Work hand-in-hand
with local communities

for a positive impact

Back to the commitments

Respect host communities.
Care for the most vulnerable.
Protect local ecosystems.
We foster sustainable social and economic development, and support communities, wherever our hotels are.

Our commitments for 2020

100% of our hotels
engaged in a citizen
or solidarity project

We don’t stop caring
at the hotel’s front door

We do everything we can
to benefit our host communities
and local areas
through our activities
around the world.

We contribute substantially to social and economic development in our host countries by:

  • creating jobs in our hotels,
  • buying locally,
  • paying our taxes.

This is what:

  • local populations expect of us,
  • our customers expect of us, as they agree that growing deep local roots is an important component in our social responsibility.

Our vision of positive hospitality goes even further.
As hospitality professionals, we are passionate about caring.
For our guests, of course, but also for the men and women around us.
Opening our hands, open our hearts and giving come naturally to us.
Doing that again and again, day after day, makes a positive difference around us.

To paint a clearer picture

On average, around the world:

1job in a Group hotel supports 4 jobs outside the Group (with our suppliers, public services, etc.)
70%of the jobs our hotels support are based in host countries
83%of the wealth our hotels create stays in host countries


Guests care about our local roots

48%of our guests expect us to support local economies
42%expect us to promote and protect local culture and heritage
36%expect us to support local communities
28%expect us to partner local NGOs

What we are doing already

We are a global Group,
but most of our initiatives
are local.

As our employees are part of their local communities, they are more willing and able to make a difference in them than anyone else.

Most of our hotels are heavily involved in voluntary community work and social care.
Their initiatives often revolve around hotels and restaurants (for example, employees donate food, train poorly-qualified job-seekers to work in the hospitality sector, or recycle products to help people in need).

Support from Solidarity AccorHotels

Solidarity AccorHotels, our Group’s endowment fund, has been working side by side with our employees since 2008.
Each year, it provides financial and technical support for around 30 local projects sponsored by our hotels working with local NGOs and charities. Its overarching aim is to counter economic and social exclusion among the most vulnerable by enabling professional integration.

Find out more about Solidarity AccorHotels

Results (2008-2015)

237Solidarity AccorHotels has backed 237 projects
800with over 15,000 AccorHotels employees in 800 hotels
200 000for over 200,000 beneficiaries

Training to work in restaurants (Marseille)

Recycling of used soaps

Each month, one community initiative per hotel (Mexico)

Redistribution of buffets leftovers (Bangkok)

Five of our hotels in Marseille and La Table de Cana, a charity, are training women from inner-city neighborhoods to work in upscale restaurants. The chefs in these hotels have taken participants into their kitchens and are tutoring them. Solidarity AccorHotels is supporting this initiative.

What we plan to do over the next five years

Reassert that hospitality and
generosity go hand in hand.

We plan to do more to encourage employees to get involved in local initiatives and will commend them for doing so.

That is why we are once again placing community initiatives at the core of our new Planet 21 program.

As we expect 100% of our hotels to get involved, the Planet 21 in Action roadmap encourages them to work on a variety of community work and social care initiatives, such as:

  • opening up to the local area and working with nearby businesses,
  • supporting the communities around them,
  • donating products reaching the end of their lifecycles so they can be reused or recycled,
  • donating leftover food,
  • organizing fundraisers for community and social outreach projects.
100% of our hotels implement our program against child sexual exploitation.

Protecting children is one of our paramount priorities

Girls and boys under 18
are sexually exploited
around the world
every year.*

Because millions of children are in danger.
Because this practice cuts across geographic, social and cultural boundaries.
Because it can occur in our hotels.
Because we are the world’s largest hotel operator, and are in more than 90 countries.
It is our moral and legal duty to protect children from abuse.

Our host communities are naturally counting on us.
And so are our guests: 68% of them agree that protecting minors from sexual exploitation is extremely important in hotels.

* Source: Unicef

What we are doing already

AccorHotels pioneered
the fight against the sexual
exploitation of children
in the hospitality sector.

We were one of the first to take a stand against this scourge.
In 2001, we were the first hospitality group to partner ECPAT, an international NGO at the forefront of the struggle to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

In 2002, we started setting up programs to train our employees to deal with this issue.

Our initiatives are based on the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.
1,200 travel and tourism professionals in 46 countries have signed it. Companies sign it in each of their host countries. By end-2015, 38 AccorHotels host countries had signed it.

