World Panel
Viewpoint11 December 2019

Sustainability goals... is the window of opportunity for hotels closing?

2020 C-SUITE World Panel

— 12 C-Suite executives shared their view

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As we enter a decisive decade for sustainability, is the window of opportunity for hotels closing?

Following a decade of growth which brought jobs and fostered local and regional development, the tourism and hotel industry has repeatedly outperformed the global economy.

More than 3,000 new hotels will open their doors in 2020 alone. However, the industry is also responsible for nearly one-tenth of all carbon emissions globally, with the hotel sector accounting for almost a quarter of all tourism emissions.

Under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the hotel sector must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per room per year by 66 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050 compared to 2010 (ITP, 2017). The technology required to decarbonize the industry is available now.

How do you see the calls for more sustainability within your organization and, in particular, our responsibility to bring about a carbon-neutral future?

This viewpoint was created by
Willy Legrand , Professor of Hospitality Management at the IUBH International University
Heather McCrory
CEO of North & Central America at Accor

We are entering into a new chapter for all businesses that demand a sense of urgency and the attainment of meaningful results on the sustainability front. Accor has long taken the view that we're stewards of our incredible locales, and mitigating our impact is a key priority for Accor, and a responsibility the Group has fully embraced. Our key stakeholders are educated and aware, seeking an authentic connection between our sustainability programs, and our other CSR initiatives, and the results we drive to mitigate our impact.

Since 1994, Accor has led with a well-researched Planet 21 platform with an incredibly detailed action plan that demonstrates the Group's ambitious goals. The program is based around four strategic priorities: involve our employees, engage our guests, innovate with our partners and work with local communities, along with two key focus areas: sustainable food and carbon-neutral buildings.

Each hotel owns its sustainability efforts based on our solid platform and adhesion to the metrics the program demands. We have deep integration into our internal processes including design and construction, procurement, innovation, talent & culture, and food & beverage, with the understanding that these efforts are core to our DNA and second nature to our operations.

Accor's pioneering initiatives in the industry and beyond continue to minimize our impact and benefit those around us while creating key differentiation for our brand. We are always looking for continuous improvement as it is a company imperative. 

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