Accor launches Planet 21
Building on almost two decades of best-in-class performance in sustainable development, Accor is taking its commitment to sustainability to a higher level with the announcement of PLANET 21, a comprehensive sustainable development program that forms a core part of its business strategy and further involves all its hotels, employees and guests.
According to the program, Accor will plant one tree per employee which will contribute to planting over 40,000 trees in the Asia Pacific region.
Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre & Ibis Gurgaon undertake initiatives in India to launch Planet 21 in partnership with local and disadvantaged communities. 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; 15% reduction in water consumption and 10% decrease in energy use at Accor’s owned and leased hotels worldwide.
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 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 pethese 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 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 of 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 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. Accor India has committed to plant one tree per staff member to contribute to the 40,000 trees being planted in the Asia Pacific region for the Pur Project.
In India, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and Ibis Gurgaon will drive the initiative by organising events in the respective properties. The events are consisted of team-based initiatives carried out simultaneously that will have a special emphasis on local development, health and environment in the region. Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre will launch the campaign with the unveiling of the Planet 21 mural and planting trees with women and children of NGO Nireekshana, employees, guests and senior government officials. Ibis Gurgaon has associated with the NAZ Foundation and will celebrate the day with HIV affected children who will be planting trees in the hotel premises along with the Accor corporate team, hotel staff and the guests. Besides this, all other Accor properties in India will also organise actions and events in favour of sustainable development including planting of trees as a commitment towards protecting the environment.
Paul Archer, General Manager Delegate, Andhra Pradesh, Accor India says, “We believe that the movement is very important to the planet. This programme will see Accor’s employees and guests mutually contributing back to the environment successfully. We're proud of the commitment of our employees who through their actions have made this project a reality with a shared goal of preserving the planet for future generations,"
To accelerate the rollout of this program, Accor is relying on the expertise of Tristan Lecomte, founder of Alter Eco and Pur Project and an expert in the development of community forestation projects.
"PLANET 21 aligns perfectly with Pur Project’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 mobilizing its employees, guests and partners.
Accor Andhra Pradesh (Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and Hyderabad International Convention Centre , Novotel Hyderabad Airport, Mercure Hyderabad Abids, Novotel Varun Beach, Vizag) - Accor Andhra Pradesh is committed towards sustainable development and environment protection and has undertaken several initiatives to reiterate its stand. Special drives were launched that focused on creating awareness about global warming, green house gases and emissions and reducing wastage of natural resources. The group constantly strives to improve its environmental surroundings and works towards contributing responsibly by maintaining best practices. All Accor properties work towards reducing consumption of natural resources, preserving and supporting biodiversity, promoting recycling and limiting the amount of waste produced at their premises. Apart from Environmental protection Accor Andhra Pradesh has also taken the industry lead with integrated social and environmental programs. Accor Andhra Pradesh has been supporting Nireekshana (HIV/AIDS focused NGO based in Hyderabad since 2007). This partnership was strengthened in 2009 through the Mallika Sewing Project, where women affected by HIV/AIDs were imparted skill training in traditional crafts for income-generation. Accor lends its extensive business network to help promote and sell the products made through the Mallika Sewing Project, thereby contributing to the sustainability of the program, where profits generated from the sale of products part-fund the project.