IHG and Zeal Hotels partners on first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel

IHG and Zeal Hotels partners on first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel

Opening in the UK next year, the joint venture is a first for both businesses

IHG Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Zeal Hotels to open the first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel for both businesses in 2024.

voco Zeal Exeter Science Park is scheduled to open its doors next year and will offer leisure and business guests facilities including a restaurant, bar, gym, gardens, meeting space and car charging points.

Signed under a franchise agreement and set to be managed by Valor Hospitality, the 142-key hotel will be in the city of Exeter’s Science Park in Devon, adjacent to J29 of the M5 motorway and a five-minute drive from Exeter Airport.

It is designed to align with the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework Definition of the membership led, industry network UK Green Building Council, and will be surrounded by buildings for science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) businesses.

The new hotel is IHG's fastest-growing premium brand, voco, which was recognised as the World’s Leading Premium Hotel Brand at the 2022 World Travel Awards.

News of the Exeter property follows the signing of an exclusivity agreement between IHG and Zeal, which was revealed at the International Hotel Investment Forum, Berlin in May.

Karin Sheppard, SVP managing director, Europe of IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “I’m delighted that voco Zeal Exeter Science Park will be IHG’s first lifecycle net zero carbon hotel. 

“This outstanding property in a beautiful part of southwest England perfectly illustrates the commitment of IHG and Zeal to doing business responsibly and will provide our guests with a place to stay that matches their own expectations around sustainability.

“This agreement with Zeal follows a flurry of recent signings for IHG in the UK, and I’m excited to see the progress we’re continuing to make with our Journey to Tomorrow 10-year responsible business plan. 

“It also marks another milestone for conversion-friendly brand voco, which is our quickest-growing brand globally and proving a popular choice for owners around the world.”

Tim Wheeldon, managing director of Zeal Hotels, said: “We are proud to be partnering with IHG on this very important project for both our businesses and the world around us. We have a vision for Zeal Hotels and we’re looking forward to turning this into reality with IHG and the voco Zeal Exeter Science Park when we open our doors to guests in 2024. 

“At Zeal and IHG we want to play our part in creating a sustainable future. As we work together on this project, we are sharing our knowledge to help move our industry forwards.”

IHG said it is committed to “supporting hotel owners to decarbonise and futureproof their assets – while generating profits – to protect the long-term value of their business and reduce their impact on the environment”.

Targeting its new-build hotels to operate at very low carbon emissions by 2030 is an important part of the company’s sustainable growth strategy.