2013 Registration document and annual financial report - page 80

Registration Document 2013
Corporate responsibility
Environmental commitments
More environmentally sensitive products
The extensive Group-wide use of eco-labeled cleaning products
sourced from a single certified supplier (see page 64) has significantly
reduced our impact on the environment.
The Mercure, Novotel, ibis Styles and ibis brands, for example, now
offer complimentary items certified with the EU Ecolabel, Ecocert or
Nordic Ecolabel. By replacing products that are particularly harmful to
ecosystems and complying with stricter biodegradability standards,
these eco-labels are helping to reduce our environmental footprint.
Accor has been involved in protecting biodiversity since 2008,
when it published the
Biodiversity: My Hotel in Action
handbook in
association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN), the leading organization in the field of biodiversity preservation.
In addition, we are extending this biodiversity commitment by
promoting responsible eating in our hotel restaurants, in particular
with the goal of having all of the hotels ban endangered seafood
species from their menus by 2015.
Plant for the Planet
Our commitment to biodiversity is especially demonstrated by
the Plant for the Planet program, which encourages guests to
reuse their towels when they stay more than one night in the
hotel by promising that Accor will use the savings to finance
tree farms. Unique to Accor, the initiative goes beyond the
usual towel reuse programs deployed by other hospitality
groups by requiring participating hotels to donate money to
agroforestry projects.
In addition, the program also enables us to address another key
environmental concern raised by the use of towels and the resulting
laundry operations, namely water use and the treatment of detergent
wastewater. In this regard, trees play awidely acknowledged role, both
in fixing groundwater reserves and absorbing part of the pollution.
Because the 2011 environmental footprint study revealed that
upstream farming operations were one of the major sources of
our indirect water use, it was natural to focus the reforestation
program on agroforestry projects.
The projects supported by Plant for the Planet offer many benefits in
line with the three key aspects of our corporate social responsibility
environmental benefits:
the projects selected with the support of
our partner Pur Projet enable us to address a number of challenges
at once, including i) biodiversity, by preserving ecosystems and
endangered endemic species; ii) water, by preserving resources,
regulating precipitation and avoiding droughts; iii) soil, by restoring
unproductive land and fighting against erosion; and iv) carbon,
by capturing and storing carbon in the trees and reducing
the global warming impact;
social benefits:
by increasing the number of projects carried out
close by the hotels, Plant for the Planet enables us to support
local host communities by increasing and diversifying sources
of income for the people involved in the projects and creating
a new sense of community and shared destiny;
employee benefits:
lastly, the active participation of our employees
is not only critical to the program’s success, it is also driving
the emergence of new hospitality practices. This is particularly
the case for floor supervisors and housekeepers, who are now
trained to recognize and respect the guest’s desire to participate
in this joint commitment, while continuing to deliver impeccable
quality service.
2013 was a year of consolidation for Plant for the Planet, which is
now supported by
more than 1,400 participating hotels
and has
helped to finance the planting of
more than three million trees
around the world since the program was introduced in 2009.
During the year, we broadened and deepened our collaboration
with Pur Projet, with a total of
21 international and local projects
supported in 2013, compared with seven in 2011. Following the launch
of various projects in Asia in 2012, new projects were initiated in
2013 in host countries like France, the United Kingdom and Spain,
which are home to large numbers of Accor hotels. By 2015, we are
committed to supporting a reforestation project in the majority of our
host countries. In addition, the hotels can finance local projects in
association with small farmers looking for agroforestry opportunities.
The year also saw Plant for the Planet move up a notch with a pilot
feedback loop project, whereby
foodstuffs are sourced locally
from one of the projects supported by the hotels. In Morocco, for
example, participating hotels financed the planting of olive trees in
the Rif region. This helped to create additional jobs for the nearly
300 women working for the cooperative involved in the projects,
as well as a new market when the hotels agreed to purchase the
cooperative’s olive oil for their restaurants.
Lastly, to supplement the hotels’ contribution of part of the laundry
savings from guest towel reuse,
new sources of financing
tested in 2013, including:
the opportunity for guests to finance the planting of one tree for
every night booked on accorhotels.com in a hotel participating
in the program and certified to ISO 14001 environmental
management standards;
greater involvement by the brands with one-time promotions,
such as the one organized in April 2013 by the ibis France hotels
to directly support a tree farm in Western France;
other one-off activities organized during PLANET 21 Day, our
employee sustainable development event, as well as the annual
sale of new year’s cards at corporate headquarters.
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