Relais & Chateaux publishes first sustainability report

by: Felicity Cousins | January 24, 2023

FRANCE: Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report.

The document, which has been written after analysing results from half of the 580 properties which took part in the report, looks at the environmental, social, and societal impact the group has on the world, and defines 15 goals for 2025 and 2030 based on three core pillars: environmental conservation, sustainable cuisine and social and societal empowerment. 

The 89-page Sustainability Report: In Search of Hospitality in Harmony with the Natural World (baseline year 2021) aims to measure and share the association’s progress, as well as focusing on the positive impact its independent chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs can have on sustainability.

Philippe Gombert president, Relais & Chateau and owner Chateau de la Treyne said: “I am deeply proud our association of 580 independent hoteliers, restaurateurs and chefs appreciates that hospitality must operate in harmony with the natural world. We have been working regeneratively long before that became a buzzword. Now, as the world faces the grim realities of climate change, it is time to consolidate our progress and accelerate the pace of change as we enter a new, critical phase in humankind’s relationship with nature. Against this context, our first sustainability report is published so that we can openly and transparently share our successes, acknowledge our challenges, set ambitious new goals for all our properties and showcase to the world the positive contribution that hospitality can–and must–make for future generations.”

The report provides a comprehensive snapshot of members’ sustainability practices and has sections on progress, such as how many of the United Nation’s SDG’s the group is meeting with a score against the ones they are committed to.

Page 23 of the report also has a detailed map – that of a tree dissected, with the growth rings showing the complexity of the process to cover all aspects of the groups’ impact on the environment. 

Not all properties in the 580 have replied to the first round of sustainability questions for the report and it is the hope of Oliver Roellinger, vice president, Relais & Chateaux, cook and owner Les Maisons de Bricourt that all properties will be part of the process for future annual sustainability reports.

Roellinger said: “It was a great success that half of our 580 properties responded to our first questionnaire, which measured activity in 2021. But it’s our ambition that all member properties respond each year, to reach the goals we are setting for ourselves. We want the data to be accurate and as robust and reflective of the association as possible– that way we can drive the necessary transition into a regenerative future.”

With the adoption of their sustainable development action plan, Relais & Chateaux will measure the progress of its members in a comprehensive annual report developed with engineers and sustainable development experts. 

The full report can be found in full on the Relais & Chateau website’s Sustainability section.

In September luxury hotel group Kempinski also published its first ESG report.