April 20, 2009 // Franchising.com // For the 3rd Earth Guest Day, Accor has reaffirmed its commitment to reforestation. To be held this year on April 22, Earth Guest Day is a Group-wide initiative that aims to involve employees in sustainable development projects. By April 2010, some 1,000 Accor hotels will be actively involved in Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, an initiative launched last year in association with the United Nations Environment Program.
This highly innovative global reforestation program is designed to finance seven tree-planting projects around the world. Accor has pledged to donate 50% of the savings on laundry costs resulting from the responsible behavior of hotel operators and their customers. An awareness-building campaign has been organized in participating hotels, asking customers to keep their bath towels for more than one night. So that they understand the full importance of reusing towels, a message is posted in each bathroom informing them that "Here, YOUR towels plant trees." Accor is also providing special training to floor staff and chambermaids in charge of linen.
Launched in 2008 in 50 hotels on five continents, the pilot phase of this ambitious program has already financed the planting of 50,000 trees through seven local economic development projects created by Accorselected NGOs. Each project's operations and long-term viability are monitored by Kinomé, an expert company delegated by Accor. Planting has already begun in Romania and Brazil and will start in the new few months in Australia, the United States, Indonesia, Senegal and Thailand, when seasonal conditions are right.
"During the pilot phase, our hotel teams and customers demonstrated their support for the project," said Hélène Roques, Accor's Sustainable Development Director. "This conclusive test has convinced us that the campaign should be conducted on a larger scale. Of the 4,000 hotels in the Accor network, 1,000 have confirmed that they will join the program by April 2010." The Group's goal is to plant three million trees by 2012.
A dedicated website for the project, www.accorplantsfortheplanet.com, will be up and running on April 22, 2009.
Accor's support for Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign is part of the Earth Guest program, introduced by the Group in 2006 to lead its social and environmental responsibility policy, around the world and across all businesses. Through Earth Guest, Accor has launched initiatives to support local development, protect children, lead the fight against epidemics, promote balanced nutrition and, with regard to the environment, reduce energy and water consumption, effectively manage waste and preserve biodiversity.
On April 22—Earth Day 2009—Accor's 150,000 employees will support the eight priorities of the Group's Earth Guest program, for its 3rd Earth Guest Day. For the occasion, team members will be involved in collective local initiatives in Accor's 100 host countries.
Accor, a major global group and the European leader in hotels, as well as the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 150,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in two core businesses: