Committing to sustainable tourism

A CSR APPROACH CREATING SHARED VALUE

 

The Group’s sustainable development strategy supports our ambition: “to strengthen our European leadership of the innovative and responsible tourism experience”. This ambition is fuelled by our history. In the 1960s, we launched the first car-free ski resort in Europe. Fifty years later, Avoriaz is still a laboratory of innovations. Seeking a harmonious relationship between humans and their environment (with regard to its economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects) and the creation of a distinct customer experience form part of our DNA.  

This responsible commitment originates from our economic model that combines property development and tourism. This specific characteristic requires us to reconcile short-term performance with a long-term social, societal and architectural vision.

Today, as in the past, our longevity and success are based on our ability to innovate sustainably and reinvent ourselves in the ways in which we finance building projects such as the development of new tourism concepts. The CSR approach is integrated in the Group’s growth strategy across the board.

Our CSR strategy focuses on three areas:

 

 
 

OUR COMMITMENTS

Promoting and protecting our sites’ natural capital

The beauty and quality of the landscapes in which our sites are established are major assets in terms of their attractiveness. Protecting this environment and promoting the natural local wealth forms part of our activities in the design, construction and operational phase: consideration of ecological criteria in choosing sites and defining development plans, green sites, differentiated management of green spaces, monitoring by naturalists, and raising customer awareness, etc.

Reinforcing the environmental certification and labelling of our residences and villages

In 2019, the Group embarked on environmental certification and the integration of some renewable energy for all new projects that it develops directly, whether in France, Europe or abroad, and strongly encourages its partners to make such commitments alongside it.

Since 2009, during the operational phase, the Group has rolled out a supported and voluntary labelling programme. In 2018, 41% of the Group’s sites had environmental certification or an environmental label and 100% of our Center Parc and Sunpark sites were ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 certified.

Inventing new sustainable tourist experiences

Holidays are a special time, when families and friends get together and discover new places. They are also a time for discovering, or rediscovering, nature and its benefits, and enjoying experiences that are unique but which also have value and meaning. We continue to offer children and their families new fun and educational activities focused on nature and ecological themes, organised by our teams or in partnership with local environmental associations.

The new projects encompass even further the Group’s desire to offer a holiday experience connected to its environment. As a result, Center Parcs Bois aux Daims offers discovery activities based around woodland animals. The iconic Villages Nature® Paris project was designed around the “One Planet Living” approach developed by BioRegional and WWF International with a CSR roadmap designed and monitored in close consultation with local stakeholders.

Pursuing a responsible employer policy

The seasonality of tourism, the geographic distribution of our 12,700 employees within 5 countries and the diversity of our activities means that human resources management is focused on more job flexibility and considerable team mobility. This gives the Group a specific responsibility that it must incorporate into a dynamic human resources policy, pursuing the goal common to all Departments: customer satisfaction. As we are convinced that this stems from employee satisfaction, employee wellbeing is a fundamental element of the human resources policy.

Engaging our partners and suppliers

The Procurement Department has a key role to play in implementing the Group’s CSR efforts.

The responsible procurement policy focuses on 4 key areas:
- being a sustainable economic partner in the local area;
- making buyers and internal clients accountable;
- building a pool of responsible suppliers;
- procuring responsible products and services.

This responsible procurement policy aims to establish a special relationship with suppliers whose CSR performance closely reflects that of the Group.
As an example, in terms of site catering operations, the Group and its partners are committed to eliminating eggs and egg products from caged hens across all sites and in all countries where the Group is active by 2025, and only using eggs and egg products from barn or free-range hens, or egg substitutes. This policy is already effective in our sites operating in Belgium, the Netherlands and in metropolitan France.  

Concerned by the living conditions of farm animals, the Group has worked with its partners, over the past few months, to progressively include animal welfare criteria. To this day, the Group is committed to having 100% of chicken meat procurement on its sites located in The Netherlands and in Belgium originating from farming and abattoirs which respect all of the European Chicken Commitment criteria by 2026. This policy is already effective in our sites operating in Belgium and in The Netherlands. For the sites in France, in Germany and in Spain, the Group is actively discussing with its partners in order to be able to communicate on more precise commitments.

Being a long-term local partner

Contributing to local economic activity and progress thanks to the jobs created by our sites and the purchases required for operation, highlighting each region’s cultural assets and creating strong long-term relationships with each area are important issues for the Group. This desire to establish links with local communities is incorporated in its recruitment policy, responsible procurement policy and local partnerships for the activities and services offered.