Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report, which examines the global association’s environmental, social, and societal impact and sets 15 goals for 2025 and 2030 based on three core pillars: environmental conservation, sustainable cuisine and social and societal empowerment. The Sustainability Report: In Search of Hospitality in Harmony with the Natural World (baseline year 2021) aims to measure, share and accelerate the association’s progress while also highlighting the positive impact independent chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs can have on the environment, diversity and local communities and economies.
This report provides a comprehensive snapshot of members’ sustainability practices and covers a wide range of issues, including natural resource management, environmental conservation, gastronomic culture, and social responsibility. With the adoption of their sustainable development action plan, Relais & Chateaux is taking a new step forward by measuring the progress of their members and analyzing the results in a comprehensive annual report developed in collaboration with engineers and sustainable development experts.
The first pillar is focused on reducing the impact on the climate and environment and preserving biodiversity. By 2025, half of their properties will have performed a carbon footprint assessment on their activities, or a portion of their activities, and all will have done so by 2030, up from 12% today; 100% of their properties will have measured their energy consumption, up from 70% in 2021, and all their properties will be free of single-use plastics.
The second pillar focuses on championing local, innovative and ethical culinary arts. By 2025, half of their properties will be sourcing only organic, locally grown, and seasonal vegetables, up from 30% today; moreover, all their properties will require their suppliers to adhere to the World Organization for Animal Health’s five freedom welfare standards, up from 64% today.
The third pillar aims at the heart of local communities. By 2030, women will hold 50% of the highest-paid positions, up from 42% today; all their properties will have an equality, diversity and inclusion policy in place, up from 53% today; and 90% of their properties will support local businesses that are socially and/or environmentally engaged, up from 71% today.
This action plan was initiated and implemented by Philippe Gombert (Château de la Treyne), President of Relais & Châteaux, and Olivier Roellinger (Les Maisons de Bricourt), Vice President. Philippe Gombert asserts: “But as proud as we are of our achievements to date, we remain humble and alert. We are at a critical point for the health of the earth and its inhabitants. No one can be complacent about their contribution to protect, preserve and restore our planet.” For his part, Olivier Roellinger states, “We’re ambitious, and we want to disrupt the hospitality sector. Our objectives are a clear recipe for success to meet humanity’s most existential threat: climate change. We are the only hospitality association doing this at this level.”