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THE PIG Hotel Group: a simple sustainable water swap with big impact

Credit Jake Eastham

By Claire Pearson, Team Belu

January – generally a month where people and businesses put plans or intentions into place to do better for people, the environment and their own wellbeing. My intention (note, not resolution) of not drinking wine for the month ended on the 8th January, when I figured there are enough restrictions now! However, I have reduced it down to a couple of days a week, so all is not lost. Anyway, enough about me and more about one my Belu highlights of 2020.

The start of this new year is the perfect moment to highlight a positive sustainable move by THE PIG Hotel Group, a long standing Belu partner admired by many in the hospitality industry, most recently for driving the Seat at the Table campaign petitioning to create a Minister for Hospitality.

Reducing environmental impact

Like our business, THE PIG is always looking for ways to reduce their footprint and give back to communities. In January last year, their management team set out intentions to find ways to be even more sustainable than they already were. This is a hotel group that uses local food and beverage suppliers in line with their 25-mile menu ethos as much as possible through to producing 17 tons of their own fruit and veg on-site.

THE PIG has served Belu British Mineral Water, the leading sustainable mineral water on the UK market, in Ethical Glass bottles for several years helping us to change lives for good worldwide through our partnership with WaterAid and continue to sustainably innovate.

Taking the next step in sustainable water service

The Group had observed that bottled mineral water sales were declining with more people asking for tap water, they also wanted to reduce waste further, and knew fridge space across all sites is at a premium. So, we supported them to take the next step in sustainable water service with the introduction of the Belu Filter Initiative.

The initiative was started by Belu in 2016 in response to the growing trend of hospitality businesses wanting to filter their own water on site and it was the next logical step for Belu, as a sustainable water business, to expand our product and value portfolio.

The beautiful new PIG hotel in Harlyn Bay, Cornwall was the first test site. Two Belu filtration systems serving chilled still and sparkling filtered water on tap were installed, with the rest of THE PIG Hotels quickly following by the end of 2020.

Premium filtered still and sparkling water is served in smart reusable glass bottles complete with impact messaging, to every table at a small charge of £1.75 for unlimited refills, and unlimited filtered water is complimentary in every hotel room. THE PIG then gives half of all sales back to Belu, to support our purpose of bringing clean water, decent toilets and hygiene education to everyone, everywhere through our partnership with WaterAid.

Responsible, sustainable and environmentally sound decisions can and need to be taken in conjunction with a focus on the bottom line. The decision to switch to Belu Filtration allowed us to be part of a process which should significantly increase profit for Belu whilst having minimal impact on our own. The process is incredibly straight forward, and the guest response has been very positive. It is only with affirmative action that we can make a difference. We all have a part to play.

Tom Ross, Group Operations Director, THE PIG

Multiple benefits and impact

This simple swap has created greater impact and a winning formula for people, planet and the bottom line:

  1. The switch to Belu Filtration is seven times less carbon intensive, with a carbon saving of 36 tonnes of CO2e a year, equivalent to 10 return trips between London and Hong Kong.
  2. Over 116,000 single-use bottles a year removed.
  3. Recycling costs reduced.
  4. It supports Belu, a social enterprise, to continue to sustainably innovate and grow.
  5. THE PIG continues to help Belu and their impact partner WaterAid to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to more communities worldwide, supporting Goal 6 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  6. All guests receive the same premium water service, plus staff are also kept hydrated.

Together we want to demonstrate that you can succeed as a business alongside having sustainability at the core of everything you do.

Time for a drink to celebrate!

If you’re interested in hearing more about our work at The Pig hotels and the Belu Filter Initiative, contact Claire on clairep@belu.org
All photos courtesy of The Pig with credit to Jake Eastham

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