Accor Highlights Its Sustainable Development Commitments

Accor Highlights Its Sustainable Development Commitments

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day, and Accor employees across all its businesses, brands and divisions will take advantage of the week leading up to the event to showcase their commitment to the principles of sustainable development.

The culmination of campaigns pursued by employees throughout the year, the day -- called Earth Guest Day at Accor -- highlights the Earth Guest program introduced by the Group in 2006 to federate its social and environmental responsibility initiatives.

In nearly 60 countries around the world, Accor teams support sustainable development programs that are organized around both people -- "EGO" projects that protect children, support local development, promote balanced nutrition and eliminate epidemics -- and the environment -- "ECO" projects that control energy use, limit water consumption, manage waste and preserve biodiversity.

Among the examples of Accor's "EGO" projects are:

Protecting children: In Thailand, Accor hotel employees are organizing the Walk for Children in Bangkok for the fifth year in a row. Scheduled for Earth Day, this charity event is open to Accor customers, who can buy their tickets in the city's Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis hotels. Funds raised by the walk are contributed to ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), a non-governmental organization comprising 77 associations in more than 70 countries.

Supporting local development: For this year's Earth Guest Day, Accor's "Better World Day," to be held in Brazil for the fourth year in a row, will be extended throughout Latin America, with activities also scheduled in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Organized by the Accor Institute, a non-profit organization that supports social responsibility initiatives, the event is held for the benefit of underprivileged children and teenagers.

On April 21 and 22, the Group's 33,000 employees in South America will be asked to volunteer to lead activities for young people, including games, concerts, plays, fund-raising campaigns, sports events, presentations and conferences on health-related issues, and building- renovation projects. In 2006, some 1,200 Brazilian employees gave their time to help the most disadvantaged communities.

Combating epidemics: In India, the Accor-managed Novotel Hyderabad and Hyderabad International Convention Centre both support Nireekshana, a local NGO that provides assistance to children suffering from AIDS. A book, toy and clothing drive will be organized by Accor employees for April 22. Volunteers will also be involved in renovating the organization's center-repairing the electricity system, installing new electrical outlets, building a special library and painting the premises. While the work is going on, a lunch will be held for the 150 children enrolled in the Nireekshana program.

On the flip side of the coin, below are some examples of Accor's "ECO" projects:

Controlling energy use: In North America, a new awareness-raising campaign will be kicked off during the week of April 16-22 in Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis hotels throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. This will be accomplished through further employee training and the installation of activity sensors in the kitchen areas, LED Exit signs, in-room digital thermostats and upgraded building automation systems.

Limiting water consumption: In Australia, Accor hotel employees will learn about ways to reduce their consumption of water in a program conducted in partnership with local water authorities during the week of April 16-22. The program covers equipment and day-to-day practices that help save water, discounts available on the installation of this type of equipment, and revised room-cleaning procedures.

Managing waste: For this year's Earth Guest day, Ibis France is extending its environmental stewardship commitment with the goal of reducing the amount of non-recovered hotel waste by 10 percent in 2007. In addition to its ISO 14001 environmental certification program, the brand is pursuing initiatives in two areas: optimizing waste recovery performance through improved sorting and collection processes, and promoting at-source waste prevention through programs involving suppliers. An educational campaign will also be conducted in Ibis hotels throughout France during the week of April 16-22. Customers will receive a brochure listing environmentally friendly practices, such as sorting waste in the room, turning off lights before leaving and displaying a "please don't change the sheets" sign for housekeepers.

Preserving biodiversity: In Africa, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis employees will be involved during the week leading up to Earth Guest Day in tree-planting programs in seven countries, including Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Nigeria, Chad and Togo.

On an ongoing basis, Accor North America monitors all properties to ensure everyone is doing their part to protect the fragile environment. Here are a few key conservation and earth-friendly elements Accor operates year-round:
  • Participation in energy and water conservation programs including creation of a monthly energy/water consumption report to inform each hotel of their month-to-date progress in regard to consumption savings (all Sofitels since 2004).

  • Water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators (all brands).

  • Ozone machines installed on laundry washers to allow the hotel to wash linen and towels with cold water instead of hot and reduce the use of soap/detergent (all Sofitels with laundry facilities).

  • Using environmentally sensitive Ecolab laundry and cleaning products (all Red Roof, Motel 6 and Studio 6 locations).

  • Technologically advanced heating and cooling systems to reduce consumption of power (all brands).

  • Florescent bulb recycling in all 670-plus corporate-owned Motel 6 and Studio 6 properties by the end of 2007.

  • Corporate office recycling program.

  • Printing five million brand directories on recycled paper using soy ink (all Red Roof, Motel 6 and Studio 6 directories).

  • Use of florescent lighting, which consumes 75 percent less energy than conventional bulbs (Complete in all brands, except for Motel 6 & Studio 6, which will be complete by the end of 2007).

The Earth Guest Program

After many years of pursuing initiatives to support the environment and local development, Accor introduced the Earth Guest sustainable development program in 2006. Earth Guest day is one component of that program. With the support of a global network of correspondents sensitive to all aspects of sustainable development, clearly defined objectives were set.

In terms of limiting water consumption, for example, the target for 2006 was to install flow regulators in 50 percent of Accor hotels. Thanks to the deployment of a Hotel Environment Charter comprising 65 action points, an installation rate of 70 percent was achieved.

At the same time, the 2006 objective was to double the number of countries in which Accor has signed the Code of Conduct for the protection of children, developed by ECPAT and the World Tourism Organization. Already committed to honoring the agreement in eight countries, Accor signed the Code in eight new countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Indonesia, Laos, Peru, Uruguay, Cambodia, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, Romania, Thailand and Vietnam).

By leveraging its presence on six continents and regular contact with 120 million customers, Accor is helping to spread the principles of sustainable development around the world.