Les Villages Nature® Paris aims to create a new kind of holiday – immersing its one million visitors a year in nature while minimising its impact on the planet
Bioregional first became involved with this family oriented resort sited three miles from Disneyland Paris back in 2005, during the early planning stages. It has supported it ever since, regularly surveying its progress against the challenging targets set out in Villages Nature® Paris’ own One Planet Action Plan.
Bioregional will continue to monitor the sustainability of the resort now that it has opened to the public, with plans to eventually attract more than a million visitors a year.
The project, a joint venture of Groupe Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs and Euro Disney SCA, now offers 868 cottages and apartments set in a car-free landscape of lakes, woodlands, meadows and gardens 20 miles from the heart of the French capital.
Bioregional’s Chief Executive and co-founder Sue Riddlestone OBE, who is attending the launch event, said: “Tourism is a major global industry with massive environmental impacts. But Villages Nature® Paris is setting new standards and demonstrating how this fast-growing industry can be a force for good, reconnecting people to nature, radically reducing environmental impacts and strongly supporting the local economy."
Bioregional co-founder Pooran Desai OBE, who has worked with the Villages Nature® Paris team for 12 years, said: “The Villages Nature team were inspired by the clarity of the One Planet Living vision. To their credit, they had the foresight to predict the importance of the environmental agenda and have stuck with the original vision. The result is a pure joy. It will be a gamechanger.”
Marie Balmain, head of corporate social responsibility at Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs, said: “Since the inception of the project, Bioregional’s One Planet Living framework has helped us consider not only environmental performance but also all the economic and social benefits Villages Nature® Paris can bring to local communities and its stakeholders.
“Now that we’ve opened our doors, we continue to strive to deliver an inspiring visitor experience that creates a positive vision of the future. Our Sustainable Action Plan is now being taken on board by our operations team.”
The One Planet Framework, based on ten easy-to-grasp One Planet Principles, has been used in projects large and small all over the world, from individual homes and small organisations to major retailers such as B&Q and giant infrastructure projects.
It provides a simple way to plan, deliver and communicate sustainable development, so that projects and organisations support local communities and promote healthy, happy lives while respecting the planet’s natural limits.
At the heart of Villages Nature® Paris is a gigantic swimming and water play complex, the Aqualagon, with water indoors and outdoors heated year-round to 30° C by a carbon-free, geothermal heat source. This source, more than one mile deep, provides the heating and hot water for the entire project.
Other sustainability features of this €500 million project include: