Mercure goes green on conferencing

Mercure hotels across Australia have gone green on conferencing, with the hotel group being among the first to offer a national Carbon Neutral Conferencing product. The new was unveiled at the Asia Pacific Incentive Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne.

Accor’s Mercure hotel brand is one of Australia’s largest, with 17 hotels in every State capital of Australia, as well as in a number of regional centres.

Under the Mercure Meetings initiative, Mercure hotels will fully fund offsets for carbon emissions produced during the conference. This means the offset cost of making a conference Carbon Neutral is covered by the hotel, not the conference group. This cost covers the greenhouse gases produced during the meeting and the offset is used to fund green-efficient energy sources at no extra cost to the conference group.

Mercure has teamed with the Carbon Reduction Institute to streamline the carbon offsetting process. The Institute’s Carbon Calculator determines the amount of carbon emissions created by a conference, and calculates the amount of credits to be purchased from emission reduction projects or carbon trading schemes, such as the replacement of inefficient lighting and technologies with more efficient products, and replacing the use of electricity with natural gas in both domestic and business environments.

Each credit represents a reduction of emissions equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2 and is registered through the New South Wales Greenhouse abatement scheme. In addition, 10% of all revenue collected from the purchase of these credits is donated to CleanUp Australia in support of their clean up our climate program.

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The eco-factor is not new to the Mercure brand however. All hotels in their portfolio across Australia follow Accor’s global environmental charter with 20 priority actions identified to reduce energy and water consumption and improve waste management and recycling.

Accor’s Senior Vice President Australia, Simon McGrath, said that the initiative was designed to offer a complete meetings solution for conference organisers, while recognising the industry’s obligation to provide a greater level of environmental responsibility.

“The major point is that our hotels will carry the cost of the carbon emission offsets, not conference groups themselves,” said Mr McGrath.

“As an industry we need to be more environmentally conscious and the Mercure Meetings carbon neutral promise builds on a very extensive environmental sustainability programme implemented across the Accor group. In Australia, for instance, we are actively involved with Landcare, our Sydney Olympic Park hotels were the first to receive ISO14001 accreditation, we have our own Earth Guest Day programme, and Novotel is part of the Green Globe initiative. In other words, this is not a token measure but part of a group-wide strategy to lead the way in environmental responsibility.”
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