Accor is to “scale up” its commitment to sustainability with the appointment of a new chief sustainability officer.
Brune Poirson was previously Secretary of State for Environmental Transition in the French government, and she will report directly to Accor’s chairman and chief executive Sebastien Bazin, as a further example of the global hospitality giant’s focus on the area.
She starts her role on 5 May, and will sit on the group’s executive committee. Accor said her role will be to “define, drive and monitor the commitments, the strategy and the roll-out of the group’s action plans in terms of sustainable development”.
Poirson was the first French person to be elected vice president of the United Nations Environment Assembly and her role with Accor will also see her take responsibility for the Accor Solidarity Foundation and its ALL Heartists Fund.
“For more than 25 years, Accor has been at the forefront of efforts to address the environmental and human challenges related to the development of travel and tourism,” said Bazin.
“With Brune Poirson’s appointment, I want us to scale up our commitments in terms of environmental protection, give fresh impetus to our efforts to support our local communities and uphold, wherever we operate, our strong beliefs and our actions.”
“Taking positive action to support the environment and the men and women who drive our industry on a daily basis is a must,” he added. “In this area too, I want us to set an example by being both daring and trailblazing.”
Within the French government, Poirson championed the anti-waste law, which among other things addressed plastic pollution, and has been a member of major organisations both in France and internationally.
“I am delighted to be joining a global leader in hospitality and to be able to contribute my experience and beliefs, and to take action,” she said. “Through more than 5,100 hotels worldwide, hundreds of owners and partners, several hundred million guests and the experienced teams in the field, we have a wonderful opportunity to take practical and decisive action on a daily basis. In this new role, I want to help to further the vision that Accor has had since its creation – bringing to life positive, contemporary and responsible hospitality.”
Poirson began her career in London, within NESTA, the UK-based Innovation Foundation, subsequently moving to the French Development Agency, and the Veolia group in India, before working in a green start-up incubator in Boston.
Accor’s programmes around business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity include Planet 21 – Acting Here; Accor Solidarity; RiiSE and the ALL Heartist Fund.
Earth Day is an annual event first held on 22 April, 1970, which now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally, including one billion people in more than 193 countries who demonstrate support for environmental protection.