Monaco’s “sustainable business” list hits 100 milestone

A major achievement for the eco-focused Principality: 100 shops and restaurants in Monaco have joined a campaign for sustainable and eco-friendly business practice. 

In the summer of 2022, the number of shops and restaurants in Monaco with the Commerce Engagé or Restaurant Engagé accreditation officially hit the milestone figure of 100, prompting a celebration to acknowledge and recognise the businesses.  

The event was held on Friday 2nd December at Stars’n’Bars, itself a proud representative for the Restaurant Engagé label, and was led by Céline Caron-Dagioni, Monaco’s Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development. 

As a tribute to Monaco’s commitment, an artwork by Mr. One Teas was commissioned to represent the Commerce Engagé logo. This was complemented by a short film by Franck Florino, which was made up of a series of time-lapses capturing the streets of Monaco. Finally, a detailed and beautifully composed directory that showcases each of the 100 businesses paired with a series of black and white photographs by Jean-Charles Vinaj and a description of the Engagé procedure was presented.  

Valérie Davenet, the environmental director for the Monegasque government, explained that the directory aims to “shed light on the establishments with the label, to encourage them to pursue their eco-responsible approach, [and] also to raise awareness of the labels and let consumers know that a sustainable consumption solution exists in the Principality”.  

The Commerce Engagé approach was developed by Ecoscience Provence and has been used as a tool for demonstrating a sustainable approach to consumption for over ten years. Active across 10 territories in France and Monaco, since 2017, and made up of more than 700 eco-responsible professionals, the programme awards businesses with one of four labels: Commerce Engagé for shops, Producteur Engagé for producers, Restaurant Engagé for restaurants and Marché Engagé for markets. These labels allow consumers to easily identify eco-conscious brands and make responsible choices, whilst simultaneously motivating businesses to become members. 

For more information and a list of the businesses, please click here.


Photo source: Monaco Communications Department

ACCOBAMS: Monaco attends summit on whale and dolphin conservation

At the eighth gathering of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Area, Monaco joined 23 other member states in reaffirming its commitment to the mission with an ambitious three-year year plan. 

From 29th November to 2nd December, a Monegasque delegation joined forces with 23 other member states, which includes territories in Eastern and Western Europe as well as North Africa, in St. Julians, Malta, for several days of meetings and conferences centred around the protection and conservation of the cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.  

The member states discussed several key areas of the ACCOBAMS mission as well as potential strategies to implement.  

The significant matter of maritime noise pollution was raised as a concern by a number of members, including the representative from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Volodymyr Domashlinets, who spoke specifically on “military activities producing underwater noise in areas of special importance for Black Sea cetaceans”.  

Following amicable discussion, an ambitious work programme for the next three years was developed and agreed to by members. Its aims include tackling the problems caused by noise pollution, accidental catches by the fishing industry, collisions with vessels, and strandings. In total, the group committed to 23 new resolutions. 

This will be further supported by the adoption of a new “central information and awareness tool”, which will eventually form a database of shared knowledge on cetaceans in the geographical area of ACCOBAMS.   

Following an earlier international campaign to count and record the number of whalees and dolphins within the geographical area of ACCOBAMS, the conservation group has made it a long-term priority to continue with cetacean monitoring campaigns on a regional scale for the future progress of the group.  


Photo source: Lachlan Dempsey for Unsplash 

Monaco examines new ways to draw in next generation of hospitality staff

After a record year for the industry, the post-pandemic challenge for Monaco’s hospitality sector has moved from economic recovery to finding the next generation of staff for its hotels and restaurants.  

Earlier this year, the Monaco government commended an agreement signed by hospitality sector leaders that established – after many years of negotiations – proper wages for workers.  

“It marks a renewal of dialogue between the parties that must continue with a view to improving working conditions in the industry,” said the government after the minimum pay scale, a system that reflects the French format, was announced by the Monegasque Hospitality Industry Association (AIHM), the Union of Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants (HCR) and the Monaco Union of Chefs and Pastry Chefs. The previous system had remained unchanged since 1999.  

According to the AIHM, the new agreement will see the average hotel or restaurant worker in Monaco earn 22 to 28% more than their counterpart working over the border in France. 

In an interview with Nice Matin, the president of the AIHM, Alberte Escande, explained that the system will also reward experience with a 5% bonus after five years in the job, 10% after 10 years, and 15% after 15 years. 

“[Monaco’s] social security is much more generous in its contribution to the health expenses of Monegasque employees and their families,” she added.  

Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) is Monaco’s biggest employer in the hospitality sector with four prestigious hotels, two casinos, more than 30 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and three luxury spas and wellness retreats. 2022 is set to be a record year for the company and provisional figures suggest it might beat the 64.1 million euros profit of 2007/8, a sum that has not been broken since. 

