Case Study: Accor Middle East and Sealed Air
The hotel group and supplier working together on sustainable practices
Accor Middle East recently renewed a supply contract with Sealed Air in a deal worth a reported US $25mn. Hotelier Middle East spoke to both companies to discover how their long running partnership works
December 2013 saw Accor Hotels, the worldwide hotel group headquarted in France, renew its global cleaning supply contract with Sealed Air, owner of the Diversey cleaning supply brand, which will be worth a reported US $25 million over the next four years.
As part of this agreement, they have renewed a long running environmental partnership that has seen both companies share information and best practices to hit growing targets for sustainable business. It is a relationship that came about following Accor’s decision in 2009 to launch a global tender for a cleaning supply contract that would cover all of its worldwide hotels.
In the Middle East, this process has been led by Accor’s regional procurement manager Shabaz Tiavar, who moved to Dubai in 2012 to help create a regional procurement office that would manage contracts across the groups 60+ Middle East hotels.
“Accor and Diversey have been working together for more than 15 years now, but in 2009 Accor awarded the company the contract for its global chemical supplier for all our worldwide hotels. The reason we did this was first to produce economy savings, while also working to increase our sustainability and limit our environmental impact,” says Tiavar.
“The contract is part of a continuous improvement strategy, in which we are trying to increase the ratio of eco-label, certified environmentally friendly products that we use in our hotels. Accor undertook a large market research initiative before we awarded the first contract in 2009, which revealed that sustainability is something that our guests really care about. Therefore, the more eco-label products we use, the closer we will be to matching our guests’ expectations for sustainability,” he adds.
The Cleaning Buddy
Working closely with Tiavar to achieve these targets is Sealed Air global accounts director for hospitality Mehdi Belarribi, who recalls: “When we started our contract in 2009, eco-label products only amounted to around 12% of our annual worldwide turnover; and in the Middle East and North Africa this number was actually 0%”.
“By the end of our contract with Accor we had managed to increase that number to 29% of global turnover, while in the Middle East that number has gone all the way up to 31%,” Belarribi adds.
According to Tiavar, this improvement can be attributed to the ongoing relationship between the two companies.
“There is a continuous feedback process where we can go to them with any operational problems we have, while they can come to us with any new developments that may improve the way we work. This allows both of us to improve, and work towards matching our guest expectations,” he says.
This is underpinned by an annual hotel satisfaction system which allows every Accor hotel to take a survey to judge how satisfied they are with Sealed Air’s products. In 2013, this survey was taken across 16,000 hotels, with Sealed Air scoring an average satisfaction score of 88%.
A Green Future
According to Accor, this satisfaction survey will be extended throughout the new supply contract, with Sealed Air targeted to achieve a score of 85% every year.
This is just part of a challenging series of KPIs that the hotel group has set the supplier in order to ensure they will be eligible for renewal in 2017, which include ensuring that 30% of the products provided to Accor hotels are environmentally friendly, as well as that all of its eco-label products should be available to every Accor hotel across the 92 countries in which it operates.
However, for Tiavar, this target will be even more challenging for the Middle East, where he expects between 40-50% of cleaning products to be environmentally friendly.
“The pressure is now on Sealed Air to continue to produce innovative products that will allow us to meet these targets by the end of the contract, while continuing to meet our guest expectations,” he concludes.
The green partnership:
Accor Planet 21
Objective: Accor launched its Planet 21 environmental initiative in 2012, which consists of 21 commitments that every Accor hotel has agreed to achieve, including promoting the health of its guests, reducing water usage and introducing sustainable technologies.
Strategy: As part of the Planet 21 programme, every Accor hotel is awarded a bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating. Accor has been working with Sealed Air to achieve these targets, as in order for a hotel to achieve the first bronze rating, it must be using eco-label and environmentally friendly products.
Results: Since Accor and Sealed Air began their worldwide partnership in 2009, the hotel group has grown the ratio of eco-label products in its hotels from 0% to 31% in 2013. As part of the new supply contract it has now set a target for 40-50% of the cleaning products its Middle East hotels use to be enviromentally friendly.
Housekeeping training programme
Objective: Accor’s luxury hotel brand Sofitel has been working closely with Sealed Air to develop a specialised training programme for all of its housekeeping employees. This cooperation has resulted in a specialised training programme and a range of customised cleaning products that allows hotels to quickly and easily train their staff to meet brand best practices.
Strategy: Accor’s regional procurement manager Shabaz Tiavar says: “Having the same products, from the same supplier across the same brand, has allowed Accor to create a best practice training programme for all of our worldwide Sofitel hotels.”
Results: The training programme has produced a range of instructional videos and manuals, across a range of languages, which covers every possible variation of hotel design and location across the Sofitel brand. According to Sealed Air global accounts director for hospitality Mehdi Belarribi, this has reduced the training time for Sofitel housekeepers and ensured a global standard exists across all of the brand’s hotels.
ISO 14001 certification
Objective: In 2004,Ibis, the economy brand from Accor Hotels, became the first global hotel chain to be engaged in the ISO 14001 environmental management process. This international system measures the ability of a hotel to comply with environmental regulations by reducing water consumption, energy consumption and implement the selective sorting of waste.
Strategy: “We are in the process to certify all of our Ibis and Novotel hotels with ISO 14001. As part of this certification, our hotels have to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to improve our environmental and sustainability practices, and we have been working closely with Sealed Air to utilise the largest range of eco-label products possible and constantly revise our training standards,” says Accor’s Shabaz Tiavar.
Results: So far, more than 560 Ibis hotel across 30 countries have obtained the ISO 14001 certification. The new global supply contract with Sealed Air is intended to aid Accor’s ongoing certification of all its Ibis-branded hotels worldwide.