Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator with over 3,600 hotels and close to 170,000 employees worldwide, today announces that its corporate foundation has been transformed into an endowment fund called Solidarity Accor. Accor Foundation has represented the Group’s commitment to helping others since 2008 and has enabled it to support over 180 projects in 39 countries, with 190,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Solidarity Accor’s new, more flexible and participatory structure will allow it to benefit from new resources and collect donations from as many stakeholders as possible. The Group’s employees as well as its franchisee partners and even guests will be able to make financial donations to support the initiatives deployed in the countries where Accor operates, for example via the Le Club Accorhotels loyalty program. The Group’s aim is to increase the number of projects it supports and be able to provide rapid assistance in emergency situations.
Christine de Longevialle, Managing Director of Solidarity Accor, comments: “Over the last five years, our commitment to helping others has allowed us to support many projects thanks to the involvement of our employees. Today, this new structure allows us to go even further with our solidarity initiatives and diversify our funding sources. Our objective remains the same: linking cultures and providing support for the development of individuals and their integration into their community.”
Solidarity Accor’s Board of Directors defines the endowment fund’s strategic focuses and ensures that it is well managed. The Board is chaired by Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor Group and comprises the following members:
- Françoise Holder, a member of the Accor Foundation Board of Directors from June 2011 to August 2013 and one of the founders of Groupe Holder (Manufacture du Pain, Saint-Preux, Paul, Ladurée, etc.). In 2007, she also joined Forces Femmes, a non-profit organization founded to help unemployed women over the age of 45. She was appointed its Chairwoman in 2010. The President of the Republic recently appointed her a member of the Council for Simplification.
- Jean-Marc Borello, the founder and Chairman of Groupe SOS, France’s first social enterprise. He started his career as a specialized educator in a welcome center for young delinquents. He was an Advisor with France’s Inter-Ministerial Mission for the Fight Against Drugs and Drug Addiction, and then CEO of a group of Small & Medium enterprises for 10 years. In 1997, he decided to devote himself full-time to Groupe SOS, whose first non-profit activities he had created in 1984.
- Accor Group representatives: Peter Verhoeven, COO HotelServices Northern, Central and Eastern Europe ; Virginie Sido, SVP Accor Corporate Brand, CSR & Internal Communications ; Jean-Michel Cassé, SVP India ; Laurent Picheral, COO Poland and Baltic countries and Manoël Parrent, Operational Marketing Director, Communications and Sustainable Development for Africa.
The Board of Directors met for the first time on April 11 and voted to support six non-profit organizations in particular:
- In France, Solidarity Accor supports the fourth edition of Acta Vista’s reinsertion program. This non-profit organization specializes in restoring and promoting cultural heritage buildings. It combines its know-how and expertise with the training and insertion of socially and professionally excluded people so they obtain a diploma and become qualified masons specialized in historic buildings. Accor Foundation has already supported 140 people through this association since 2010. In 2014, Accor will support 40 new beneficiaries working on the restoration of Fort Ganteaume in Marseille.
- In Thailand, Solidarity Accor supports the Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement (IECD) whose mission is to provide resources which allow people to educate themselves and become responsible members of society. In 2013, Accor Foundation, supported IECD’s program to provide training in hospitality industry professions for 30 young Karen people, a minority ethnic group in North West Thailand. In 2014, 30 other young people will receive training.
- In Romania, Solidarity Accor remains committed to the training and insertion program for 40 young people in very precarious situations implemented by the Parada Foundation. This non-profit organization helps homeless Romanian families by providing social care, education, training and socio-professional integration schemes. Since 2010, Accor Foundation and Accor’s teams in Romania have supported a program for the insertion of young people through jobs in the hospitality industry.
- In Ivory Coast, Solidarity Accor supports Ivoire Développement Durable which aims to strengthen Ivory Coast’s capacity to document and complete viable economic projects. From 2010 to 2013, the Foundation supported this NGO’s project to develop income-generating activities based on the long-term cultivation of local plantations (rubber and cocoa) in disadvantaged villages. In 2014, Solidarity Accor is funding a new project that supports two farming groups of 60 disadvantaged women and is designed to help them become self-sufficient.
- Solidarity Accor will continue to support Cruz Roja Española and its project for the insertion of approximately 30 women. This NGO offers health and social care and training to vulnerable people. Ever since 2012, Accor Foundation has supported a scheme created by Accor Spain and the Cruz Roja Española to provide training in the hospitality industry professions for women in difficulty. 54 women have already received support in two years.
- In Burma, Solidarity Accor supports a project in collaboration with FXB International, an association that helps communities emerge from extreme poverty by aiding them to gradually achieve economic and social independence. Solidarity Accor will support a professional training program for 80 young women from the cities and slums of Yangon. They will receive training in weaving, sewing, and interior decorating and will also learn how to sell the products they make.
These six new projects will further reinforce the involvement of Accor employees. Indeed, over 8,500 employees currently offer hospitality of the heart across frontiers. The values of hospitality, solidarity and generosity embodied by Accor’s hoteliers are naturally prolonged through their actions to help people in difficulty. The wide diversity of professions in the hospitality industry also means that every skill is useful when putting together a scheme.
For further information please contact:
VP Global Media Relations
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