This Code of Conduct requires us to take a variety of measures to fight against the sexual exploitation of children. For example:

  • train employees,
  • inform travelers,
  • include clauses to this effect in contracts with suppliers.

WATCH: keeping our eyes open.

WATCH stands for We Act Together for Children.
It is the program we introduced in 2014 to step up our efforts to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children.

NGOs, children’s rights organizations, police services and embassy networks are on deck to respond swiftly and in sync if our hotels alert them. WATCH is tailored to the local situation and to the extent of the scourge in each country.

WATCH provides hotels with awareness-raising movies, training modules, dos-and-don’ts sheets and various other tools to:

  • keep employees alert at all times,
  • help them to respond to dubious situations,
  • raise guest awareness.

Specifically, if an employee realizes or suspects that a child is being sexually exploited, he or she informs the hotel’s general manager or manager on duty, who assesses the situation.
If the suspicions are confirmed, or the situation is not clarified, the manager warns the police and they promptly take over. The child is entrusted to local child-protection organizations.


Key figures

89%Almost 90% of hotels were actively protecting children at end-2015
60,000Employees are trained each year to deal with suspected abuse

Hotels in several countries are relaying ECPAT campaigns to urge travelers and tourists to behave responsibly.

Support of the "We say no campain" (Italy)

Support of the "Don’t look away" campaign (Brazil)

Support of the "Euro 2016" campaign (Europe)

In Italy, we supported the "We Say No" campaign. ECPAT kicked off this campaign on social networks for World Tourism Day on September 27, 2015. We encouraged Internet users to send AccorHotels selfies showing that they are taking a stand against the sexual exploitation of children and to support ECPAT’s projects to defend children’s rights.

What we plan to do over the next five years

at the center
of our drive to
protect children.

Efforts to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children can be nothing but relentless.
That is why this commitment will continue to rank among our top priorities over the next five years.

We are now aiming even higher: we expect 100% of our hotels, including franchised ones, to join our WATCH program by 2020.

This is why WATCH is one of the 16 mandatory actions for hotels in our Planet 21 In Action 2016-2020 roadmap.

Starting in 2016, we will include a message about WATCH in the booking confirmation e-mails we send customers, to enhance awareness of this issue.

We will also step up our partnership with ECPAT and the Code of Conduct in order to tackle these issues ever more effectively.

Deepening our commitment

In March 2016, AccorHotels was elected to the governing bodies of two organizations fighting against the sexual exploitation of children:

  • the Board of Directors of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism;
  • the Executive Committee of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection, a UN World Tourism Organization network.

10 million trees
planted with our
Plant for the Planet
program (by 2021).

In our hotels, towels plant trees

Plant for the Planet is
one of the best-known
features in our sustainable
development drive.

A cross-cutting and connecting program
It counts on our employees, customers and local communities to work hand in hand and help nurture a more positive, people-centric and planet-centric economy. Specifically, when guests spend more than one night in one of our hotels, we encourage them to reuse their towels. This way, we can save money because we have fewer towels to wash.
Then we reinvest 50% of the money we save by planting trees in our hotels’ host countries.Our goal now is to develop agroforestry projects, i.e. to plant trees around or among crops or pastureland.

The two advantages for local communities and small farmers

  • Ecological: trees restore landscapes scarred by intensive farming, nurture biodiversity, enrich the soil, regulate the microclimate, etc.
  • Economic: trees improve crop yields and harvest quality, while providing farmers with additional resources (they can sell timber, biomass, fruit, etc.).

For our Group,
one way of reducing our
environmental footprint

  • The fewer towels we have to wash, the less energy, detergent and water we use.
  • Planting trees that absorb CO2 when they grow offsets a portion of our carbon footprint.
  • Supporting agroforestry also encourages a transition towards more responsible farming. It is one way of offsetting the impacts on water and biodiversity from the food we serve in our hotels.

For our guests and employees, an opportunity to make a difference

  • Over half of our guests are willing to reuse their towels if we reinvest the savings in trees. They see Plant for the Planet as an opportunity to make a tangible contribution to local development and more sustainable tourism.
  • Our employees are proud to be on-board. To them, encouraging customers to reuse their towels is also a very down-to-earth way of benefiting their local communities.

