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Novotel announces ocean protection partnership with WWF

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Ghost fishing net, Indian Ocean, Zanzibar.

Novotel and WWF launch a partnership to protect oceans through conservation projects and sustainable actions from 2024 to 2027.

PARIS – NovotelAccor’s founding brand, announced the launch of an international partnership with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) that will see Novotel champion the protection and restoration of the ocean through science-based action and conservation projects. WWF is a global leader in building a sustainable future for people and the planet.

Under the three-year agreement, from 2024 to 2027, WWF France will provide technical expertise to Novotel, helping its 580 hotels worldwide to have a positive impact on the ocean, challenging and guiding the brand and its properties throughout many aspects of its operations. The partnership will also see Novotel sponsoring several critical WWF ocean-related conservation projects across the world.

Balance has long been at the core of the Novotel brand, both in its business fundamentals and in its commitments to the work-life experience of its guests. The brand’s focus on the ocean, the world’s biggest carbon sink and greatest source of planetary balance, which regulates the climate and protects habitats and wildlife, is a continuation of this purposeful commitment to balance.

Novotel will build a three-year science-based action plan, rooted in three of the United Nations’ priority ocean-related actions, namely: reducing marine pollution and ocean acidification, particularly from land-based activities; fighting overfishing and promoting sustainable fishing models; and increasing scientific knowledge and research for ocean health.

WWF

Blue Panda, Marine Protected Area.

Mapped against these priorities, the Novotel action plan will aim to rebalance its impact on the planet, determining short and long-term initiatives across four pillars which form Novotel’s Positive Impact Plan:

  1. Reduce plastic, water & carbon footprint impact – empowering Novotel hotels to deliver positive impact action plans to reduce pressure on natural resources, with a strong focus on plastic, water & energy usage;
  2. Make sustainable food choices – reducing meat, fish and waste within Novotel’s food and beverage operations, and further development of sustainable seafood policies;
  3. Enhance education & ocean awareness – educating guests, hotel teams and local communities on the necessity of ocean conservation and how to positively contribute;
  4. Contribute to research & innovation – partnering with NGOs and investing in sustainable innovation.

The partnership with WWF will help Novotel drive operational change and action for the greater good of the ocean and deliver upon its Positive Impact Plan.

With a specific focus on the ocean, the WWF partnership has four main objectives:

  • Work on sustainable seafood policies and supply chains for Novotel hotels and restaurants
  • Raise guests’ and employees’ awareness of the importance of the world’s oceans
  • Advocate for ocean preservation to inspire industry and policy makers
  • Preserve and restore marine biodiversity through support of five WWF flagship projects around the world

To inform Novotel’s work, WWF is conducting extensive site visits to Novotel hotels to understand property-level operations and practices, assess procurement data and make recommendations. WWF will provide a dedicated steering committee to assess Novotel’s progress on its commitments throughout the partnership.

The partnership will see Novotel supporting essential WWF France conservation projects around the world, including:

  • The protection of Posidonia, an endemic flowering plant of the Mediterranean which plays a key role as a carbon sink – removing carbon from the atmosphere – and provides benefits to 25 different marine ecosystems.
  • The identification and removal of “ghost gear” – lost, abandoned and otherwise discarded fishing gear – the deadliest form of marine plastic waste which impacts marine turtles and mammals, elasmobranchs such as sharks, rays and skates, and marine birds.
  • Supporting the WWF France’s Blue Panda boat, which sails across the Mediterranean carrying out work including scientific dives, protecting cetaceans from collisions with marine vehicles, and protecting endangered species of rays and sharks; as well as introducing the public to the Mediterranean, its conservation challenges, and the work being done to protect it.
  • Tracking and tracing marine turtles in Asia-Pacific, gathering knowledge on their movements from nesting beaches to migratory corridors and foraging grounds, and mapping critical populations and conservation areas. Six of seven species of marine turtles remained threatened by harvesting, illegal trade, being caught by commercial fisheries and the loss of nesting beaches.
  • Protecting the sea turtles of the Western Atlantic, strengthening regional cooperation on sustainable fishing techniques and combating illegal fishing. Fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing will help protect leatherback turtles breeding on coastal areas of the Guianas, and green and olive ridley turtles from Brazil to Venezuela.

Commenting on the Novotel WWF partnership, Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Premium, Midscale & Economy Division, Accor, said: “We are delighted to announce that Novotel is embarking on an exciting new chapter. Novotel, Accor’s founding brand, is a powerful brand, leading the Midscale segment in most of the world. Today, we are starting a bold new ambition, championing a sustainability cause globally. 

“Novotel has a long-standing commitment to innovation and balance, and we now take that commitment further, by choosing to help the greatest source of balance on our planet – the ocean.

“To make this ambition a reality, we are proud to unveil a groundbreaking partnership with the WWF – the World Wide Fund for Nature. Together with our partners, teams and guests, Novotel will lead the charge toward a sustainable future for our oceans, pioneering a new era of environmental stewardship in our hotels and driving industry change.

“There is a deep imbalance in the way the ocean is treated. Globally, over-exploitation and pollution are depleting the ocean’s resources, while only a tiny fraction of climate finance is allocated to its preservation. The ocean’s health affects us all and our collective actions have a profound impact. We will rebalance how we engage with it, consume its resources, and invest in its protection and restoration.  As a primarily land-based brand, Novotel has a unique opportunity to increase awareness of the impact everyone, everywhere has on the ocean and inspire positive change for the ocean’s future.”    

Yann Laurans, Conservation Director, WWF France, said WWF aims to restore ocean health for the benefit of people and nature. The oceans are an essential resource of biodiversity that must be protected. WWF is committed to strategic and innovative partnerships with the largest international and national companies in the world to help them reduce their ecological footprint in a concrete way and to make a positive contribution to the environment. We are confident our world-renowned technical and scientific expertise will help Novotel drive operational change for the greater good of their business and the ocean”.

Accor, Novotel’s parent Group, has an established track record of developing sustainable solutions and innovations in the maritime sector. To name just a few, Accor has supported Energy Observer since 2017 and recently partnered with the Fondation de la Mer in 2022 to adopt the Ocean Framework, to assess the impact of its business activities on oceans wildlife. The Group banned endangered fish species, promote responsible fishing, and were the first hospitality group to commit to progressively eliminate single-use plastic items from their guest experiences to fight against oceans pollution. These Accor’s commitments are aligned and consistent with the Group’s commitment to contribute to global carbon neutrality by 2050 and to remove all single-use plastics from the guest experience.

Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Accor, commented: “Novotel’s commitment and investment in ocean preservation, alongside the WWF, represent a major turning point in its history. It demonstrates the determination of the brand and the Accor Group to act resolutely in favor of biodiversity and fight climate change, while inspiring the entire sector. Tourism has a major impact on marine resources. Yet, it is also very dependent on them. Our responsibility is not only to mitigate this impact but also to come up with impactful solutions that will help the industry adapt to climate change and its consequences. Our ambition is thus to support our owners in turning social and environmental challenges into sources of opportunities, for their assets and for the societies in which they operate.”

Created in 1967 in France, Novotel is Accor’s founding brand. It now boasts over 580 hotels across 65 countries, with 42,000 Novotel “Heartists” looking after over 30 million guests a year.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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