The Knights of CSR - BNP Paribas CIB
 
Thursday 02 July 2020

Can tourism be more sustainable? France's popular historical theme park Puy du Fou shows how through conservation efforts the sector can make a difference.


Supporting clients in adopting best practices in sustainable development is one of BNP Paribas' objectives. With the gradual reopening of tourism in the aftermath of Covid-19, the spotlight is on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the sector more than ever: how can tourism be more responsible? Come backstage to see how Puy du Fou has stayed true to its commitment to preserve our natural and cultural heritage.

Puy du Fou's challenge

With visitor numbers topping two million a year, like other major tourist attractions, Puy du Fou faces a big challenge to be sustainable. Nestled in the heart of a forest, on arrival at France's second largest theme park visitors walk through immersive live shows and vintage villages representing six important periods in French history: Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Grand Siècle, the 18th Century and the Belle Époque. The park has nonetheless obtained the Green Globe certification – an assessment of sustainability performance of tourism businesses – every year since 2012. The assessment is based on more than 400 criteria focused on safety, security, and sustainability.

Puy du Fou's starting point is corporate social responsibility (CSR). To guarantee a fair balance between artistic creation, economic investment, social responsibility and the preservation of the environment, the park has put in place a robust CSR governance framework.


The park's sustainable development policy focuses on four pillars: culture, environment, talents and local community. Decarbonisation measures, for example, have been put in place. These include the use of electric trains equipped with roof solar panels to carry visitors around the park, employees moving around on bikes and electric golf carts, charging stations for visitors' electric cars, and a shuttle service to and from Angers train station.
" To guarantee a fair balance between artistic creation, economic investment, social responsibility and the preservation of the environment, the park has put in place a robust CSR governance framework. "

Resource and waste management is far-reaching: an on-site sorting centre separates 21 categories of waste, with eco-friendly sorting bins provided throughout the park, green waste composters on-site and recyclable uniforms. Water and electricity usage is digitally monitored to regulate the flows of water, temperatures and lighting times. Rainwater is retrieved from buildings and directed to a closed circuit of ponds, in which purifying plants regulate the amount of nitrate in the water. Puy du Fou is also involved in local economic development, with the implementation of a responsible procurement policy and using local supply chain.

Finally, biodiversity is important for Puy du Fou. Its conservation activities include the welfare of vultures in the park and more generally in the region, while supporting several wildlife conservation foundations throughout the world. In the park, Puy du Fou only uses local flora and has a zero-chemical policy, with hand weeding and ladybirds to fight against aphids. The park also created an organic market garden area to supply one of its restaurants.




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