Accor has Committed to Eliminating All Single-Use Plastics by 2022

Main Photo: Accor Hotels HQ in France

Date: January 2020

Location: Global

Name: Accor said that it would join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

What Did They Say: Sébastien Bazin, chairman & CEO, Accor, said: “We are aware of the significant impact we have on our planet and our responsibility to create tangible benefits for our employees, guests, suppliers, partners and host communities. What guides us is the consciousness and social awareness that drives every person who strives to be a good citizen. It’s about being aware, socially conscious and consistent.”

The group will remove individual plastic toiletry amenities and cups by the end of 2020 and eliminate all remaining single-use plastic items in guestrooms, meeting areas, restaurants and all leisure activities areas by the end of 2022.

Bazin added: “Our efforts do not stop here. We are an innovative group by nature and we continuously search for more areas where we can reduce our impact on the global environment while helping our local communities in their efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future.”

Last year saw IHG announce that its entire hotel estate would switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities, with the transition to be completed during 2021.

IHG remains a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index, and also joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 network.

IHG was joined by Marriott International, which was also planning to replace small plastic soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles with in-shower dispensers at hotels it manages.

The programme was expected to save an average of 250 lbs. of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel – approximately 23,000 plastic bottles.

In 2018, Hilton announced that it would cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. Christopher Nassetta, president & CEO, Hilton, said: “In this Golden Age of Travel, we are taking a leadership role to ensure that the destinations where travellers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet to come.”

Commitments included reducing carbon emissions by 61%, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and reducing water consumption and produced waste by 50%.

Insight, from Katherine Doggrell of Hotel Management : The most recent bout of flygskam (flight shame), the Swedish art of making us feel bad about getting some sun to fend of winter rickets, was thought to have contributed to the demise of Thomas Cook and there’s nothing like a high profile collapse to really focus the minds of other businesses, particularly when one business flies guests into another.

Not, one wishes to add, that prior to this the global hotel operators were toasting orphan seals over coal fires while wearing baby ermine slippers. The impact global travel was having on the planet was long sat uneasy in the sector, as the need for more pipeline clashed with the impact of more, well, pipeline. There was some fiddling at the edges – why would you want a clean towel every day, WHY- but now, with Australia’s smoke being smelled in New Zealand and members of Extinction Rebellion super-glueing themselves all over public transport, the travelling public’s wallet is looking more closely at its options.

Has this transferred into paying more for rooms which feature bamboo toothbrushes over plastic? Not, we hear, in the corporate sector. But what has been motivating the operators are the investors. More and more are noticing that, if their building isn’t environmentally friendly, it will affect sale value. Likewise what goes on within it.

The operators have realised that it’s not just about a nice logo, buffet options and a loyalty programme. Owners need to see their green credentials. Expect the other major players to have matched Accor’s latest mover by summer.

THPT Comment: THPT are keen to cite examples of what hotel chains, large and small are doing to save the planet…and totally agree with Katherine’s comments above.

First Seen: Hotel Management

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