Hotel Brands

IHG partners with Unilever on sustainability initiative

IHG Hotels and Resorts have partnered with Unilever this month to address single-use bathroom miniatures in hotels by ensuring 100% of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable

IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced a global collaboration with consumer goods company Unilever to replace bathroom miniatures with bulk amenities in over 4,000 hotels. 

IHG reportedly became the first global hotel company to remove bathroom miniatures in 2019 in its pledge to eliminate single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030. As a result, all of IHG’s markets are now covered by bulk bathroom amenity contracts. 

As part of this initiative, Unilever will supply full-size hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion to IHG Essentials and Suites Collection hotels, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Avid hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. 

The roll out of full-size Unilever products across IHG’s mainstream brands reportedly accounts for around 80% of IHG’s portfolio and the switch to full-size products is expected to save at least 850 tonnes of plastic annually in IHG’s Americas regions alone. 

As well as switching to bulk amenities, the group is working to eliminate single-use items, minimise food waste and adopt circular solutions for major hotel commodity items by 2030.    

Unilever’s 2025 plans to help create a circular economy for plastic, includes commitments to halve the amount of virgin plastic it uses in its packaging and achieve a reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes and ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, as well as to use 25% recycled plastic in its packaging.

Yasmin Diamond, executive vice president of global corporate affairs at IHG Hotels and Resorts, said: “IHG has pioneered the move to minimal waste in the hospitality industry and we’re excited to spell the end of bathroom miniatures through our collaboration with Unilever. Our guests are increasingly mindful of the impact their travel choices have on the environment and our colleagues, investors, owners and suppliers all expect us to act responsibly. 

“Transitioning to bulk amenities across our global estate was one of our first significant steps towards eliminating single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030. We’ll continue to find innovative solutions for operating more sustainably to deliver our purpose of True Hospitality for Good.”

Umesh Shah, CEO of Unilever International, added: “Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace, and we have ambitious targets across every part of our business. We are pleased to partner with IHG Hotels and Resorts to help extend sustainable living into the travel industry by providing bathrooms with bulk amenities.”

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