AccorHotels has confirmed further progress in the UK on its commitment to supply sustainable food in its hotels, with 26* of the group’s UK hotels having introduced an urban vegetable garden to date.
Globally AccorHotels has committed to invest in sustainable food systems and reduce food waste in its hotels, as part of its Planet 21 sustainable development strategy. The group has set the target of creating 1,000 urban vegetable gardens and reduce food waste in its restaurants by 30% by 2020. So far it has introduced over 600 urban vegetable gardens worldwide, which supply fresh vegetables and salad to be used in restaurant menus.
The urban vegetable garden at Novotel London Waterloo produced enough pesticide-free salad last year to supply the green salad bar for 28 days in total and grew enough basil to keep the kitchen stocked all summer. Novotel London Blackfriars produces almost half (40%) of the mint it requires for the mojitos made in its bar. AccorHotels also regularly uses honey produced from beehives on hotel rooftops across its restaurants. Novotel London Tower Bridge is one hotel which keeps beehives in its roof top garden and this year is expecting to produce 30kg of honey to use in its Keepers kitchen and bar. Fairmont St Andrews has also just welcomed over 20,000 Scottish dark honey bees to the grounds of the 5* resort and expects its first harvest of honey in 2019.
Thomas Dubaere, Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels Northern Europe commented: “As a group that produces a lot of food for our guests across the world, it is vital that we play our part in reducing food waste and investing in sustainable food systems.
“Our backing of agroforestry projects supports sustainable food production in rural areas, but almost 70 per cent** of the global population will live in cities by 2050 so we also feel it is important to mitigate the increasing consumption in urban areas. Our hotels are encouraged to source local produce, reducing the environmental impact from their food purchases and providing outlets for farmers to sell their produce. Additionally, the vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible flowers that are produced in our urban gardens feature in the restaurant menus, in the bar cocktails or in our spas’ aromatic oils and herbal teas.”
AccorHotels UK & Ireland also recently announced that it has partnered with Too Good To Go, the world’s largest online marketplace for surplus food, as part of its bid to reduce food waste. It is the first hotel group to join the Too Good To Go platform in the UK.
Planet 21 also includes a pioneering programme called Plant for the Planet, which is financed by money saved when guests choose to reuse towels rather than send them to be washed and aims to finance the planting of 10 million trees by 2021. In the UK, the programme has a particular focus on agroforestry, helping schemes to plant trees in smart ways which maximise their impact. Its aim is to cut costs, raise yields and improve the environment, promoting sustainable food production and nurturing links between hotels, guests and farms.
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