Accor commits to net zero emissions by 2050

Accor has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and increasing energy “sufficiency” in the short and long term.

Accor has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and increasing energy “sufficiency” in the short and long term.

In early 2021, Accor was the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to decarbonise all its operations and to achieve net zero by 2050. This included a 46 per cent emission reduction by 2030 validated by SbTIs (Science based Targets Initiative).

Given that 63 per cent of the Group’s carbon footprint is energy related, accelerating energy transition is central to this commitment and depends on a low-energy, low-carbon approach: With this in mind Accor has committed to promote a low-carbon mindset in hotel operations and with all its supply chain, including its suppliers, fully transitioning to smart, sustainably designed hotels and by accelerating the use of green energy.

Designing Low-energy Buildings

Accor signs an average of one new hotel every day worldwide. Every year, several hundred establishments are also renovated. For construction and major renovation projects, Accor has long been committed to transitioning to low-energy buildings with the double benefit of reducing carbon emissions and operating costs. Securing the future also means continuing to innovate by choosing low-carbon building materials that can be recycled, including high-performance insulation that significantly reduces energy consumption. It also means accelerating the purchase, production and use of low-carbon energy sources and, when possible, generating renewable energy directly on site. Two examples of these practices are:

  1. The Sofitel Dubai The Palm, which opened in 2013, was designed with roof tiles made from a insulating, sun-reflecting material, double glazing, energy-efficient air conditioning, a heat recovery system, presence detectors for corridor lighting and 530m2 of solar panels that cover 45 per cent of the hotel’s hot water needs. It was the first hotel in Palm Jumeirah and the first Sofitel in the Middle East-North Africa region to receive Green Globe certification.
  2. In 2017, the JO&JOE Gentilly, near Paris opened and is a low-carbon building and the first Accor hotel to achieve the BBCA label based on four criteria: reasoned construction, controlled use, carbon storage and circular economy. 

Embracing Energy Sufficiency

As energy prices spiral, particularly in Europe, the term “energy sufficiency” has been used by governments and institutions. In France, the government has called on companies and citizens to turn off little-used appliances and implement behaviour changes to use energy more sparingly. In this context, Accor has contributed to a national energy-saving plan for the hotel industry. The Group recently announced that it was implementing an ambitious and sustainable energy sufficiency approach in France covering four main areas:

  • Reduce air conditioning heating and cooling intensity
  • Use hot water moderately and intelligently by closing external pools and reducing availability of energy-intensive facilities, such as steam rooms and saunas
  • Reduce electricity consumption including shutting down over 50,000 minibars
  • Adapt behaviours and optimise maintenance in the kitchens to use less energy for cooking and cooling

Accor is a leading hospitality group consisting of 5,300 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing more than 40 luxury, premium, midscale and economy hotel brands, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor’s position in lifestyle hospitality – one of the fastest growing categories in the industry – is led by Ennismore, a joint venture, which Accor holds a majority shareholding.

Marie Claire UK Sustainability Awards recognise hospitality efforts

WORLDWIDE: Marie Claire’s UK Sustainable Hospitality Awards have recognised several hotel groups and independent hotels for their efforts in actively implementing change for sustainability.

WORLDWIDE: Marie Claire’s UK Sustainable Hospitality Awards have recognised several hotel groups and independent hotels for their efforts in actively implementing change for sustainability.

Global hospitality group Accor has won the Marie Claire Sustainability Award for Best Sustainable Hotel (global group) while London’s Room2 Chiswick has won for Best Sustainable Hotel (independent).

The awards, which are judged by an independent panel of industry and sustainability experts, celebrate the brands and organisations that are actively implementing change for a sustainable future.

Accor has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and in March last year it was the first major international hotel group to set out its long-term science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement. 

The global group also pledged to ban single-use plastic by the end of this year and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It became the first international hotel group to commit to this.

Duncan O’Rourke, CEO Accor Northern Europe, commented on winning the award: “Sustainability impacts every element of the hospitality industry from how consumers and businesses perceive us, to how we attract, engage and retain employees, interact with the communities we operate in, and design our hotels and food and drink choices. Above all it is our corporate responsibility to act positively. This is why it is integrated into every part of our business. We’re delighted to receive this recognition and will continue to keep striving to do better and lead the industry on sustainability issues every day.”

Room2 Chiswick is the world’s first “whole-life net-zero ‘hometel’”, and its zero carbon footprint also recognises the embodied carbon used in its development, meaning that all carbon emissions associated with its creation from beginning to end, and now in its operation, have been taken into account to deliver its zero-carbon footprint.

Sani Resort won the Best Sustainable Holiday (with kids) Abroad. In 2020 the resort was the first certified carbon-neutral resort in Greece. Its location already attracts those interested in the environment as it is set in a 1,000-acre ecological reserve, with 7km of Blue-Flag beaches, 20km of forest trails, and 270 acres of wetlands.

Andrea Thompson, Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief and Sustainability Awards judge said: “What really makes Sani Resort stand out is its environment-focused activities for kids, which teach the next generation all about ecosystems, recycling and other ways they can protect the planet.”

The recognition for sustainable practices comes as Booking.com’s sustainability report found that more than half of UK travellers are looking to book sustainable accommodation on their travels.

Image courtesy of Accor Hotel Group.