On November 12th, the UN Climate Change Summit (COP26) in Glasgow ended with a clear consensus that the world needs to do much more to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050 and avert a climate crisis. As a leader in the hospitality sector, Accor is pursuing its commitment to a net zero strategy with two new initiatives.
A new Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality
On November 3rd, Accor and the 13 other members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance announced a new Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality. Supported by the World Travel & Tourism Council, this initiative offers a practical framework for hotels – both chains and independents – to improve their environmental impact. Proposing practical tools for four clear stages, the Pathway will guide hotels towards a regenerative impact on the planet, addressing critical issues including emissions, water usage, waste and resource procurement.
Simultaneously, the Alliance introduced affiliate membership for developers, investors and franchises to advance sustainability across the hospitality industry.
Calling the Pathway “an important step” in Accor’s sustainability journey, Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “We believe that working with our peers and partners from the hospitality sector is the most effective way to make sustainable change happen.”
UNTWO’s Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism
In the same spirit, Accor signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism launched by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on November 4. So far, more than 300 public and private tourism organizations have agreed to halve their emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. To support this commitment, each signatory must deliver a concrete, up-to-date climate plan within 12 months, based on the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality.
A long-term commitment to net zero emissions
These initiatives reinforce the strong commitments already made by Accor. Notably, in March 2021, the company set an ambitious science-based emissions reduction target: -46% absolute emissions by 2030 compared to the 2019 base year, validated by the Science Based Target initiative. Accor also joined the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ program, making Accor the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
To deliver this progress, Accor has introduced a dedicated carbon strategy built on 4 pillars:
- promoting a low-carbon mindset across the company and with our partners thanks to measurement tools, targets, as well as engagement with hotel owners, partners, suppliers and guests in a range of areas including in striving for our zero food waste goal
- transitioning to smart green hotel , by strengthening the low-carbon transition for existing hotels and enhancing hotel brand, design, and technical standards to improve energy efficiency and support the net-zero transition
- accelerating the use of green (wind and solar) energy, with Procurement solutions accelerating new partnerships and suppliers
- reaching net zero faster with the launch of new guest offerings and carbon offsetting solutions and our Plant for the Planet Program.
As part of its carbon commitment, Accor recently launched a number of tools for our hotels and clients, including a survey and score card for hotels to build their energy performance and saving opportunities, and a net zero carbon calculator to help Meeting & Event clients calculate the carbon footprint of their event and allow the purchase of carbon credits to balance the remaining emissions.
As the largest contributor to hotels’ carbon footprint, energy is also the second-largest operating cost for hotels. Initiatives like these not only minimize the environmental impact but reduce costs while meeting increasing customer demand for sustainability and hotel environmental data.