AccorHotels has revealed the positive impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) under its PLANET 21 Research Program, the group’s internal sustainability management system.
In celebration of its 10 year commitment to the ISO 14001 certification, the internationally recognized standard for environmental management systems, AccorHotels has led two studies that assess the benefits of CSR on guest satisfaction and hotel performance. The surveys were conducted by Accenture and Ernst & Young (EY) in 2015 and revealed three key findings on the positive impact of CSR: increased guest satisfaction; improved hotel profitability; and increased loyalty of key BtoB customers.
“We have been committed to sustainable development for over 20 years and always believed that, as well as being essential to preserve our ecosystem, sustainability initiatives are a competitive advantage for the company. That’s why we decided to collect additional empirical evidence to prove this,” said AccorHotels Sustainable Development Director Arnaud Herrmann. “This positive impact on both hotel business performance and guest satisfaction is a great encouragement to continue our CSR policy, while our PLANET 21 program is nearing completion with promising results.”
CSR has a positive effect on guest satisfaction
The survey conducted by Accenture demonstrates a strong link between sustainable development initiatives and guest satisfaction. Obtaining the ISO 14001 certification and in keeping with commitment to the objectives set by the PLANET 21 Program, for example, will lead to greater guest satisfaction according to the survey results.
CSR has a positive effect on hotel profitability
In addition to having a positive impact on guest satisfaction, hotels with a higher PLANET 21 level are also more profitable. PLANET 21, which relies on a system of internal levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum), recommends 65 actions that hotels can implement to reduce their environmental footprint. The more a hotel invests in these actions, the more positive its paybacks are, both in terms of reducing costs (water, energy, waste) and increasing revenues (EBIT).
Cédric Vatier, managing director at Accenture Strategy, comments, “AccorHotels decision to invest in sustainability programs has a positive impact on its carbon footprint, but also contributes to the business performance of the company.”
The Accenture survey proves that AccorHotels benefits from uniting its employees and partners behind objectives that meet sustainable development requirements, while also generating business value for the company. In North America, Novotel Toronto Centre is the first hotel in Canada part of the AccorHotels group to be a fully certified ISO 14001 facility, having recently obtained their certification following a full audit in June 2015.
CSR is an increasingly important criterion for AccorHotels’ key and strategic B2B customers
A growing number of B2B customers consider CSR an additional criterion when selecting their supplier. An internal survey verified by EY reveals that 70% of potential customers communicate their CSR requirements during the RFP process, as well as during day-to-day business relationships. As a result, AccorHotels’ CSR commitments give the group perferred partners status for its BtoB customers and enable it to generate additional turnover.
The B2B survey dated May 2015 assesses the corporate social responsibility expectations of AccorHotels’ BtoB customers. A total of 45 of the group’s most important accounts, located on the five continents where the group is active, answered an online questionnaire between December 2014 and January 2015. The results confirmed the trends already identified in a survey conducted in 2012. These two surveys were both verified externally by EY.
The Accenture survey concerned a sample of over 1,200 hotels out of the more than 3,600 AccorHotels establishments. The survey excluded countries with fewer than 20 hotels. The survey provides a statistical analysis of the influence of several sustainable development indicators (certification year and level, etc.) on profitability and guest satisfaction.
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