As economic and environmental pressures create an unprecedented context, fresh ideas, impetus and inspiration are more important than ever to transform society sustainably. Keen to play a key role in this transformation, Accor has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and increasing energy efficiency in the short and long term.
Given the effects of climate change and the current energy crisis, finding concrete, pragmatic, inventive solutions is a priority for people and planet. As awareness of what is at stake grows, customers expect companies to have increasingly high environmental standards and, in hospitality, are looking for sustainability-committed hotels. An expectation that aligns with and shapes Accor’s global strategy. Early 2021, Accor was the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to decarbonize all its operations and achieve net zero by 2050 – including a 46% emission reduction by 2030, validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative. Given that 63% 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:
- Promote a low-carbon mindset in hotel operations and with all its supply chain, including its suppliers
- Fully transitioning to smart, sustainably designed hotels
- Accelerate 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.
- Opened in 2013, the Sofitel Dubai The Palm 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% 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.
- Opened in 2017, the JO&JOE Gentilly, near Paris, is a low-carbon building and our first hotel to achieve the BBCA label based on 4 criteria: reasoned construction, controlled use, carbon storage and circular economy. This relaxed open-house destination brings together locals and travelers, and even has fruit trees in the garden.
Embracing Energy Sufficiency
In recent months, as energy prices spiral, particularly in Europe, the term "energy sufficiency" has been increasingly used by governments and institutions. With the aim of only using the energy you need, in France, the government has called on companies and citizens to turn off little-used appliances and implement behavior changes to use energy more sparingly. In this context, Accor has contributed to a national energy-saving plan for the hotel industry. To go even further, 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 behaviors and optimize maintenance in the kitchens to use less energy for cooking and cooling
Accor has a responsibility to lead and inspire the transformation of the hospitality industry to offer experiences that respect the environment, as well as local communities. By accelerating this transition and building a responsible model as a major group, Accor leads by example to help make the world more welcoming, respectful and caring.