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GREEN

Central Paris gets set to become giant race track

The Invalides district in the heart of Paris is about to become a playground for Formula E drivers and their fast-growing fanbase.

Central Paris gets set to become giant race track
Photo: AFP

Only in its second year, the 2017 Paris ePrix is expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators on Saturday.

And given that it's an opportunity to see cars travelling at breakneck speed around the city's world famous tourist sites, it's no wonder that it is already a much anticipated fixture on the capital's sporting calendar.

The organisers are aiming to address criticisms of last year's event, when spectators complained about the lack of visibility of the race, by offering free entry to an eVillage from where punters have great views of the speeding cars, and by placing 21 giant screens around the course.

A version of Formula 1 using only electric cars, Formula E has taken off worldwide in recent years. The cars can travel up to 225km/h and as spectators watch the cars whizz around the 1.93 km course they are invited to vote on their favourite driver.

The three drivers who receive the most votes benefit from extra power during the second part of the race when they change cars.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was behind the move to bring Formula E to the French capital in a bid to increase public awareness of sustainable transportation as well as to give a platform to car manufacturers investing in green energy solutions.

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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.

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