Accor pledges to eliminate single-use plastics in guest experience by 2022 globally

Several Accor hotels within the group’s portfolio of world-leading brands have already taken steps individually to be plastic-free and are advancing towards a 100% single use plastic free objective

Single-use plastics, Reduce plastic, Sustainable hotels, Green initiative, Accor, Global, Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, UN Environment Programme, World Tourism Organization, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Pollution

As it advances its role as a responsible tourism provider locally and globally, Accor commits the global elimination of single-use plastics in guest experience by 2022. The France-based company also said it plans to join the new UN-backed Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which was launched with the aim of cutting plastic pollution created by the travel industry.

“We are aware of the significant impact we have on our planet and our responsibility to create tangible benefits for our employees, guests, suppliers, partners and host communities. What guides us is the consciousness and social awareness that drives every person who strives to be a good citizen. It’s about being aware, socially conscious and consistent.” said Sebastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of Accor.

Accor, which caters for more than 120 million guests and serves in excess of 200 million meals a year, has previously committed to stop using plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds at its hotels – 94% of Accor’s hotels have already achieved this goal with the other 6% of properties (mostly in China) set to follow suit by the end of March 2020. Now the group is promising to go further with new measures, including the removal of individual plastic toiletry bottles and cups by the end of this year.

Accor will also eliminate all remaining single-use plastic items in rooms, meeting areas, restaurants, spas and gyms by the end of 2022. A new hotel brand called Greet has been created by Accor with “the DNA to be plastic-free”, including no disposable plastic items in the rooms, at breakfast or in the other parts of the hotels.

“We are an innovative group by nature and we continuously search for more areas where we can reduce our impact on the global environment while helping our local communities in their efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future. As we work to deliver on our commitments, we are grateful to our dedicated teams of employees all over the world who share our belief in making the world a better place for our guests, while they are travelling with us and even while they are not.” Bazin added. 

One of Accor’s main purposes besides finding alternatives to plastic and reducing environmental impacts is to positively change common mindsets globally by adopting the 3R logic: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. The group’s headquarters will lead the best practices and hotels will enhance their local initiatives and solutions to hotels guests.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, draws a line in the sand in the fight against plastic waste and pollution. Governments and businesses, such as Accor, commit to a set of ambitious targets. We will work to eliminate the plastic items we don’t need; innovate so all plastics we do need are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment. In September 2019, Accor Netherlands already took a step forward by signing the International Tourism Plastic Pledge led by MVO Netherlands and therefore initiating the work to becoming as soon as possible a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, for which a detailed commitment has to be presented, is a logical next step.

“Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of our time, and tourism has an important role to play in contributing to the solution,” said UN Environment Programme Economy Division Director, Ligia Noronha. “Through the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, tourism companies and destinations are supported to innovate, eliminate, and circulate the way they use plastics, to advance circularity in our economies and reduce plastics pollution globally.”

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