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ITB Berlin News 2020 - #4

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I NEWS IMarc DardenneChief Operating OfficerLuxury Brands Europe,AccorIDEALLY,SUSTAINABILITYPRACTICES WILLBECOME THE INDUSTRYSTANDARDA future where all luxuryis eco-luxuryAccor is focusing on sustainability in line with customer demandSustainability is a buzzword in the travel and hospitalityindustries. But is it incompatible with luxury? This was dueto come under the spotlight at an ITB hospitality executivepanel entitled, "Luxury and Sustainability: Contradiction orPrerequisite?" Among those who were set to take part wasMarc Dardenne, Chief Operating Officer Luxury BrandsEurope for Accor. Here, he gives his thoughts on luxury andsustainability as they intersect with the hotel industry.Accor has an acute understanding ofthe symbiotic relationship betweenluxury hospitality and sustainability.Protecting the health and welfare ofour destinations is as important toour guests and the communities inwhich we operate as it is to our longtermsustainability and profitability.With more than 5,000 hotels and 40brands, we welcome over 120 millionguests and serve 200 millionmeals each year. We provide luxuryhospitality experiences in someof the world’s most metropolitan,energy-consuming hubs, as well asin some of the world’s most remote,unspoiled, ecologically pristineregions. As a result, we take our roleas a responsible corporate citizento heart, and have been workingwithin the scope and focus of oursustainable development program,Planet 21, for nearly a decade.What are the key trends regardingsustainability and luxury in theEuropean hotel market, and what isAccor doing?Like almost every global market,there is a shift in Europe towardgreater mindfulness in what weconsume and how we use theworld’s natural resources. There isa greater desire among consumersto connect with businesses thatactively work to make the world abetter place for people, wildlifeand surrounding habitats andcommunities. In this regard,Accor has made a commitment toeliminating all guest-related singleuseplastic by 2022 and our hotelsare already actively engaged indoing so.What does the future look like?We expect a future where all luxuryis eco-luxury. Sustainability is nowat the forefront of our businessdecisions and this will continue. Ourhotels and owners are asking formore opportunities to create healthychanges for our guest experiences,our surrounding communitiesand the natural habitats of ourneighbouring plants, animals, riversand oceans. Our hotel networkis also becoming much moresensitive in our hotel developmentand construction processes. At thehigher end of the market, our luxuryand premium hotels are leading theway and new hotel construction isgetting more low-carbon throughgreen building practices. I amhopeful for the future and believeour luxury hotels will evolve towardsthe best levels of Planet 21. Ideally,sustainability practices will becomethe industry standardA GREATERRANGE OFVEGETARIANAND VEGANOPTIONSAccor is offering customers agreater range of vegetarian andvegan options as the popularity ofmore sustainable diets increases.Sofitel Wroclaw in Poland, forexample, is starting to offer fullyvegan and vegetarian options tomeetings, incentives, conferencesand exhibitions (MICE) visitorsduring breaks. Increasingly,MICE organisers are said towant to provide low-carbon andecofriendly event options toclients. Also, The Bridge Wroclaw- MGallery hotel in Poland is"actively promoting healthy andorganic food" through a range ofinitiatives. Bread is made at thehotel, honey comes from local beehives and marmalade is certifiedorganic.ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH 2020 • 9

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