Sustainability gains a foothold

Accor’s CEO Pacific sheds light on how the company is galvanising its efforts to advance sustainability with accountability.

How does Accor’s ongoing and upcoming programmes support sustainability-focused meeting clients?
Accor holds a powerful sense of social, environment and economic responsibility, and we believe that we are responsible for building a world for future generations. Conscious travel and sustainability is at the very heart of our organisation, and an integral part of what we do.

As an active member of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, our goal is to move to a contributory model, where we help to solve critical environmental and social problems.

Our priorities are threefold: to accelerate our net zero trajectory (Accor is committed to achieving net zero by 2050); to innovate and protect biodiversity by leading our industry in adopting responsible and ethical business practices to stop food waste; and act as a social elevator providing equal opportunities to all.

To achieve this, we are putting these priorities at the heart of our business model. This means that every conference, corporate function, every hotel, every employee and every partner of Accor integrates social and environmental issues into their business practices and activities.

How is Accor helping clients be a catalyst for change, and ensure that their travel and events benefit 
Accor has numerous initiatives in place across the globe to provide responsible hospitality, such as sustainable procurement practices; an industry-leading food waste reduction strategy; a commitment to eliminate all guest-related single-use items in hotels and meeting and events spaces by the end of 2022; and a Plant for the Planet programme which has planted more than 7.2 million trees in the past 10 years.

A cornerstone of our strategy within the business events segment is our Net Zero Carbon Calculator, which helps clients calculate the carbon footprint of their event and purchase carbon credits to remaining emissions. This solution is provided in collaboration with myclimate – a Swiss non-profit organisation and global leader in carbon accounting and climate protection.

What other actions is Accor taking to streamline and funnel the tourism dollar so it goes to those that need it the most?
Hospitality is about welcoming and taking care of others. This mission is particularly important given the challenges that are affecting local communities across the globe. Climate change, Covid-19, inflation can mean hardship for many.

We actively participate in the life of the communities in which we operate. We are attentive to the needs of the most fragile sections of society and work for local economic development.

For example, we provide local communities with opportunities to grow – either directly by providing employment and training, or indirectly through the local companies we partner with. In 2020, Accor launched the All Heartist Fund that has already provided more than A$6.5 million (US$4.2 million) across Asia-Pacific alone – and euro 35 million (US$33.9 million) globally – across many initiatives such as internships, employees in distress, and vulnerable persons in the communities in which we operate.

Across the Asia-Pacific, we have also invested more than A$350,000 in domestic violence service providers, and through our Accor Community Fund we’ve raised over A$2 million to support building healthy families in the community.

What other steps is Accor taking to help guests travel consciously and leave a positive impact on the 
We want to shape the transformation of the hospitality industry. This means supporting new ways of travelling, such as rewarding longer stays and stays closer to home.

Our hotels are the heart of our transformation as they are embedded in their local neighbourhoods and can help these communities thrive in new ways. Biodiversity and natural resources are equally important, and we preserve natural habitats by rethinking our food value chain and protecting endangered species close to our hotel activities.

Accor has also put in place new governance mechanisms and developed new ways of measuring extra-financial performance. We believe in collaboration over competition to solve those seemingly intractable challenges.

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