A global collaboration between IHG Hotels & Resorts and consumer goods giant Unilever aims to replace bathroom miniatures with "bulk amenities" in over 4,000 hotels in a bid to crack down on the use of single-use plastics.
Under the deal, Unilever's largest brand, Dove, is to 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 switch to full-size formats is expected to save at least 850 tonnes of plastic annually in IHG's Americas region alone — equivalent to the weight of five fully grown blue whales or 70 double-decker London buses.
The rollout of full-size Unilever products across IHG's mainstream brands, which accounts for around 80 percent of IHG's portfolio, follows the recent launch of larger-size bathroom amenities in InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties.
In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit to remove bathroom miniatures in all its hotel brands in favor of larger-size amenities as part of its pledge to eliminate single-use items throughout the stay of its guests by 2030. All of IHG's markets are covered by bulk bathroom amenity contracts.
In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit to remove bathroom miniatures in all its hotel brands in favor of larger-size amenities.
"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," said Yasmin Diamond, executive vice president for Global Corporate Affairs at IHG Hotels & Resorts. "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."
The partnership with Unilever forms part of IHG's 10-year Journey to Tomorrow responsible business plan, which includes eliminating single-use items, minimizing food waste and adopting "circular solutions for major hotel commodity items" by 2030.
Unilever, meanwhile, has set out a series of 2025 commitments including an absolute reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes in its use of virgin plastic, to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells, and to ensure 100 percent of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Unilever will also use 25 percent recycled plastic in its packaging by 2025, it has said.
"Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace, and we have ambitious targets across every part of our business," said Umesh Shah, CEO of Unilever International. "We are pleased to partner with IHG Hotels & Resorts to help extend sustainable living into the travel industry by providing bathrooms with bulk amenities. Through this collaboration, IHG's guests will enjoy a range of products from Dove during their stay, while reducing their use of plastic."