congress under the banner of corporate social and environmental responsibility

congress under the banner of corporate social and environmental responsibility

The Congress of the National Group of Independents, which took place on November 14 and 15, 2022 at the UGC of the Lyon Convention Center, has just ended. An opportunity for the union to meet and discuss many topics such as the evolution of consumer behavior and the social and environmental responsibility of professionals.

Didier Chenet, President of GNI, and Catherine Quérard, President of GNI Grand Ouest.
Didier Chenet, President of GNI, and Catherine Quérard, President of GNI Grand Ouest.

The National Group of Independents (GNI) held its seventh congress at the UGC Convention Center in Lyon on November 14 and 15. Many political figures love Laurent Wauquiezpresident of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, or Bruno the mayorthe Minister of Economy, by video conference, and many experts came to testify. Olivia GregoireThe minister delegate in charge of small and medium-sized enterprises, trade, crafts and tourism also joined the meeting. An opportunity for the minister to respond to the union’s demands, especially regarding PGE and energy aid. Click here to find his speech during the convention. At the heart of the debate on the first day: the corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR) of the sector. The next day was dedicated to internships, deficit occupations and managerial practices.

CSR for hotel and restaurant professionals

Stephan Martinezchairman of the CSR commission of GNI, revealed the data of the survey on socially responsible business conducted among 370 union members. “A repository that allows to establish an inventory with 100% of the represented territory and thus obtain a map of what professionals in the sector are doing”, he rejoices.

Key survey findings:

  • 61% of members believe that CSR is a global, social, environmental and economic management method necessary to take social issues into account, but almost 30% see things differently, believing it is more a matter of related environmental obligations.

Energy management:

  • Every other caterer has mixed contracts, that is, a conventional electricity contract with a green gas contract or vice versa.
  • 80% did not perform an energy diagnosis. 60% have equipped their facilities with LED lamps. 85% are equipped with light sensors. 26% are equipped with window opening detectors.
  • 70% of professionals see a 10 to 20% reduction in their bill after renovation.
  • 91% say they do not have centralized water management.
  • 34% have equipped all their stations with aerators, 42% are not equipped at all.
  • 72% have washing machines that save water.

power side:

  • 80% prepare their menus with seasonal products. 64% of professionals buy between 50% and 100% French-made products with mixed sourcing, but sometimes struggle to find products in sufficient quantities.


  • 35% say they have installed charging stations for electrical devices.

Global environmental management:

  • 40% implemented an ecological approach with a positive impact.
  • Carbon footprint: a non-existent approach for 95% of surveyed professionals.


  • 38% have the Maître restaurateur label, 20% of hotels have the Green Key label, and 6% have the European Ecolabel.

  • And while 85% say they take customer feedback into account, 65% of respondents don’t communicate the actions taken afterward.

Financial aid:

  • More than half of professionals consider that they need technical solutions and support, whether for energy management or water management. 85% did not use financial assistance during the renovation work, because according to them it is too complicated to get it.
  • 15% received funds from the sustainable tourism fund of Adema and the regional council.

CSR: statements

Actors such as Club Med or the Ritz Hotel came to testify to their actions: lowering the temperature in the rooms, enabling the jacuzzi or sauna at certain times and closing them at other times, responding to demand and no longer in a systematic way. A big point on food waste management is made at the Ritz Paris. Action developed by him Audrey Peguret, director of sustainable development within the institution. Thus, smaller containers on the buffet are generalized for staff meals, waste is sorted and an integrated scale is installed, which reduced food waste by 67% between 2018 and 2022. Actions are also carried out in the kitchens and room service. “Many initiatives were implemented by the employees themselves. They give us their best practices. Their mobilization makes this CSR approach a success“, assures the manager. Not forgetting staff training, one of the pillars of this success.


Also on the congress program, apprenticeship. “We have a lot of work to do to renew ourselves at the HR level, to think differently. Large groups have understood the transition with young people, such as Club Med. We have an obligation to restorehe explained Arnaud Gobled, President of the Groisy Campus, President of the GNI RARE Employment Training Commission. “Among independents, transmission has always existed, he continued. Part of the corporate culture is to have young people. We must manage to get out of the Covid crisis to understand that a young person is not a collaborator like the others. He is here to learn. It is not a replacement of the employee. In the next ten years, every company needs to lock in its young people and protect them so that they don’t leave the sector. .”

The Groisy campus, which trains 1,000 apprentices a year, will create a seasonal training center in September 2025 in Megève, “that we really have a training center dedicated to all our seasonal work“. The center also aims to create a club around young people to innovate, especially by creating a guide to good business. “Our youth is our future” insists Arnaud Gobled.

Wishes to the Government

conclude, Didier Chenetthe president of GNI took the floor to address several requests to the Government:

  • That the tariff shield system be open to all companies whose energy bill represents more than 3% of turnover and whose increase amounts to at least 50%, without any other conditions.
  • Make available, after the blockades of the banks and the French banking federation, the PGE resilience for companies in the CHR sector to invest and face the various investments necessary to establish systems in favor of the ecological transition.
  • Add trades in the sector to the list of deficit occupations.
  • Enable regulation of the situation of employees in an irregular situation who are already employed under a pseudonym.
  • Create a special contract for an indefinite period, reserved for regular seasonal workers, with a minimum duration of activity of seven months. They would receive a benefit for twelve months and the employer would receive a compensatory allowance from Pôle Emploi.
  • Enable companies to deal with staff shortages by turning to sole proprietors without fear of retraining or scrutiny.
  • Establish a tax system to encourage companies to provide housing for employees in the form of benefits in kind, by refunding VAT.
  • Perpetuate the tax and social system in favor of tips.
  • Facilitate the ecological transition by enabling companies to benefit from free diagnosis and specific support through Adema with the appropriate banking product and taxation.

Response from Minister Delegate Olivia Gregoire: click here to read the article.

Didier Chenet also announced the creation of a new union: GHR, and thus the future disappearance of GNI, SNRTC and SNRPO. Read our article here. The next congress will be held under the GHR hat, in Paris, in a year.

#GNI #Chenet #GHR

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