Sebastien Bazin
Sebastien Bazin
Sebastien Bazin

AccorHotels has presented the results of Planet 21, its sustainable development program, and renewed its commitments looking to 2020.

Expanding its partnership with Greening Australia, AccorHotels Australia will commit further funds into preserving local ecosystems, adding the Great Barrier Reef catchments Project to its ‘Plant for the Planet’ tree planting program.

AccorHotels’ circa $120,000 investment into Greening Australia projects during 2015 will see approximately 12,000 trees planted across three existing landscape projects:
-Peel Biolinks, a biodiversity hotspot on the edge of the Perth Metropolitan area;
-Habitat 141, a 50-year project to restore and reconnect the iconic landscapes along the 141º longitude; and
-Cumberland Plain Woodland, a critically endangered grassy woodland in the north-west basin of Sydney.

The Great Barrier Reef catchments project – to restore critical wetland habitat and repair eroded gullies and river banks to reduce sediment and agricultural pollutants entering the reef – will be added to AccorHotels’ contributions for 2016 and beyond.

“The commitment and energy demonstrated by our teams in deploying Planet 21 worldwide are both valuable levers for our sustainable performance,” said AccorHotels Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin.

“After five years, the results of the first phase of the plan are very encouraging. 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 mobilization 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,” he said.

As part of a policy of progress and transparency, the Group asked its customers for their views on these issues, updated its environmental footprint and assessed its socio-economic footprint for the first time to assess the challenges it faces and construct its new 5-year program. The program for 2020 was drawn up in consultation with the teams. It reinforces some of the Group’s fundamental commitments, such as curbing its environmental footprint, and identifies new objectives which dovetail with both the changes to the business model and its strategic priorities, such as Food and Beverage and the sustainable management of its property portfolio through HotelInvest.

To provide the hotels with effective support as they deploy this new plan, Charter 21, the in-house sustainable development management system for hoteliers, has evolved and been renamed Planet 21 in Action. The new system aims higher and is more accommodating as regards local specifics and operational realities. It is more flexible and is based on a participative approach allowing each hotel to set its own objectives and map out its own action plan. A common baseline comprising 16 mandatory actions, sets a demanding first level of commitment (bronze status). To upgrade their status (to silver, gold and platinum), hotels then select the actions they wish to implement from a wider range of initiatives. This system encourages ownership of the issues at stake as well as employee and guest accountability regarding social and environmental responsibility.

The Group achieved solid results regarding the actions taken over the 2011-2015 period. In five years, it has delivered two-thirds of the program’s 21 objectives and over 90% of its hotels have embarked on a continuous-improvement drive. Planet 21 allowed the Group to unite its teams and engage its guests and partners in a structured approach which is recognized by several ethical stock market indices.

It has made significant progress, in particular as regards well-being in the workplace, child protection, biodiversity, and water and energy consumption management. In five years, 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 its hotels were committed to protecting children from abuse (in-house awareness program, WATCH) and more than 4.5 million trees had been planted worldwide since 2009.

Planet 21 Season 1 [2011-2015]: results for Australia, New Zealand & Fiji region:
-98% of hotels use eco-labelled products
-99% of hotels promote balanced dishes
-97% of hotels organise disease prevention training for employees
-89% of hotels recycle their waste
-12% of hotels use renewable energies
-67% of hotels have at least three eco-friendly designed room components
-95% of hotels purchase and promote locally-sourced products
-99% of hotels ban endangered seafood from restaurant menus

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management