How Hotels Can Have a Positive Impact on Communities
By Gaynor Reid Vice President Communications & CSR, Accor Asia Pacific | May 07, 2017
The tourism industry, by its very nature, leaves a significant carbon footprint, with estimates saying that tourism accounts for around 5% of all carbon emissions and that the hotel sector is responsible for approximately 20% of those. As one of the largest hotel operators in the world, AccorHotels acts like a giant city, welcoming 600,000 guests every day and providing water, energy and food to those guests. Recognizing this fact, back in 1974 the group became one of the first hospitality providers to commit to a comprehensive environmental policy to reduce its impact on the planet and its people.
Today AccorHotels recognizes that its responsibilities extend far beyond reducing its environmental footprint and the group is committed to not just reducing its negative impact but to actually positively impacting on the communities in which it operates. With Planet 21, the group's CSR commitments for 2020, they have an ambition to drive the change towards positive hospitality wherever they operate. Importantly, the group recognizes that actions cannot just be global but that it is key for each hotel to implement local programs that reduce their environmental footprint and give back to the people who live around it.
In Indonesia, the group works with A Tree For A Child (ATFAC) a community investment program created by AccorHotels and the foundation Yayasan Peduli Tunas Bangsa in 2001, which focuses on poverty alleviation through education, health, nutrition and environmental protection.
Through this program, hotels in Indonesia help to create access to education and health for children while providing an opportunity for staff to volunteer so they are engaged with the communities surrounding their properties. The group has now opened two education centers in Indonesia for underprivileged children to help develop their skills in Basic English, computer skills, gardening, cooking and other life skills by professional teachers and volunteers from the group's hotel network. An on-site clinic also offers complimentary medical check-ups as well as free nutritional meals.
The program is linked to sustainable farming projects in the country so that families can not only feed themselves but also ensure their children have opportunities for a brighter future.
Ni Nyoman Sri Aningsih is a beneficiary of the project whose parents are vegetable farmers in the Bedugul area.