On the occasion of the COP 21 UN climate change conference, AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, announces the signature of a partnership contract with Energy Observer. This experimental, multi-energy catamaran is being developed by two men who are passionate about the sea in collaboration with CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. The Group aims to move its hotels towards to energy transition.
Sébastien Bazin, AccorHotels Chairman and CEO declared, “Our partnership with Energy Observer reflects our desire, as a sustainable hotel constructor and operator, to stimulate a long-term virtuous approach. This is notably the mission of HotelInvest, the division that manages our property assets. It constructs, operates and enhances the value of our buildings in the best and most durable way while respecting the environment. For example, we are working on reducing the ecological footprint of our hotels throughout their life cycle and that starts with making our buildings more energy efficient from the moment they are constructed.”
An expedition for energy transition
Energy Observer, which is currently being built in Saint Malo, is a revolutionary boat intended as an open-air laboratory. The vessel will be totally energy-sufficient thanks to the use of a complete hydrogen chain which for the first time includes fuel cells and renewable energy electrolyzer systems (wind power, solar panels or hydro generators). AccorHotels and CEA will subsequently reproduce these technologies in pilot establishments to test them in a hotel environment with a view to wider deployment.
Energy Observer will be baptized in Paris in 2016 before embarking on its round-the-world trip to 50 countries, with 101 stopovers and 2,000 days of sailing. In an exclusive for the COP21, a model of the boat will be exhibited from 4th to 5th December at Le Bourget on the stand of the Institut National de l’Énergie Solaire (French National Institute of Solar Energy) - Galerie des Solutions - Stand F45.
As part of this collaboration, the technical teams of HotelInvest, Accorhotels’ property asset management business, will work with CEA Tech scientists, renewable energy specialists and the skippers Victorien Erussard and Frederic Dahirel. The Energy Observer team’s mission will be to test the latest and most innovative clean energy technologies as it sails the seas and during its 101 stopovers around the world.
Florence Lambert, Director of CEA Tech’s Liten Institute explains, “Liten, a major French energy transition player, is the natural technological partner for this human adventure which will demonstrate the full potential of renewable energies.”
Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s Captain and Project Manager adds, "Starting next year, we are going to crisscross the world’s seas. A group of multidisciplinary women and men - scientists, engineers and artists from all walks of life, will be on board Energy Observer, and together we will sail to meet people all over the world who are developing and using innovative solutions that respect the planet. Our objective is to assemble all these energies and transform them into a force which will be strong enough to convince decision-makers that it is time to act and commit to the third industrial revolution: that of renewable energies.”
AccorHotels has been committed to sustainable development for over 20 years through its program PLANET 21. Since 2011, the Group has reduced the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of its portfolio of owned, leased and managed hotels by 4.5% and 3.8% respectively. This year, HotelInvest reinforced its commitment to sustainable construction by always opting for certification based on environmental and energy standards (HQE, LEED, BREEAM, DGNB) for owned, leased hotels built from 2015 onwards.