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Bottles of Dove shampoo, conditioner and body wash in silver pump dispensers on a white tiled bathroom wall.

Unilever International enters deal to make hotel stays more sustainable

Unilever International has forged a partnership with the InterContinental Hotels Group to supply the guest bathrooms in its Hotels & Resorts with larger packs of personal care products in a move that will significantly cut IHG’s single-use plastic footprint.

Unilever International has entered into a global partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts to replace bathroom miniatures with bulk amenities in over 4,000 of its properties, to help the hotel group cut its single-use plastics.

The term ‘bulk amenities’ is defined as larger bottles or dispensers of at least 235ml in size, which are not replaced after each guest stay.

As part of this partnership, we will supply a range of full-size Dove products – hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion – to IHG Essentials and Suites Collection hotels across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Greater China. These include Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Avid hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites, and account for around 80% of IHG's portfolio. Dove will be supplying various sizes of packs and all 500ml bottles will be refillable.

The switch to full-size formats is expected to save at least 850 tonnes of plastic annually in IHG's Americas region alone and represents a significant reduction in the group’s overall plastic footprint.

“Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace, and we have ambitious targets across every part of our business,” comments 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.”

The roll-out follows the recent launch of larger-size bathroom amenities into InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties. In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit to all its hotel brands removing bathroom miniatures in favour of larger-size amenities, a key step in its pledge to eliminate single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030.

As Yasmin Diamond, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, IHG Hotels & Resorts, says: “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. 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.”

Bottles of Dove shampoo, conditioner and body wash in silver pump dispensers on a white tiled bathroom wall.

It’s about giving consumers more sustainable choices

Unilever’s 2025 plans to help create a circular economy for plastic include commitments to halve the amount of virgin plastic we use in our packaging and achieve an absolute reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes; collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell; ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and to use 25% recycled plastic in our packaging.

Our vision is a world in which everyone works together to ensure that plastic stays in the economy and out of the environment. To achieve this, we need to partner with like-minded organisations who share the same goal of reducing plastic and giving consumers more sustainable choices.

Our partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts is a great example of how we’re joining forces with the travel and tourism sector to reduce the incidence of single-use plastic when people travel.