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Novotel Wellington Scores Top Marks From Qualmark

4 JUNE 2008

Novotel Wellington Scores Top Marks From Qualmark
Gold in Qualmark's pilot environmental verification pilot programme

In keeping with the spirit of World Environment Day this week, Novotel Wellington has been awarded full marks in Qualmark's pilot Responsible Tourism programme.

Novotel Wellington, part of the Accor group of hotels and resorts, achieved the highest level in the pilot programme, which provides an independent verification of a business's environmental practices. This is the equivalent of an 'Enviro-Gold' rating, which will be the official accreditation when the programme is launched in August (there will be Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings).

The hotel achieved five out of five major areas being addressed and identified 30 specific environmental and sustainable practices, above the 25 required.

Novotel initiatives include recycling options in guest rooms, introducing energy efficient light bulbs, an automatic switch off of some electrical functions in guest rooms when not being used, flow regulators on showers and taps, paperless check in, and many more. A strong emphasis is also placed on continually increasing employee and guest awareness of sustainability issues.

All Accor hotels follow an international 65 point Environmental Charter, which they must work towards compliance of, with new actions required to be fulfilled each year. The group also introduced its Earth Guest programme in 2006, to join together its social and environmental responsibility initiatives. The idea is that we are all 'guests of the Earth' and should take time to give back to the planet and its people.

As part of the Earth Guest programme, Novotel Wellington has been involved in community activities such as tree plantings and clean-ups of a local stream and is also active in the group's partnership with Cure Kids, an organisation that raises funds for vital medical research into serious childhood illnesses.

New Zealand is this year hosting World Environment Day on Thursday 5 June, when the team at Novotel Wellington will be selling Cure Kids wristbands to raise funds, providing guests with Kowhai seedlings and wearing T-shirts to raise awareness.

CEO of Positively Wellington Tourism Tim Cossar says Accor plays a leading role in the Wellington tourism industry, which can be witnessed in their approach to sustainability.

"The Accor team in Wellington is proactive in this area, setting high goals and working hard in order to achieve them. They are one of the first organisations in Wellington to embrace Qualmark Green, and their sustainable focus is also demonstrated in the large number of community organisations they support. We are behind them 100% and the great work they are doing. This leading-edge approach will be increasingly important to competitiveness in the future."

As part of World Environment Day, Novotel Wellington is also hosting a group of children who are the regional winners of the international Children's Painting Competition, which is part of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Art for the Environment Exhibition and awards ceremony to be held at Te Papa tomorrow.

Accor, the European leader and a major global group in hotels, the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses:

- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands, representing more than 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre.

- Services, with 30 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in human resources, marketing services and expense management.


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