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New hotel will be net zero

Zeal Hotels and IHG have signed a deal which will lead to, what will be both companies’ first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel, set to open at Exeter Science Park next year.

The group recently obtained planning permission for the 142-bedroom hotel and construction is due to begin in July. The property is aiming for a minimum BREEAM rating of Excellent, with a target of Outstanding and will feature a meeting room, restaurant, bar, gym, gardens, and numerous car charging points. The hotel will be managed by Valor Hospitality.

Tim Wheeldon, managing director at Zeal Hotels, says: “We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge to help move the industry forwards and achieve our net zero carbon targets together. It is our ambition to accelerate the net zero carbon process within the hospitality industry. IHG has a compelling global network which will help to spread the Zeal Hotels message and help guests to enjoy their hotel stays free from concerns about their carbon footprint. We want to keep people travelling, keep the sector growing and, more importantly, keep lowering our footprint. “We are thrilled to be working with Valor Hospitality on this exceptional project. Out of a strong field, Valor stood out as the team who could deliver our vision and who, importantly, share our ambitions for a net zero-carbon future for the sector.”

Karin Sheppard, SVP MD Europe for IHG Hotels & Resorts, adds: “We know that guests are looking for more sustainable stays and are willing to pay more for them. So I’m really excited to be signing our first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel. It’s a big step in the right direction and I’m confident Zeal Hotels are the right partner for the job.

“We are really pleased to be appointed as the management team for this game-changing hotel. To be recognised by Zeal Hotels is a real testament to our track record for being an organisation that is a great place to work, driven by our obsession with team member engagement and commercial expertise, and our mission to be the most sustainable hotel management company in the world.

The UK hospitality industry has to reduce its carbon emissions by 66 per cent on 2019 levels by 2030 and this represents a huge challenge for existing and new build hotels.

Tim Wheeldon, managing director, Zeal Hotels and Matt Walton, senior director, development UK & Ireland, IHG Hotels & Resorts
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