Plant for the Planet, in other words, is a tangible expression of our vision of positive hospitality that speaks to all our stakeholders.
And it helps to put our Group in a class by itself.

Pur Projet: a partner for Plant for the Planet.

Pur Projet is a climate-protection non-profit that supports reforestation, agroforestry and forest conservation initiatives by local communities.
It was started by Tristan Lecomte, who is now also a Plant for the Planet ambassador – and the man who established Alter Eco, a brand that mainstreamed fair trade.
Pur Projet has been helping us to develop Plant for the Planet, by blending it into the Group’s various business lines and ever further into local areas, since 2012.

Find out more about Pur Projet

Looping the loop

When agroforestry operations working with Plant for the Planet grow food, our hotels can buy some of it.
This way, they can reduce the environmental impact from their food purchases.
And they provide outlets for farmers to sell their produce. This virtuous circle – which involves optimizing environmental and social footprints at source by working on supply chains – is called insetting.
This is the approach we plan to promote from now on.

A platform to promote insetting

Our Group is a founding member of the International Platform for Insetting (IPI).
This platform was set up in 2015 to bring together large businesses, organizations working on insetting projects (such as our partner Pur Projet), certification bodies and researchers.
Its aim is to promote insetting among economic players while providing a forum for members to exchange experiences and best practices, and to test innovative approaches.

Find out more about IPI

Insetting to reduce our environmental impact

Our environmental, social and economic footprint studies show that the current business model in the farming sector – which our hotels and restaurants rely on – can have negative impacts on local ecosystems. We are testing innovative approaches to reduce those impacts, for example by helping our suppliers to transition towards more responsible practices such as agroforestry. We established IPI to promote these new models.

Watch: Insetting according to AccorHotels, an interview with our Sustainable Development Director, by Pur Projet.

What we are doing already

Forests for
the future.

Plant for the Planet started in 2009.
By the end of 2015, we had planted 4.5 million trees in more than 150 agroforestry and reforestation projects in 25 countries.
Including the first insetting projects.
In 2015, we took several measures to take this program to the next level.

The boldest move: the “tree resolution”
AccorHotels has pledged to reach the 10-million-tree mark by the end of 2021 and to develop insetting.
We submitted a resolution to this effect at our General Meeting in April 2015 and 96% of our shareholders voted in favor of it.
This made our Group the first CAC40 company to adopt an environmental resolution at its General Meeting.
It also earned us the Trophée RSE (CSR Trophy) at the Grand Prix de l’Assemblée Générale 2015 (2015 General Meeting Awards) organized by CapitalCom.

Another step forward: since September 2015, anyone can buy a tree on our AccorHotels mobile app to support Plant for the Planet.
This is a world first in the travel and tourism sector, and we will be promoting it extensively to encourage our customers to team up with us.

At the end of 2015, we offset all overnight stays during COP21 in all our hotels and all competing hotels, in and around Paris, by planting 27,000 trees in Peru.

To paint a clearer picture

Plant for the Planet:

2 500has reforested the equivalent of 2,500 football pitches since 2009
1is planting a tree every minute
60%was backed by 60% of our hotels at end-2015

Moroccan hotels loop the loop

The Insetting in Thailand

Trips for housekeeping teams to visit the projects

In Morocco, about 20 AccorHotels hotels are already involved in insetting. Thanks to Plant for the Planet, they are supporting a cooperative of women planting olive trees responsibly and producing first-class olive oil. The hotels buy half of their olive oil to use it in their kitchens and resell it to their guests.

What we plan to do over the next five years

Aim high with
our roadmap

By 2021, we will more than double the number of trees we have planted so far with Plant for the Planet.
We will do that in three ways.

First, by requiring all our hotels to adopt this program, including franchised hotels.
Then, by promoting it more vigorously.
Specifically with new literature to tell hotel guests about it and by encouraging employees to serve as its ambassadors.
Lastly, by diversifying funding streams, i.e. using other opportunities to save money besides encouraging guests to reuse their towels.

For instance:

  • involving our customers and allowing them to take part in the program by buying a tree that will bear their name.
  • selling eco-responsible gifts or goodies in our hotels and setting aside a portion of the proceeds to plant trees.
  • involving the farmers supplying our produce in insetting projects backed by Plant for the Planet.

The ultimate goal is to work with them on agroforestry projects that will open doors for them in responsible supply chains – and thereby reduce their environmental footprints and ours.