Accor’s Queenstown Hotels to Plant 600 Trees for Queenstown Trails
Accor hotels and guests ‘out-green’ the rest of the world in sustainability with the launch of its global programme Planet 21
Building on almost two decades of best-in-class performance in sustainable development, Accor is taking its commitment to sustainability to a higher level with the launch of PLANET 21, a comprehensive sustainable development programme involving environmental, social and community support programmes.
PLANET 21 covers all of the Group's environmental, social and community investment actions and aims to place sustainability at the core of its business strategy worldwide. With PLANET 21, Accor is making 21 commitments and the same number of quantified goals for the year 2015, including: a 15% reduction in water consumption, a 10% decrease in energy use and 85% use of eco-labelled products at Accor's owned and leased hotels worldwide.
The name PLANET 21 is a direct reference to Agenda 21, the environmental action plan signed by 173 heads of state at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and reminds us of the urgent concerns that face our planet in the 21st century and the need to change our methods of production and consumption patterns to ensure the sustainability of the planet.
To guarantee the credibility of the programme, hotels can only use the PLANET 21 messages if they comply with a certain level of sustainable development performance, assessed according to a list of 65 actions, or if they achieve an internationally recognised external environmental certification.
Accor’s network of over 30 hotels in New Zealand will be progressively accredited to PLANET 21 status. The sustainable programmes of individual hotels build on the Accor group’s performance nationally.
- Since 2002 Accor has donated more than $2.5 million to Cure Kids projects in New Zealand and Fiji to help develop cures for many childhood diseases.
- Accor helps create sustainable employment opportunities for disadvantaged young New Zealanders through the Accor “Building Futures” programme, established in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development. Sixty-six young New Zealanders have completed and received national qualifications, while another 30 are currently undertaking training via the programme.
- In 2011 Accor NZ planted 8266 trees through its Plant for the Planet programme. New Zealand guests have been amongst the most enthusiastic recyclers of towels across the Accor network. For every 5 towels re-used, Accor’s hotels contribute to the planting of a tree under the UN’s Billion Tree Programme. Such has been the success of Plant for the Planet in NZ that Accor is working with the Department of Conservation to identify a suitable site for reforestation in New Zealand. This will be announced later in the year.
- Accor New Zealand and Fiji have signed “The Code” with internationally recognised protection network ECPAT. This strengthens the group’s commitment to combating child sex tourism. The code of conduct is regarded as one of the world’s major tools for enforcing this action
To mark the launch of this significant global initiative, Accor’s 4 hotels in Queenstown (Mercure Queenstown Resort, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, Hotel St Moritz by MGallery, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa) planted 600 native trees on a section of The Queenstown Trail for the Queenstown Trails Trust on Friday April 20th.
More than 50 Accor staff and management descended on the Arrow River Trail on Friday to complete the planting.
The Queenstown Trail development project was selected by Accor as an ideal Planet 21 launch initiative, as it embraces the key relationships within sustainable development - being people, planet and profit.
It engages their people in a project within the community,
It assists in the protection of bio-diversity within the Wakatipu.
The trail provides destination and tourism benefits, which in turn will provide industry stimulus.
It assists in promoting healthy lifestyle choices within their workforce and the broader community
The Queenstown Trail, to be completed in September 2012 will be a 90km+ world-class cycle and walking trail located in the heart of the Queenstown Lakes District. It is intended as not only a fantastic community asset, but a significant tourism income generator expected to add an incremental $10mpa to $40mpa to the local economy within five years of completion.
To develop PLANET 21, Accor commissioned two unprecedented international surveys to obtain comprehensive and objective information about its footprint and guest expectations. In 2011, the Group carried out a study of its environmental footprint that enabled it to measure accurately its main impacts, define priorities for action and identify new challenges.
This work was preceded by a survey measuring the expectations of international hotel customers, which showed that sustainable development is a growing selection criterion for both leisure and business customers. According to this survey, for example, 67% of leisure guests take sustainable development actions into account when choosing a hotel.
"At a time when the Group is embarking on a phase of brisk expansion, with the aim of becoming the global leader in the hotel industry, we are reaffirming our commitment to responsible growth capable of generating shared value for all," said Denis Hennequin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Accor. "With the PLANET 21 programme, we are putting sustainable hospitality at the core of the Group's strategy, development and innovation. I am convinced that sustainable development will lead us towards a new business model. PLANET 21 will provide a fantastic driver of competitiveness for our brands, attractiveness for our customers and partners and loyalty for our employees."
Since 1994, when Accor first established its Environment Department, the Group has adopted numerous solutions to contribute to the development of local communities, reduce water and energy consumption and limit the environmental footprint of its hotels. With PLANET 21, Accor is reinforcing its determination to put sustainable development at the heart of its activities: 21 commitments that involve customers, partners and employees in order to improve Accor's sustainability performance.
For these reasons, the new PLANET 21 strategy includes a programme to engage customers, inviting them to contribute to the hotels' actions and achievements. From making a reservation to staying and or dining in Accor hotels, customers will discover a rich and diverse array of messages that will encourage them to contribute actively to the hotel's actions through a few simple gestures. The tone of the messages will be friendly and thoughtful, aimed at inspiring customers to participate.
In addition, Accor will actively engage its hotel owners to bring more franchised and managed hotels into the PLANET 21 programme - improving their sustainability performance and developing buildings that are constructed and operated in accordance with internationally recognised sustainability best practice. Accor will also share its commitments with suppliers, working with them to develop more sustainable products and services.
Accor, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 90 countries with more than 4,400 hotels and 530,000 rooms. Accor's broad portfolio of hotel brands - Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, all seasons/ibis Styles, Etap Hotel/Formule 1/ibis budget, hotelF1 and Motel 6 - provide an extensive offer from luxury to budget. With 145,000 employees worldwide, the Group offers to its clients and partners nearly 45 years of know-how and expertise.
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A hotel defined by a warm spirit and distinctive style that embodies the spirit of Queenstown. Blending understated luxury with warmth, and genuine hospitality, Hotel St Moritz is superbly located to maximise panoramic lake and mountain views.
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