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Saving lives and reducing landfill, one soap bar at a time

April 25, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Accor’s hotels across Victoria are playing a major role in decreasing landfill and more importantly helping to bring better hygiene practices to disadvantaged communities in India, by announcing a new partnership with Soap Aid.

Housekeeper at Pullman Melbourne on the Park - Paola Landar

Soap Aid,  a not-for-profit organisation based in Melbourne, has been operating since 2011 and its mission is to improve the lives of children in disadvantaged communities through improved hygiene practices and to contribute to a reduction in environmental degradation through soap recycling.

By collecting used soap from more than 40 Accor hotels across Victoria, it is expected over 1000kg of soap will be stockpiled each week and will go to Soap Aid to be reprocessed, packaged, and then sent for global distribution.

Adrian Williams, Accor’s Vice President of Operations for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, said “being ecologically sustainable is one of our key priorities and is aligned with Accor’s Planet 21 mission which is to reduce our environmental footprint in the areas of management, energy, water, waste and products.  We are excited by this initiative and our teams are enthusiastically involved. Not only are we reducing our landfill waste, we are positively contributing to the lives of children in communities where some of them have never seen a cake of soap before. Washing our hands is second nature to us and decreases our risk of infection dramatically. To be able to help in changing the mindset of young children and getting them into a habit of washing their hands to reduce infection is a wonderful thing, and we commend Soap Aid on coming up with such a great initiative and making a difference.”

Demonstrating Accor’s commitment to PLANET 21, more than 200 Australian hotels have reduced their water consumption by 4.64% since 2013 and have reduced their energy consumption by 3.6% since 2013. 93% of all of Accor’s Australian hotels have achieved Planet 21 Bronze status after having fulfilled at least ten fundamental action items (up from 80% in 2013).

Planet 21, Accor’s global sustainable development programme, defines 21 specific commitments and quantifiable goals within these seven pillars of social, environmental and community investment actions: Health, Nature, Carbon, Innovation, Local, Employment and Dialogue. This commitment to sustainable development dates back to 1994, when the Group created a department charged with mitigating its hotels’ environmental impacts.

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