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PLANET 21: Accor launches global strategy for sustainability

By Luke Nicholls , 13-Apr-2012

The world’s largest hotel operator, Accor, has today launched a comprehensive sustainability programme as part of its bid to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 per cent by 2015.

PLANET 21 identifies 21 areas of Accor’s activity where improvements can and will be made – each with a specific policy for action and a measurable goal. The global undertaking will involve all of the Group’s 145,000 employees.

"Accor has a strategy of expansion and intends to become the undisputed leader in the global hotel industry, but we are reaffirming our commitment to achieving growth only in a responsible manner,” said Denis Hennequin, chairman and chief executive officer of Accor.

“With the PLANET 21 programme we are putting sustainability at the core of our business strategy, and social responsibility at the heart of our development and innovation. I am convinced that PLANET 21 will prove to be a powerful driver of competitiveness for our brands, increasing our appeal among our customers and partners and improving loyalty among our employees.”

The below video provides an in-depth presentation of the programme’s objectives including interviews with Hennequin and other senior members of the Group.

Targets included in Accor’s PLANET 21 strategy include:

  • A 10 per cent cut in energy consumption across all owned and leased hotels
  • A 15 per cent cut in water consumption across the same hotels
  • Training in disease prevention for at least 95 per cent of employees
  • The use of eco-label products in at least 85 per cent of hotels
  • The promotion of healthier meals on menus in at least 80 per cent of hotels
  • The removal of endangered seafood species from all menus

As part of the new strategy, guests at Accor hotels will have the opportunity to discover an array of educational messages at every stage of their stay. The tone will be designed to encourage participation without making guests feel guilty. Before displaying such messages, hotels must first comply with a 65-point checklist, ensuring improvements to internal processes are made first.

Sophie Flak, executive vice president for sustainable development and academies at Accor, said: “Today, 70 per cent of our major-account customers include sustainability among their criteria for appointing suppliers, and half of our customers apply this policy when choosing hotels.

“That is one reason why we believe it is important and appropriate to involve our customers in PLANET 21. We each have a responsibility to improve our activities, but by working together we can achieve more for ourselves, for society and for the environment.”

Sustainability and energy consumption are burgeoning issues in the UK hotel sector. Just yesterday, BigHospitality reported that Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Wales has built its own £500,000 biomass plant in a bid to cut its energy bills.

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