Accor is today taking sustainable development to new heights, with the launch of PLANET 21, a comprehensive program covering all of the Group’s environmental, social and community investment actions and placing sustainability at the core of its business strategy worldwide. With PLANET 21, Accor is making 21 commitments and the same number of quantified goals for the year 2015, including: employees trained in disease prevention in 95% of hotels, 80% of properties promoting balanced dishes; 85% of hotels using eco-labelled products; a 15% reduction in water consumption;
The name PLANET 21 is a direct reference to Agenda 21, the environmental action plan signed by 173 heads of state at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and reminds us of the urgent concerns that face our planet in the 21st century and the need to change our methods of production and consumption patterns to ensure the sustainability of the planet.
"At a time when the Group is embarking on a phase of brisk expansion, with the aim of becoming the global leader in the hotel industry, we are reaffirming our commitment to responsible growth capable of generating shared value for all,” said Denis Hennequin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Accor. “With the PLANET 21 program, we are putting sustainable hospitality at the core of the Group's strategy, development and innovation. I am convinced that sustainable development will lead us towards a new business model. PLANET 21 will provide a fantastic driver of competitiveness for our brands, attractiveness for our customers and partners and loyalty for our employees."
Since 1994, when Accor first established its Environment Department, the Group has adopted numerous solutions to contribute to the development of local communities, reduce water and energy consumption and limit the environmental footprint of its hotels. With PLANET 21, Accor is reinforcing its determination to put sustainable development at the heart of its activities: 21 commitments that involve customers, partners and employees in order to improve Accor’s sustainability performance.
For these reasons, the new PLANET 21 strategy includes a program to engage customers, inviting them to contribute to the hotels' actions and achievements. From making a reservation to staying and or dining in Accor hotels, customers will discover a rich and diverse array of messages that will encourage them to contribute actively to the hotel's actions through a few simple gestures. The tone of the messages will be friendly and thoughtful, aimed at inspiring customers to participate.
In addition, Accor will actively engage its hotel owners to bring more franchised and managed hotels into the PLANET 21 program – improving their sustainability performance and developing buildings that are constructed and operated in accordance with internationally recognised sustainability best practice. Accor will also share its commitments with suppliers, working with them to develop more sustainable products and services.
To guarantee the credibility of this program, hotels can only use the PLANET 21 messages if they comply with a certain level of sustainable development performance, assessed according to a list of 65 actions, or if they achieve an internationally recognised external environmental certification.
To develop PLANET 21, Accor commissioned two unprecedented international surveys to obtain comprehensive and objective information about its footprint and guest expectations. In 2011, the Group carried out a study of its environmental footprint that enabled it to measure accurately its main impacts, define priorities for action and identify new challenges. This work was preceded by a survey measuring the expectations of international hotel customers, which showed that sustainable development is a growing selection criterion for both leisure and business customers. According to this survey, for example, 67% of leisure guests take sustainable development actions into account when choosing a hotel.
Sophie Flak, Executive Vice President Sustainable Development and Academies for Accor added, "Today, 70% of our key account customers have integrated sustainable development criteria in their supplier policies, and one out of every two of these customers says they take this criterion into account when choosing a hotel. We used these findings to implement PLANET 21: a program covering all our social and environmental commitments, with precise goals that unites our employees and offers our customers an opportunity to participate."
With the launch PLANET 21, Accor is also deepening its focus on preserving the ecosystems in which its hotels operate. A pioneer in reforestation, Accor has since 2008 financed the planting of over two million trees worldwide, sharing the laundry cost savings generated through an innovative program that engages both hotel managers and guests. Under the Plant for the Planet program, guests contribute to water and energy conservation by reusing their towels – for every five towels reused, Accor commits to planting a tree in one of several plantations around the world. To accelerate the rollout of this program, Accor is relying on the expertise of Tristan Lecomte, founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet and an expert in the development of community forestation projects
"PLANET 21 aligns perfectly with Pur Projet’s approach,” said Tristan Lecomte, Accor’s PLANET 21 Ambassador. With the contribution made by their guests, hotels participate directly in protecting their environment and the development of local communities. My aim is to support development of this program by integrating it more closely and more locally in the Group's different business lines.”
With PLANET 21, Accor aims to reinvent the hotel industry on a sustainable basis by mobilising its employees, guests and partners.
Accor, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 90 countries with more than 4,400 hotels and 530,000 rooms. Accor's broad portfolio of hotel brands - Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, all seasons/ibis Styles, Etap Hotel/Formule 1/ibis budget, hotelF1 and Motel 6 - provide an extensive offer from luxury to budget. With 145,000 employees worldwide, the Group offers to its clients and partners nearly 45 years of know-how and expertise.
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