited supply for cocoa, coffee, cotton, fish, meat, palm oil, soy, sugar, tea and timber.
Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants is aiming to raise £10m for charity by 2020, £7.5m of which will contribute to the construction of the Premier Inn Clinical Building at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.The Costa Foundation has also committed to raising £15m in order to deliver 100 school projects in coffee growing communities around the world.