SofitelForebase Chongqing

Shanghai, China, May 23, 2016 / - Sébastien Bazin, the Group's Chairman and CEO, stated, “The commitment and energy demonstrated by our teams in deploying Planet 21 worldwide, are both valuable levers for our sustainable performance. After five years, the results of the first phase of the plan are very encouraging. Today, 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.”

Planet 21 Season 1 [2011-2015]: results for Greater China
– 97% of hotels use eco-labelled products
– 97% of hotels promote balanced dishes
– 96% of hotels organise disease prevention training for employees
– 91% of hotels recycle their waste
– 48% of hotels have at least three eco-friendly designed room components
– 93% of hotels purchase and promote locally-sourced products
– 99% of hotels ban endangered seafood from restaurant menus

Planet 21 Season 1 [2011-2015]: a solid track record

The Group achieved solid results regarding the actions taken over the 2011-2015 period. In five years, it has delivered two-thirds of the programme’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 with regards to 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 programme, WATCH) and more than 4.5 million trees had been planted worldwide since 2009.

A green campaign was led by Sofitel Shenyang Lido that involved the team to help plant Chinese roses and advocate the community to keep the environment clean.

Planet 21¬ [2016-2020] is structured into four areas of action enlisting its employees, customers, partners and local communities, and two priorities, namely food & beverage, and buildings.

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.

AccorHotels has been actively pursuing sustainable hotel management practices for over 20 years in order to protect people and the environment.

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 to construct its new 5-year programme. The programme for 2020 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 & Beverage and the sustainable management of its property portfolio through HotelInvest.

In the same vein, AccorHotels first published its large-scale international barometer study, "Sustainable Hotels: Ready To Check In?" in June 2011. This year, AccorHotels published the results of a new survey, carried out at the end of 2015. This survey aimed at measuring changes in guests' behaviours and current awareness of sustainable development.

For example, just as they do not change their towels and sheets every day when they are at home, it has become normal for guests to reuse them for two to three days when staying at a hotel. More than half of guests are in favour of reusing their towels, especially if some of the money saved in doing so is reinvested in planting trees for the benefit of the local community.

The key lessons from this survey are:
1) Globally, eight out of ten hotel guests declare they are sensitive to sustainable development.
2) Guests want hotels to show commitment to concrete, daily aspects of sustainable development: water, energy, waste and child protection.
3) One out of three guests considers that citizens are first and foremost responsible in terms of sustainable development. Hotel guests seem aware of their impact in terms of social, corporate and environmental responsibility. Governments and companies are also considered to have a critical responsibility.
4) Hotel guests declare they are ready to act and change their behaviour. Virtually unknown 20 years ago, sustainable development is now often taken into consideration by one in two guests when choosing a hotel. This criterion still has a significant growth rate but should progress considerably due to guests' evolving expectations and the sector's increasingly numerous initiatives.

Source: Accor Greater China

Visit the original source and full text: China Newswire