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Accor and Jin Jiang Hotels sign MoU to jointly drive sustainable practices across the hospitality industry

The two hospitality leaders join forces to drive innovative development methods in the hotel industry.

The Fifth Meeting of the Council of China-France Entrepreneurs was held in Beijing. It was attended by the heads of state of China and France, representatives from both Chinese and French governments and entrepreneurs. The Meeting focused on discussions around various topics, including trade, investment, technology, and tourism.

During the Meeting, Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels and Accor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a term ending in 2033. This MOU represents a strategic partnership between the two parties, with the primary ambition being to promote and drive sustainable transformations across the hospitality industry and reduce the sector’s carbon emissions. Both groups have expressed their intention to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Together, the parties are aiming to create and define an ESG measurement framework tailored specifically to the hotel sector, establishing a benchmark and set of targets shaped to the unique nuances of the hotel industry. They will also work jointly to pioneer new industry standards relating to sustainable guest rooms and reducing food waste and will also explore opportunities in sustainable finance and launch a global training initiative.

This strategic partnership highlights the joint determination of Jin Jiang Hotels and Accor to pioneer new ESG standards in the hotel industry and contribute to broader environmental, social, and governance efforts in reducing carbon emissions in China.

In developing sustainable guest rooms, Jin Jiang Hotels and Accor hope to explore the creation of sustainable rooms that reduce carbon emissions from construction and operations without compromising guest experience, aiming to reduce utility costs such as water and electricity by 10% across both groups by 2030. In terms of reducing food waste, both parties hope to create a standardized process utilizing universal technology to minimize food waste generated in every stage from procurement to guest services and catering services, until the end of the guest’s stay, ultimately working towards a common goal of reducing food waste by 30% by 2030. It is their firm belief that pioneering new ESG standards in the hotel industry will also play an important role in contributing to China’s broader efforts in reducing carbon emissions and make a significant contribution towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

At the same time, both parties will launch the School for Change training program for all headquarters and hotel levels. School for Change was initially launched at all Accor headquarters to increase employee awareness of sustainable development challenges and, under this collaboration, employees and talents in hotels of both partners will be able to access a content platform and training path focused on the basics of climate change, enhancing their individual understanding of its causes and impact on biodiversity and communities, thus promoting the sharing of solutions and creating positive change at all levels.

The MOU will also evaluate and explore potential business cooperation opportunities in sustainable finance, with the parties hoping to develop the possibility of using sustainable finance as a transformative tool. This initiative will involve using loans and green financing to help establish a direct connection between the financial terms of their credits and predetermined sustainability goals and standards.

As influential, leading hotel groups, Jin Jiang Hotels and Accor hope to send a clear call for action to the broader hospitality industry via this MOU, advocating for responsible business practices in the hotel sector and encouraging collaboration through motivating leadership and industry stakeholders to contribute to one common ambition of reducing carbon emissions. The companies also view the MOU as an opportunity to actively explore more business cooperation possibilities together, providing more practical examples for China-France enterprise collaboration.

Gary Rosen, CEO, Accor Greater China, said: “We are proud to enter this strategic partnership with Jin Jiang Hotels, a leading global hospitality company. Jin Jiang Hotels plays a key role in China and we are confident that, together, we will be able to deliver critical practices that alleviate the burden on the planet without compromising the magic of the guest experience. Accor is committed to constant innovation and being a net contributor within the communities we exist. Climate action lies at the core of our hospitality vision and business model, and we are excited about the possibilities this partnership will deliver”.

Shirley Shen, CEO, Jin Jiang Hotels, added: “The hospitality industry stands as one of the most vibrant and far-reaching economic sectors across the globe, and this is especially true in China, where it holds the potential to make a significant impact on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As leading hotel groups in the industry, both Jin Jiang Hotels and Accor are committed to sending a clear and powerful message to the wider sector. We call upon our peers to champion responsible business practices within the hospitality industry, and we are determined to inspire leadership and engage industry stakeholders in collaborative efforts. Together, we will drive our sector’s contribution to sustainable development goals, with a particular focus on reducing carbon emissions as part of the ESG targets.”

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.