Sustainable development

Why did AccorHotels establish a sustainable development policy?

As early as 1974, AccorHotels’ management defined the environment as “tourism’s raw material”. Twenty years later in 1994, AccorHotels became one of the first large French companies to set up an Environment Department.

In 2002, to cater for the rising expectations of its customers and the ever-growing need to take action, AccorHotels created a Sustainable Development Department, which absorbed the Environment Department and extended its commitment to new areas: social issues. 


In 2006, the group launched the "Earth Guest" program to structure its social and environmental responsibility initiatives into eight priorities and two themes: EGO, for social projects, and ECO for environmental projects.


Hotels from AccorHotels group have made significant progress as a result of the policies deployed by the group. For example, between 2006 and 2010, water consumption per rented room dropped 12%, while energy consumption per available room fell 5.5%.


With its new program, PLANET 21, AccorHotels intends to reinvent hotels sustainably. As it enters a phase of sustained expansion, the group is reaffirming its conception of responsible growth that generates value for everyone. PLANET 21 accelerates and intensifies AccorHotels’ commitment to sustainable development, turning it into a decisive competitive advantage for the group, its brands and its partners, at a time when customers are increasingly receptive to social and environmental issues.


The program consists of 21 commitments each with fixed quantified objectives that all the hotels must meet by 2015.  With PLANET 21, AccorHotels has placed sustainable hospitality firmly at the center of its strategy, expansion and innovation.

What is the budget for sustainable development at AccorHotels?

The Sustainable Development Department’s budget is used to finance strategic projects that aid the worldwide implementation of the PLANET 21 program and are intended to improve our internal practices, reduce our impact on the environment and foster the smooth integration of the company in the communities that welcome it.  However, to date, we do not have a consolidated figure for the amount spent on sustainable development (or saved as a result of it) through the projects implemented by the group’s other departments.
Environmental expenses are published every year in AccorHotels’ Registration Document.

How does AccorHotels implement sustainable development actions?

In 2002, AccorHotels set up a Sustainable Development Department with three main objectives:
- To manage PLANET 21 and steer sustainable development projects for the group;
- To assist operating and support function departments with the implementation of sustainable development measures;
- To communicate on sustainable development, both internally and externally.

This department has the equivalent of 3.5 full-time employees.

The sustainable development policy is also implemented through a worldwide network of about 100 PLANET 21 coordinators for all the group’s countries, brands and functions. These coordinators help implement the program and monitor performances.



What tools have you developed?

From an early stage, AccorHotels used sustainable development measuring, monitoring and reporting tools to encourage the hotels and allow them to monitor their own performance.


The two main tools are:

- OPEN, which was created in 2005. This unique and constantly evolving tool allows hotels to measure, monitor and report on sustainable development issues within the Group. It is used by all the hotels and improves the monitoring of water and energy consumption and waste management. In 2012, a carbon component was added to it.  It also enables the hotels to manage their participation in the Plant for the Planet reforestation program by tracking their laundry savings. 

- Charter 21 (formerly the Hotels Environment Charter), was created in 1998, and enables each establishment to monitor its performance using a check list of 65 points concerning sustainable development issues.

In April 2012, AccorHotels launched a unique online training program for the employees of all its brands.  This program allows them to become familiar with the issues of sustainable development and the objectives of the PLANET 21 program and raises awareness of the good practices to adopt on a daily basis in the hotels (rooms, restaurant, kitchen, etc.). 

Other specific tools have also been created to engage the participation of hoteliers in different areas of sustainable development.

Key examples include:

ACT-HIV, launched end 2007, is an international approach to combating HIV/AIDS for use by hotel general managers and department heads. It consists of a DVD which explains in six steps how to implement a program to combat the illness.

“Biodiversity: my hotel in action”, a guide by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), created in collaboration with AccorHotels and designed to help hoteliers implement actions in their hotels that protect biodiversity (in restaurants, interior decorating, hotel grounds and gardens, beauty and spa products, souvenir shops).   

- AccorHotels' campaign to combat child sex tourism. Training courses were designed for employees and between 2006 and 2011 over 70,000 employees attended these courses provided by the AccorHotels human resources network in partnership with ECPAT.

  • Consult the seven pillars of PLANET 21 and discover the tools created for each one 
Do you have a dedicated sustainable development report?

No. At AccorHotels, sustainable development is part of the group’s strategy. It is treated as such and features in the Annual Report under a dedicated section.

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