French hotel giant Accor’s Planet 21 Day, when Accor employees worldwide mobilise in favour of sustainable development, has announced its achievements and the progress made, both environmental and social.
As Arnaud Herrmann, Accor’s Sustainable Development Director, explains, “Against a backdrop of reorganisation of the company, our results for 2014 showed a global improvement and the progress made on all our commitments under the PLANET 21 program is encouraging for 2015. What stands out for me this year is the creation of an Ethical and CSR Committee and rollout of our Ethical and CSR charter, the aim being to better supervise and strengthen our corporate responsibility, whether in terms of management ethics, integrity and compliance with the law or as concerns our social, societal and environmental responsibility”.
Water: – 5.6% in water consumption since 2011 (owned and managed hotels)
Zoom: Accor, which serves 56 million breakfasts a year on average, embarked on a new collaborative venture with Bridor, leader in bakery and pastry products, to reduce the environmental footprint of the baguettes and croissants it produces. Improvements in the manufacturing process have enabled the company to reduce its electricity and water consumption by 10% and 30% respectively in three years. The life cycle analysis of these products carried out by Accor in 2014 confirmed a reduction of their environmental impact. An example of continuous progress that reflects Accor’s determination to reduce the indirect water consumption related to its catering activity by optimizing the supply chain.
Energy: – 4.5% in energy consumption and – 3.8% in CO2 emissions since 2011 over the owned and managed hotel base
Zoom: thanks to the Carbon Optimiser, B2B clients can reduce the carbon footprint of their meetings and conventions. This online tool for the use of sales teams calculates the carbon footprint of a convention on the basis of the number of participants, the length of their stay and their catering choices. The client then receives the carbon assessment calculated for their convention together with an invitation to participate in one of Accor’s reforestation projects.
Waste: almost 90% of all the Group’s hotels recycle their waste. Mission accomplished!
Zoom: hotels in many countries, including Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, participate in the “Soap For Hope” operation. The used soaps are collected then recycled by Diversey, Accor’s main supplier of eco-label cleaning products, to be distributed to underprivileged communities or resold to Accor hotels as welcome gifts for their guests.
Hotel Invest commits to greener buildings
In 2014 the Group’s asset management division strengthened its commitment to sustainable construction by choosing systematic certification according to environmental and energy performance standards (LEED, BREEAM, HQE) for owned hotels built as of 2015. To date, 11 buildings have been certified in five countries. Almost 300 Group hotels use renewable energies. The most recent example, the Olympic Park hotel complex in Sydney, is equipped with electricity and hot water production systems that harness solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic panels and solar collectors).
Plant For The Planet: more than 150 sites planted in 21 countries
In seven years, Accor has planted four million trees and generated €13 million in laundry savings, of which half was reinvested in over 150 reforestation projects. To roll out this program, Accor called on the expertise of Tristan Lecomte, Founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet and a specialist in developing community forestry projects, who describes the initiative as follows: “Plant for the Planet is based on a simple principle: guests staying for more than one night in a hotel are invited to re-use their bath towels. By reducing the volume of towels laundered, this practice saves on water, energy and detergent and also helps finance reforestation or agro-forestry projects that directly address issues at stake in the areas located near the hotels.” For instance, in the United Kingdom, the trees planted on farmland help mitigate the effects of intensive monoculture while also generating additional revenues for the farmers from sale of the fruit harvested or the wood produced.
Accor will be submitting a very unusual resolution at its Shareholders Meeting on 28 April this year: the “Tree Resolution”. The Group is hoping to bring shareholders on board to step up its Plant for the Planet program, with a commitment to plant 10 million trees looking to 2021.