|To reinvent hotels sustainably, Accor launches PLANET 21.|
Monday, 16th April 2012
Source : Accor
With 40,000 new rooms created every year, Accor intends to combine development with growth that respects the environment and local communities, by involving all its hotels and customers in a new sustainable development program - PLANET 21.
Accor is today taking sustainable development to new heights, with the launch of PLANET 21. The name is a direct reference to Agenda 21, the environmental action plan signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and reminds us of the urgent concern that face our planet in the 21st century and the need to change our methods of production and consumption patterns to preserve human beings and eco-systems.
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 meals ; 85% of hotels using eco-labelled products; a 15% reduction in water consumption; and 10% decrease in energy use at Accor’s owned and leased hotels worldwide.
"At a time when the Group is embarking on a phase of brisk expansion, with the aim of becoming the global reference in hotel industry, we are reaffirming our choice of 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 gives us 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 action through a few simple gestures. The tone of the messages will be friendly and thoughtful, aimed at encouraging customers to participate without ever making them feel guilty.
To guarantee the credibility of this program, hotels can only use the PLANET 21 messages if they comply with a certain level of performance in terms of sustainable development, assessed according to a list of 65 check points or if they achieved an internationally recognized external certification.
Because it is no longer possible to tackle issues of sustainable development in a purely intuitive manner, Accor has commissioned two unprecedented international surveys to obtain comprehensive and objective information. In 2011, the Group carried out a study on its environmental footprint that enabled it to measure accurately the main impacts, define priorities for action and identify new challenges. This work was preceded by a survey measuring the expectations of international hotel which showed that sustainable development is a growing criterion of choice for both leisure and business customers.
Sophie Flak, Executive Vice President Sustainable Development and Academies for Accor adds:
"Today, 70% of our major account customers have integrated sustainable development criteria in their supplier policies, and one out of two 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, societal and environmental commitments, with precise goals, that unites our employees and offers our customers an opportunity to participate."
PLANET 21’s sponsor – Tristan Lecomte, Founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet
Among the 21 goals of its program, Accor is also deepening its focus on preserving the ecosystems in which its hotels operate. A pioneer in reforestation, Accor has financed the planting of over two million trees worldwide, sharing the laundry cost savings generated through an innovative program that engages both hotels and guests.
To accelerate rollout of this program, Accor is relying on the expertise of Tristan Lecomte, founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet and an expert in development of community forestation projects. "PLANET 21 aligns perfectly with Pur Projet approach. 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," says Tristan Lecomte.
With PLANET 21, Accor aims to reinvent the hotel industry on a sustainable basis by mobilizing its employees, guests and partners.