UK: Zeal Hotels, an acquisition and development company, has signed an exclusivity agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts for its first net zero carbon hotel in Exeter.
Zeal Hotels has recently secured planning permission for a 142-bedroom hotel, with construction due to begin in July. It is located in Exeter Science Park and will feature a restaurant, bar, gym, gardens, meeting space, and car charging points.
The property will be aligned with the framework set out by the UK Green Building Council of net zero carbon buildings. The hotel is also aiming for a minimum BREEAM Excellent rating with a target of Outstanding.
When complete, Valor Hospitality will manage the hotel. It is expected to open in 2024.
Tim Wheeldon, managing director, Zeal Hotels, said: “This is the result of Zeal’s passion to create a sustainable and repeatable hotel concept and IHG has been at the forefront of sustainability in the hotel sector. 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.”
Karin Sheppard, SVP MD Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “Sustainable development is core to how IHG are looking to grow. 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.”
Brian McCarthy, managing director of Valor Hospitality, said: “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.
“Adding Zeal’s first net zero carbon hotel to our portfolio shows how far we have come as a team, managing almost 40 hotels in the UK, with over 100 worldwide. This great project takes us into the next step in our growth journey and we’re excited for what’s to come.’’
Wheeldon added: “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. The need for the hotel industry to take action has never been more pressing and the longer we leave it, the harder and more expensive it will be to make a difference.”