French hospitality giant AccorHotels has announced that it is now using urban food gardens at 600 of its locations worldwide, 26 of which are in the UK. The move is part of the company’s efforts to reduce food waste from its restaurants.
AccorHotels announced last week that it is well on its way to installing urban fruit and vegetable gardens at 1,000 of its 4,5000 hotels worldwide by 2020. To date, 26 of these gardens are at its hotels in the UK, including the Novotel hotels in Canary Wharf, Paddington and Waterloo.
The urban vegetable gardens supply fresh vegetables, herbs and salads to its restaurant and bar menus, which collectively serve more than 150 million meals each year, reported edie.net. By growing its own food, AccorHotels aims to cut emissions from food transportation and reduce its food waste output by 30 per cent by 2020. The urban gardens also help increase traceability and its produce supply chains.
“As a group that produces a lot of food for our guests across the world, it is vital that we play our part in reducing food waste and investing in sustainable food systems,” said AccorHotels’ chief operating officer for Northern Europe, Thomas Dubaere.
“Our hotels are encouraged to source local produce, reducing the environmental impact from their food purchases and providing outlets for farmers to sell their produce.”
AccorHotels claims that installing urban gardens also helps improve the biodiversity and air quality in the areas surrounding its hotels, reduce the urban heat island effect and provide better heat and sound insulation to buildings with rooftop gardens.
The gardens are pesticide-free and instead make use of hydroponic, aquaponic and vertical farming technologies. Some, like the Novotel London Tower Bridge, even have beehives to stock the kitchen with honey.
The urban gardening initiative is part of the global hotel chain’s Planet 21 sustainability strategy, which sets out a range of 2020 targets in areas such as eco-design, energy efficiency and water stewardship, as well as sustainably sourced food.
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