IHG Hotels & Resorts has collaborated with consumer goods company Unilever to replace bathroom miniatures with bulk amenities in more than 4,000 hotels.
In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit to all of its hotel brands removing bathroom miniatures in favor of larger-size amenities, a key step in its pledge to eliminate single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030. All of IHG’s markets are now covered by bulk bathroom amenity contracts.
Unilever’s largest brand, Dove, 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, which accounts for around 80% of IHG’s portfolio, follows the recent launch of larger-size bathroom amenities into InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties.
The switch to full-size formats is expected to save at least 850 tons of plastic annually in IHG’s Americas region alone—the equivalent weight of five fully-grown blue whales or 70 double-decker London buses.
“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,” said Yasmin Diamond, EVP, global corporate affairs, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “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, 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 & 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.”
IHG’s commitment to pioneer the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry forms part of its 10-year Journey to Tomorrow responsible business plan, which includes a series of ambitious targets to drive positive change for people, communities and the planet. As well as switching to bulk amenities, the group is working to eliminate single-use items, minimize 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 an absolute reduction of more than 100,000 tons; collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells; ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and to use 25% recycled plastic in its packaging.