The Principality of Monaco: a sustainable destination
A destination committed to sustainable development for decades, and even more since the accession of HSH Prince Albert II in 2005, the Principality of Monaco has a strong policy in this area both nationally and internationally. The principality has thus taken responsibility for ensuring that the revival of tourism is also an opportunity to rethink, taking full account of the positive and negative impacts of the sector.
In 1906, Prince Albert I created the Oceanographic Institute. A pioneer in environmental awareness, the Explorer Prince encouraged people to “know, love and protect the oceans”. When he joined in 2005, nearly a hundred years later, HSH Prince Albert II demonstrated his commitment and that of the Principality in favor of environmental protection.
Two months after leading an expedition to the North Pole in April 2006, the prince created the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation with three priorities: climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity and water issues.
The prince is thus committed to continuing the mission instituted by his great-great-grandfather, and is committed to the principality reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The objective is an ambitious one and requires the support of all in this 2 km² territory.
Among the sectors of the economy that are committed to following the environmental policy established at the highest state level and implemented by the princely government, the tourism industry is playing its role and all stakeholders are committed for more responsible tourism.
It starts with the hotels, which have been at the forefront of this process and have over the years developed a successful environmental certification policy. Today, Monaco has 2,202 Green Globe, Green Key or Planet 21 certified rooms, or nearly 9 out of 10 rooms in which concrete solutions have been implemented and developed to reduce their ecological impact. The main areas for improvement concern water management, energy savings and the labels they hold.
As one of the most dynamic sectors of activity in terms of environmental protection, the Monegasque tourism industry has reiterated its commitment alongside the Tourism and Congress Department and the Energy Transition Mission by signing the Energy Transition Pact in March 2018.
In order to achieve the ambitious objectives of the principality, tourism is also moving towards other areas, such as urban travel, so that residents and visitors alike can benefit from mobility that is both fluid and respectful of the environment. Today, Monaco has 390 electric bicycles spread over 42 stations, a 100% electric car-sharing service, more than a hundred public elevators, escalators and conveyor belts to encourage walking, a fleet of buses circulating in Diester and a solar-powered electric water bus.
In addition to hotels, more and more restaurants are engaging in a responsible approach. The principality’s culinary offer is as rich as it is sustainable and, from starred restaurants to brasseries, all players are involved. From the “Conscious Restaurant” label, which works to reduce and sort waste and fight against food waste, to the “Mr Goodfish” label, a European program which aims to raise awareness among the public and professionals about the sustainable consumption of seafood , initiatives are multiplying.
A pioneer in organic gastronomy, the Elsa restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Beach hotel sets an example by being the first 100% organic and wild fishing restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star and Ecocert level 3 certified. The cuisine is seasonal, local and organic for sublime flavors and wonderful health benefits.
The principality also ensures that regional planning policies comply with the country’s major commitments. In terms of respect for biodiversity, Monaco pays particular attention to the development of its territory, within which there are three marine protected areas and nearly 1,000 heritage trees. A pioneer in the field of deep-water heat pumps, inaugurated in 1975, the principality has been moving in recent years towards multiple solutions and has 8,000 m² of photovoltaic panels, the equivalent of a football field.
Today more than ever, tourism is reinventing itself to become more responsible. And if the notion of sustainability is important, that of regeneration must be paramount. The objective of this sincere and comprehensive approach is no longer to minimize the negative impact of a trip but to ensure that it has a positive economic, social and cultural impact and that it benefits visitors, stakeholders and visitors. local populations concerned.
It is in this context that the destination is launching the White Paper Manager for Tourism (“White paper on responsible tourism”). Initiated at the end of 2020, this tool, which will make it possible to identify all the good practices, will serve as an inventory of the tourist industry. This is a reflection led by the Tourism and Congress Department in conjunction with all the players in Monegasque tourism, the Environment Department, the Energy Transition Mission and François Tourisme Consultants. This reflection will lead to a Responsible Tourism Strategy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN and the Principality’s Energy Transition goals.