Focus on Sustainability with Planet 21

ISSUE #60 – AccorHotels is a group united by a shared passion for hospitality and driven by a shared promise to make everyone feel welcome. In Asia Pacific, it is the market leader, with 659 operating hotels and 126,593 rooms in 17 countries: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, Cambodia, Greater China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. AccorHotels’ brands cover the full spectrum of the accommodation market, thereby offering travellers the industry’s most comprehensive selection of hotel styles and locations. Since its creation 45 years ago, AccorHotels has made innovation and sustainable hospitality the focus of its strategic vision as well as of its customer-centric approach in the development and innovation process.


Planet 21 allows the group to unite its teams and engage its guests and partners in a structured approach.


AccorHotels recently released the results of its 2015 goals which show a clear track record in implementing real change. In Asia Pacific the results are as below:

  • 96% of hotels purchase and promote locally-sourced products
  • 99% of hotels ban endangered seafood from restaurant menus
  • 91% of hotels recycle their waste
  • 98% of hotels promote balanced dishes
  • 95% of hotels plan disease prevention training for employees
  • 97% of hotels use eco-labelled products
  • 68% of hotels have at least three eco-friendly room components

In April 2016, the group announced the next iteration of its Planet 21 CSR programme, which includes a commitment to cut food waste across by 30% by 2020, to use low-carbon new buildings and renovations for its owned and leased properties, and to plant 1,000 urban vegetable gardens in its hotels in addition to a host of other commitments around health, nature, diversity and the protection of ecosystems.


Planet 21 allows the group to unite its teams and engage its guests and partners in a structured approach that is recognised by several ethical stock market indices.

It has made significant progress, in particular with regards to well-being in the workplace, child protection, biodiversity, and water and energy consumption management. Here’s what happened in just five years:

  • Carbon emissions have been cut by 6.2%
  • Water consumption has been cut by nearly 9%
  • Energy consumption has been cut by 5.3%

At the end of 2015, all its hotels were committed to protecting children from abuse (in-house awareness programme WATCH) and more than 4.5 million trees had been planted worldwide since 2009.





For the next five years, the programme has been structured into four areas of action enlisting its employees, customers, partners and local communities, and two priorities, namely F&B and buildings. As part of a policy of progress and transparency, the group asked its customers for their views on these issues, which provided us with the following key lessons:

  • Globally, eight out of 10 hotel guests declare that they are sensitive to sustainable development;
  • Guests want hotels to show commitment to concrete, daily aspects of sustainable development such as water, energy, waste and child protection;
  • One out of three guests consider that citizens have a role to play in sustainable development and they seem aware of their impact in terms of social, corporate and environmental responsibility;
  • Hotel guests declare that they are ready to act and change their behaviour.

Sustainable development is now often taken into consideration by one in two guests when choosing a hotel and this criterion should progress considerably.


Globally, AccorHotels plants one tree every minute to help protect ecosystems worldwide and provide sustainable farming practices that allow local communities to feed themselves and their families.

These initiatives encourage the regeneration and preservation of ecosystems and go beyond tackling carbon issues to enriching communities with new forms of livelihoods and economic opportunities.

As part of its sustainable development strategy, AccorHotels has forged a partnership with Pur Projet, an organization dedicated to combatting climate change through reforestation and forest conservation projects carried out by local communities.

In Thailand, the insetting relationship starts from the donation of 50% of the group’s laundry savings to plant trees and agro-crops and then buy them back, enabling a sustainable community agroeconomy. In the Pacific, AccorHotels has partnered with Greening Australia to plant over 50,000 trees over five years. This partnership will support several of Greening Australia’s large-scale restoration projects.


In Asia Pacific, the group has several local projects to benefit the communities in which it operates. For example, in Indonesia, A Tree for A Child (ATFAC) is a community investment programme that focuses on poverty alleviation through education, health, and nutrition and environment protection. Through this programme, AccorHotels opened an education centre in Jakarta in 2001, which has since benefited more than 200 children and their families. This year, the group opened a second education centre in Bedugul, Bali, continuing the groups’ commitment to bringing a brighter future to underprivileged Indonesian children.


By Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific


PHOTO: Accor supports an agroforestry project called Dhamma Raksha in northern Thailand, through its Plant for the Tree initiative


Article published in the FOCUS Magazine “Green Power” – Issue #2 2016