green holidays made easier
Accor is a major group with 4000 hotels in nearly 100 countries offering travellers a comprehensive selection of hotel styles ranging from economy to mid-scale, upscale and luxury. Its brands include Formule 1, Etap, All Seasons, Ibis, Adagio, Suitehotel, Mercure, Novotel, MGallery, Pullman, Sofitel and Lucien Barrière.
Sofitel is its luxury trademark. These four and five star hotels are located at prestigious addresses. They are inspired by the French tradition of elegance and hospitality, each with its own personality. They are renowned for their beautiful interiors, well appointed bedrooms, gourmet restaurants, spas and golf facilities.
Novotel is a four star chain with light and spacious rooms suitable for business and leisure travelers and a large choice of 24 hour restaurants with a variety of menus. Located in city centres and popular tourist destinations many have modern conference facilities, as well as swimming pool, sauna and fitness room.
Mercure is a fast growing chain of midscale two to four star hotels located in cities, the mountains, and by the sea. Each has its own style, in keeping with its region, is designed to create a working or relaxing atmosphere and is equipped with modern connection systems. In 2008 Mercure launched superior “Privilege” rooms to add to its standard category.
Ibis is an economy brand, concentrated in city centres. The hotels feature comfortable rooms with bathrooms, a 24-hour reception desk, bar area, snack service at any time day or night and usually a varied choice of restaurants.
Formule 1, another economy brand, comprising low cost hotels with functional bedrooms for 1, 2 or 3 persons with bathroom facilities located right outside, self service breakfast buffet, 24 hour reception and drink vending machines.
The Accor group says it has been engaged in sustainable development since 1998. Its action plan, “Earth Guest”, has the tag line, "As guests of the Earth, we welcome the world". More seriously the company provides extensive information about its green agenda.
It has produced a detailed Environment Charter which includes 65 actions intended to help each hotel protect natural resources and address climate change. This comprises 4 steps to inform and raise awareness; 19 measures to conserve energy, and 10 to conserve water; recycling waste water and various waste materials; with respect to the ozone layer, eliminating appliances containing CFCs; promoting biodiversity, for instance by reducing use of insecticides, weed killers and fungicides; green purchasing; and independent certification under ISO 14001, a rigorous international scheme. It is backed up by an intranet site with further information and an environmental management tool. In 2007, Accor says, 3292 hotels applied the charter in line with their own priorities, and the average number of actions implemented is increasing.
Performance is continually monitored and assessed against benchmarks both internally and externally. The company is included in a number of prominent ethical ratings and sustainability indices, including FTSE4Good, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and ASPI Eurozone. Progress by individual brands includes:
Ibis was the first hotel chain to have obtained, in 2004, ISO 14001 environmental certification which has been awarded to more than 200 Ibis hotels worldwide.
Novotel has pledged to achieve Green Globe international environmental certification for its entire network by 2010.
Accor works with the United Nations Environment Programme and several other sustainability organisations.
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