The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) released alarming figures about deforestation in Brazil in early September. According to the agency, the country has exceeded the number of 100,000 outbreaks of fire, a scenario not seen in the country since 2012. In the Amazon alone, deforestation in August this year increased 222% over the same period last year. To help reduce these sad statistics, Accor has been developing an initiative since 2009 that is bringing positive impacts to the environment.
At any Accor brand hotel in South America, guests and maids are encouraged to reuse bath towels for more than one day. Accor is an Aberje affiliate. The initiative, called Plant For The Planet, allocates 50% of the money saved by laundry to two native tree planting projects on river and stream springs through agroforestry principles, a sustainable food planting system, in parallel to the recovery of a forest. Since its inception, the project has recovered 32,600 km² of green areas in two regions of the continent, in partnership with NGOs.
In Brazil, Plant For The Planet takes place in partnership with the NGO Nordesta. Since 2009, the action has already planted in the state of Minas Gerais, more than 585,000 trees totaling 29,500 km² of reforested area. Besides, the project has already preserved 223 springs in the region, benefiting 81 farming families from 34 different municipalities.
In addition to the Serra da Canastra in Minas Gerais, Plant For The Planet also collect excellent results from tree planting in Alto de Hayabamba in the Peruvian Amazon. In partnership with ACOPAGRO, a cooperative member of Fundação Amazônia Viva, the Accor project has 31,000 trees planted in the region in an area of 3,100 km². “Plant For The Planet is part of Planet 21, Accor’s global sustainable development program, which engages stakeholders through behavioral changes and conscious consumption,” says Antonietta Varlese, Accor VP of Communication, Institutional Relations, and Social Responsibility South America. “Each year, a major initiative is supported to develop alternative and responsible models of sustainable awareness,” she says.