Home News & Features Accor’s Plant for the Planet Program Reaches ‘Three Million Trees Planted’ Mark

Accor’s Plant for the Planet Program Reaches ‘Three Million Trees Planted’ Mark

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PARIS—A year after launching its PLANET 21 sustainable development program, Accor is celebrating a major milestone. Plant for the Planet, the Group’s innovative towel reuse and reforestation project, has planted more than three million trees worldwide. To celebrate this achievement, Accor hotels around the world are engaging in tree planting exercises to raise awareness and kick off an ambitious new phase of the project.

In partnership with Greening Australia, Accor’s Australian hotels have contributed towards the reforestation of the banks along the Hawkesbury River outside Sydney, planting 11,300 trees spanning 10 hectares. Accor will plant an additional 10,000 plants this spring with an ambitious target of planting 100,000 plants via direct seeding across 100 hectares by 2015.

More than 1,400 hotels have joined the Plant for the Planet program since it was launched in 2009. These hotels use the following formula to encourage their guests to reuse their towels: “In this hotel, five reused towels = one tree planted.” So far, thanks to the laundry savings generated by this program, Accor hotels have funded the planting of three million trees worldwide.

To celebrate this major milestone, Accor hotels are engaging in activities to raise awareness about the project and kick off a new ambitious phase for Plant for the Planet. Since the launch of PLANET 21, 13 new tree plantations have been inaugurated around the world, in collaboration with small local producers, bringing the total number of plantations to 19. Seven additional plantations will be launched by the end of this year. In Asia-Pacific, there are plantation projects in India, Greater China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, and Australia.

Significant Cut in Water Consumption

Since the launch of PLANET 21, Accor’s hotels in Australia have achieved a 5.1 percent saving in electricity and gas and a 20.5 percent reduction in water consumption. These savings have been achieved thanks to the use of energy saving technology such as Voltage Power Optimization and Building Management System controls which monitor and adjust the CO2 performance of the hotel. LED lighting, chiller upgrades and Jemflow water saving devices have also been installed to conserve energy.

The Accor Sydney Olympic Park hotels continue to be pioneers in sustainable development for the Group. Their 2012 achievements include:

•    71.3 percent of waste has been diverted from landfill;
•    42.7 percent reduction in fresh water usage for toilets and gardens;
•    Installation of Voltage Power Optimization with an expected carbon reduction of 320,218 kWh per annum, and 281,791 kg of CO2 saved per annum for the environment. At today’s prices this is a saving of $43,000 per annum.
•    Pullman has achieved a National Australian Built Environmental Ratings Scheme (NABERS) rating of 4.5 NABERS, two full points above most five star properties.
•    Pullman has been recognized by the NSW Government for its commitment to sustainability as recipients of Bronze Sustainability Advantage Awards.

In 2013, Accor’s Sydney Olympic Park hotels will:

•    Implement a biodegradable waste decomposer program with an anticipated decomposition outcome of 99.8 percent and reduction of CO2 emissions;
•    Upgrade water saving shower heads to reduce water consumption from 12 litres per minute to 9 litres per minute; and
•    Install additional solar panels to create carbon neutral meeting rooms.

Ambitious 2015 Targets

PLANET 21 represents Accor’s commitment to being a better corporate citizen and to ensuring sustainable development at its more than 3,500 hotels worldwide. With PLANET 21, Accor places sustainability at the heart of its business strategy and makes 21 ambitious commitments to environmental and social sustainability with concrete targets for 2015. Targets include a 15 percent reduction in water consumption, a 10 percent reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and a total ban on endangered seafood such as shark’s fin from hotel menus by 2015.

To qualify as a PLANET 21 hotel, hotels must first fulfill certain criteria, such as installing low-flow water regulators and energy efficient light bulbs, implementing recycling programs and offering healthy meals. After just one year, 60 percent of Accor hotels meet these minimum criteria, up from 24 percent last year.

To ensure continued progress towards the 2015 targets, Accor announced a color-coded system to help monitor hotel performance. The system, based on four performance levels (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) guides and encourages Accor hoteliers as they implement more sustainability measures.

Significant Progress in One Year

“A year after its launch, we have seen a positive impact of PLANET 21 on our sustainable development performance and growing involvement by our hoteliers,” said Sophie Flak, executive vice president, Sustainable Development and Académie Accor. “At the beginning of 2012, only 24 percent of hotels met the high standards set by PLANET 21 and just one year later 60 percent of them meet at least the bronze level requirements, while 31 percent are certified sustainable hotels that have been validated by a third party.”

Not only does Accor focus on environmental concerns, but the group is also committed to social issues across the globe including combating child sex tourism, providing education for disadvantaged children, protecting the cultural and historical heritage of the areas in which its hotels operate, and more.

Accor has invested significantly in educating its staff on their sustainable development responsibilities and has already trained more than 16,000 employees on environmental and social best practices using a dedicated e-learning course in eight languages.

Go to Accor.

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