SHARE
COPY LINK

ENVIRONMENT

French hotel giants Accor to plant veg to cut food waste

French hotel giants Accor are going green and tackling food waste by planting vegetable gardens in many of their 3,900 hotels.

French hotel giants Accor to plant veg to cut food waste
Photo: AFP

AccorHotels has announced it would plant vegetable gardens at many of its hotels and aims to cut food waste by 30
percent as it improves the environmental sustainability of its operations.

Chief executive Sebastien Bazin said the group that includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis chains intends to “reduce food waste by 30 percent, in particular by sourcing food locally”.

AccorHotels, which generates 25 to 30 percent of its revenue by serving 150 million meals and 130 million pastries per year, first plans to determine just how much food it is wasting.

Its restaurants will be required to weigh and record food tossed out in order to best determine how to cut waste.

With up to one third of food produced being wasted, according to estimates by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, there is ample room for businesses to save money while also helping reduce hunger and greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming and transport.

Amir Nahai, who heads of up the French group's food operations, said that changes to menus were also coming, as in some hotels they can offer up to 40 main courses.

“In the future we're going to have menus with 10, 15 or 20 main courses, with more local products,” he told journalists.

Local could be very close, as the group intends to plant vegetable gardens in many of its 3,900 hotels.

“We are also going to support urban agriculture with the creation of 1,000 vegetable gardens in our hotels by 2020,” said Nahai.

AccorHotels also aims to improve the energy efficiency in its buildings with the ultimate target of making them carbon neutral.

In its previous five-year environmental plan, AccorHotels said it cut water consumption by nearly nine percent, energy consumption by 5.3 percent and carbon emissions by 6.2 percent.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ENVIRONMENT

France gets help from EU neighbours as wildfires rage

Firefighting teams and equipment from six EU nations started to arrive in France on Thursday to help battle a spate of wildfires, including a fierce blaze in the parched southwest that has forced thousands to evacuate.

France gets help from EU neighbours as wildfires rage

Most of the country is sweltering under a summer heatwave compounded by a record drought – conditions most experts say will occur more often as a result of rapid climate change.

“We must continue, more than ever, our fight against climate disruption and … adapt to this climate disruption,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said after arriving at a fire command post in the village of Hostens, south of Bordeaux.

The European Commission said four firefighting planes would be sent to France from Greece and Sweden, as well as teams from Austria, Germany, Poland and Romania.

“Our partners are coming to France’s aid against the fires. Thank you to them. European solidarity is at work!” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

“Across the country over 10,000 firefighters and security forces are mobilised against the flames… These soldiers of fire are our heroes,” he said.

In total, 361 foreign firefighters were  dispatched to assist their 1,100 French colleagues deployed in the worst-hit part of the French southwest.

A first contingent of 65 German firefighters, followed by their 24 vehicles, arrived Thursday afternoon and were to go into action at dawn Friday, officials said.

Among eight major fires currently raging, the biggest is the Landiras fire in the southwest Gironde department, whose forests and beaches draw huge tourist crowds each summer.

It had already burned 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) in July – the driest month seen in France since 1961 – before being contained, but it continued to smoulder in the region’s tinder-dry pine forests and peat-rich soil.

Since flaring up again Tuesday, which officials suspect may have been caused by arson, it has burned 7,400 hectares, destroyed or damaged 17 homes, and forced 10,000 people to quit their homes, said Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Mendousse of the Gironde fire and rescue service.

Borne said nine firefighting planes are already dumping water on the blaze, with two more to be in service by the weekend.

“Gigantic”
“We battled all night to stop the fire from spreading, notably to defend the village of Belin-Beliet,” Mendousse told journalists in Hostens.

On several houses nearby, people hung out white sheets saying: “Thank you for saving our homes” and other messages of support for the weary fire battalions.

“You’d think we’re in California, it’s gigantic… And they’re used to forest fires here but we’re being overwhelmed on all sides — nobody could have expected this,” Remy Lahlay, a firefighter deployed near Hostens in the Landes de Gascogne natural park, told AFP.

With temperatures in the region hitting nearly 40C on Thursday and forecast to stay high until at least Sunday, “there is a very serious risk of new outbreaks” for the Landiras fire, the prefecture of the Gironde department said.

Acrid smoke has spread across much of the southwestern Atlantic coast and its beaches that draw huge crowds of tourists each summer, with the regional ARS health agency “strongly” urging people to wear protective face masks.

The smoke also forced the closing of the A63 motorway, a major artery toward Spain, between Bordeaux and Bayonne.

The government has urged employers to allow leaves of absence for volunteer firefighters to help fight the fires.

Meanwhile, in Portugal, more than 1,500 firefighters were also battling a fire that has raged for days in the mountainous Serra da Estrela natural park in the centre of the country.

It has already burned 10,000 hectares, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

SHOW COMMENTS