Accor sets high sustainability targets for 2020

Accor's Plant for the Planet programme in action in Thailand

Accor's Plant for the Planet programme in action in Thailand

AccorHotels has unveiled its clear commitments for sustainability going forward to 2020.

At a press event in Paris, CEO Sébastien Bazin and Director of Sustainable Development Arnaud Herrmann outlined the group’s achievements to date and set out their plans for the years ahead.

Launching the ‘Positive Hospitality’ concept which will carry forward Accor’s Planet 21 programme into its second season, the Group is building on four key action areas: People, Guests, Partners and Communities.

Alongside a commitment to strive for zero food waste with at least a 30% reduction by 2020, and the provision of healthy, sustainable food, is the company’s decision to make all future owned and leased hotel developments and renovations 100% low carbon by 2020.

Additionally Accor aim to:

  • Act as an inclusive company for their employees and continue to see the employee engagement index increase each year
  • Engage guests in the sustainable experience and host a major innovation each year which allows the company and properties to interact with guests on a sustainable development issue.
  • Innovate with partners and suppliers to open up new opportunities and drive sustainability through the supply chain, including a major innovation each year to develop alternative and responsible models.
  • Work with local communities to create a positive impact and ensure that all Accor hotels are engaged in a citizen or solidarity project locally.

The sustainable development management system for hoteliers – Charter 21 – is being renamed as Planet 21 in Action, and engaged hotels can describe their activities online using the #ActingHere hashtag. Hotels across the entire portfolio will be expected to apply 16 mandatory actions from the plan, which includes staff training, reusing guest sheets by default, engaging with Plant for the Planet, using eco-friendly bathroom amenities, committing to no shark fin, implementing LED lights and continuous measuring of energy and water consumption.

Launching the new programme, Sébastien Bazin, the group’s Chairman & CEO, said, “The commitment and energy demonstrated by our teams in deploying Planet 21 worldwide, are both valuable levers for our sustainable performance. After five years, the results of the first phase of the plan are very encouraging. Today, we want to scale up our ambitions by banking on innovation and accountability. Planet 21 Season 2 must enable us to create wealth sustainably and curb our negative impacts through the mobilisation of our employees, guests, partners and local communities. Our vision is to drive the change towards positive, more responsible and inventive hospitality, wherever we are.”

Arnaud Herrmann also detailed the group’s sustainability achievements over the past five years. It has delivered two-thirds of the programme’s 21 objectives and over 90% of its hotels have embarked on a continuous-improvement drive. It has made significant progress regarding well-being in the workplace, child protection, biodiversity, and water and energy consumption management. Measuring in owned and managed properties, water consumption has been cut by nearly 9%, energy consumption by 5.3% and carbon emissions by 6.2%. At the end of 2015, all Accor hotels were committed to protecting children from abuse (via the in-house awareness programme, WATCH) and more than 4.5 million trees had been planted worldwide since 2009 under the guest linen Plant for the Planet initiative. The new target is ten million trees by 2021.

An interesting feature of the new programme is Accor’s commitment to its workforce, aiming to create a more inclusive company with transparent equality across the gender pay gap and by creating more opportunities for women to progress within the company. They are aiming for 35% female GMs by 2017 and greater gender parity at board level.

Accor is also partnering with projects which will enable it to trial zero carbon initiatives on new property developments, as well as testing renewable and alternative energy sources.

You can learn more about the new commitments and read the full announcement here.

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