Groupe GM recently marked 50 years of supplying amenities to the hotel industry. Throughout its many years in business, sustainability has remained a key focus—so much so that it formalized its green commitment in 2018 with its Care About Earth program. Aiming to strengthen the company’s environmental and social actions, the objective behind the program is to reduce the impact of the hospitality products on the environment. Groupe GM is an industry example of a company that has innovated toward less environmental impact while meeting the regulations of the many countries in which it does business.
Groupe GM demonstrated its innovation at EquipHotel in Paris earlier this month with the introduction of its PHYTOMER hotel line, the new Ecofill and Ghost dispensers, and a new line of zero percent plastic accessories. The PHYTOMER line contains up to 98 percent natural origin ingredients and is available in 30ml deep blue tubes that are 90 percent plant based. The caps are made of 100 percent recycled plastic. The PHYTOMER line consists of a shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion.
Ecofill is a patent-pending dispenser that is not only eco-responsible, refillable and traceable but also a clean, safe, fast and easy solution with a reduced environmental impact. Its sealed pouches of 400 ml capacity ensure minimal packaging as they are made of only 8 g of recyclable plastic and guarantee 100 percent traceable cosmetics. The deep blue Ecofill range includes shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and liquid soap.
Dispenser Fixed on a Hidden Rail
Ghost, as its name suggests, is a dispenser fixed on a hidden rail which gives the impression that the product is levitating. This eco-designed large-capacity dispenser of 400 ml is made from sugarcane and lasts around 40 days. Its system is safe and easy to use. The remaining amount of product is visible thanks to a discreet visibility window. Designed to be hung and blended with the wall, this dispenser comes with a wall bracket, available both with screws and double tape, as well as a key to easily remove the dispenser from the wall.
The Ghost dispenser is featured in white, and the bottle is 100 percent plant based. Ghost includes a variety of products such as shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, liquid soap, and hair and body gel.
In 2019, Groupe GM announced the launch of its first SOLID cosmetic hotel line in shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Groupe GM significantly reduced its water consumption with this line and increased the life use of the product. A standard 30ml bottle of liquid shampoo allows three uses whereas a 20g solid shampoo allows around 30 uses.
I spoke with Guillaume de Beco, General Manager of Groupe GM USA, and he said reaction to the SOLID line has been “very positive” so far, adding that its adoption is taking time because guests are so used to liquid. “It is a 100 plastic-free product,” he says.
Keeping the Housekeeper in Mind
With each of their latest innovations, Groupe GM has the housekeeper in mind, trying to make their jobs as easy as possible. “Housekeeping managers are under pressure to get things done faster than ever before,” de Beco says.
As a company, Groupe GM’s priorities include eliminating single-use plastics and materials based on fossil fuels whenever possible, and always prioritizing responsible and sustainable alternatives.
“Each time a product is developed, it creates an opportunity for us to consider its environmental aspects and reduce our impact at every stage, from the sourcing of raw materials right through to formulation, choice of production site, packaging, packing, shipping and recycling,” de Beco says.
Today, products are packaged in sustainable materials such as bio-sourced plastic from sugarcane and from post-consumption and post-industry recycled materials. To avoid the use of plastics from limited resources, such as fossil fuels, Groupe GM offers 100 percent plant-based tubes, bottles and large-capacity dispensers, made from sugarcane residue known as bagasse.
The sugarcane is sourced exclusively from sustainably managed farms and responsible suppliers and Groupe GM only uses the residue from the industrial process after at least three extraction cycles. This ensures that production is not harmful to the ecosystems of the producing areas.
According to de Beco, since 2018, 90 percent of packaging has been switched to sustainable material. That number will soon reach 100 percent.
Growth in the U.S. Market
Groupe GM has 50 brands and counting and now has its own sales team in Miami with the aim of expanding throughout the U.S. market. Four- and five-star hotels are the company’s sweet spot, de Beco says. “We do have lots of brands,” he says. “Our brands have various positions in the market.”
Adding to the company’s growth is its unique line of eco-designed accessories—a toothbrush and razor with bamboo handles, for example, or slippers made with cork or corkboard. Groupe GM’s tray lines integrate plant-based material ranging from cornstarch to oak.
First started in 1972, Groupe GM’s aim is to make a positive difference in the world while providing the ultimate guest experience, says the company’s CEO, Laurent Marchand.
“Our branded, eco-green and innovative amenity products are EU compliant and are what makes our high-quality branded portfolio enviable,” Marchand says. “Our expertise and knowledge are what helps to drive the one-to-one relationships we have with our brands and our customers.”
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.