Hotel industry leader Accor has highlighted the steps it takes to ensure that sustainability is integral to the corporate meetings and events held in its properties.

An Accor survey of corporate clients revealed that 54% rank carbon emissions as their top CSR (corporate social responsibility) priority.

Accor’s certified Carbon Calculator evaluates attendees’ travel and climate impacts at different destinations and hotels, and for trip durations. It aims to minimise the need for significant carbon offsetting after each event.

To reach its ambition of 5,600 hotels achieving external sustainability certifications, Accor has partnered with sustainable certification organisations Green Key and Green Globe to boost operational efficiency and minimise the environmental impact of events.

Sustainable catering

Accor is working with clients to rethink catering to anticipate and better serve the needs of attendees and carbon budgets.

One such sustainable catering practice is the prioritisation of locally sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients for meals and refreshments as well as options for all dietary needs.

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Food waste can be minimised through accurately forecasting attendance and designing waste-free menus. An example Accor provides is transforming leftover breakfast and lunch fruit and vegetables into smoothies and cold-pressed beverages.

Accor also encourages hotels to use reusable or compostable serving ware and provide clearly labelled bins for recycling and composting food scraps.

Reducing waste from meetings

Accor hotel teams work to implement waste reduction strategies such as providing digital event materials instead of printed handouts and using refillable water stations instead of single-use plastic bottles. The company recently announced a series of initiatives aimed at conserving water.

Meeting attendees can also be informed of recycling guidelines and given easy access to recycling bins in meeting rooms, common areas and guest rooms.

Behind the scenes, Accor partners with local recycling facilities and waste management companies for recyclable materials to be properly sorted and processed, and with local charities to maximise their end-of-life use.

Accor also encourages event attendees to use eco-friendly transportation and provides information on nearby public transportation routes, bike-sharing programmes and carpooling arrangements.