Despite this, SBM is struggling to fill job slots. Pre-pandemic, more than 4,500 employees worked for the multi-brand business, but this number has fallen to around 3,700 at the last official headcount. In October, SBM hosted a two-day work fair in a bid to fill 1,000 positions available for next summer and attract a new generation of workers from nearby France and Italy.  

Hospitality and the greater service industry have felt the shake-up of the post-Covid world stronger than many other sectors, with swathes of workers who had lost their jobs during 2020 and 2021 moving on and changing career, namely to jobs that allow them to spend more time with their families and don’t demand long and late working hours. 

The late-night nature of the work, particularly in the restaurant field, is particularly challenging in Monaco, where most modes of public transport come to an end at 11pm. 

“The Minister of State asked us to carry out a study on the subject,” says Escande. “This summer, a survey was therefore carried out among 4,202 employees – out of 7,148 in the sector – in 70 restaurants and 10 hotels… 10% use the bus, 30% the train, 22% the car and 37% the two-wheeler. During the day, commuters are satisfied, but the lack of transport after 11pm is felt. This weakens our sector.” 

Numerous proposals have been tabled, from a reinforced service in the event of public transport strikes to strengthened bus connections between Nice and Menton, and an increase in the number of parking spaces available in the Principality. 

If growth is to continue in 2023, Monaco and its hospitality establishments will need to draw on their collective resources to keep up with the global demand for the Principality’s famous hotels and restaurants.  


Photo of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort by Monaco Life

Flu reaches epidemic proportions in Côte d’Azur

The number of influenza cases is rising rapidly across all of France, but it has reached epidemic proportions in nine regions – including Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – according to the country’s Public Health authority. 

A growing rate of cases of both Covid-19 and bronchiolitis paired with the flu outbreak has resulted in medical practices and hospitals throughout France feeling the strain.  

In just one week, consultations for flu and flu-like symptoms have risen by 39% to a level of 201 per 100,000 inhabitants. Furthermore, emergency visits have skyrocketed by 94%, and hospitalisations following the ER visits have more than doubled – a 112% increase. Over the same time frame, the number of French regions officially classed as suffering from epidemic levels of flu grew from two to nine.  

In a bid to protect older and vulnerable members of the population ahead of the upcoming end-of-year celebrations, Santé Publique France has made an urgent plea in the favour of vaccinations.

“As family gatherings approach, it is strongly recommended that people at risk protect themselves by resorting to vaccination against seasonal flu and Covid-19 as soon as possible,” it has said via an online statement.

Of particular concern is the over 65 age group who “represented half of hospitalisations after going to the emergency room for flu or flu-like illness and nearly half of serious cases of flu admitted to intensive care” between 28th November and 4th December, according to the health authority.  

The seasonal flu vaccination campaign for this winter commenced in October and is open to anyone wishing to be vaccinated. Vaccines can be purchased from any pharmacy without a prescription, unless it is for a minor, and the dose can then be administered by a doctor, midwife, nurse or pharmacist. If you have received a health insurance voucher, the cost of the injection will be reimbursed.  

While Public Health France is encouraging all members of the community to receive the vaccine, people are reminded that the vaccine alone is not enough: “This vaccination must be accompanied by the systematic adoption by all of barrier gestures, which remain an effective means of protecting against respiratory infections and their complications, and of limiting the risk of transmitting these viruses to those around them.”   

 Santé Publique France has described this winter’s emerging situation as an “exceptionally early season compared to previous seasons”. 



Photo source: Mojca Peter for Pixabay

Three Monaco restaurants join sustainable seafood scheme

La Terrasse of the Oceanographique Museum, Komo and Maison Mer have made the eco-conscious step of affiliating themselves with a pledge to serve only sustainably sourced seafood to their guests.

In late November, the Prince Albert II Foundation (FPA2) proudly announced that three Monaco restaurants had joined the Mr. Goodfish programme, with the trio formally signing a partnership agreement in the presence of foundation CEO Olivier Wenden and Mr. Goodfish representative’s Tom Biscéré.

Each of the three establishments – La Terrasse of the Oceanographique Museum, Komo and Maison Mer – pride themselves on offering quality, seasonal seafood dishes. Now they haven taken the next step in their commitment to sustainability by joining the programme.

Luc Littardi, the manager of La Terrasse, commented on how he had been an enthusiastic follower of the programme for some time and was keen to demonstrate his commitment to environmentally-conscious practices and share this knowledge with their diners.

Created in 2010, the Mr. Goodfish programme campaigns for the sustainable consumption of fish and marine products. and is a joint venture between three European aquariums: Nausicaa–Centre de la Mer in France, Acquario di Genova in Italy and Aquarium Finisterrae in Spain. The Principality of Monaco has taken part in the programme since 2013 and the FPA2 has been vocal in its support.

“If every French person were to eat a species recommended by Mr. Goodfish rather than an overexploited species, even if it’s only once a year, 18,000 tonnes of endangered species could be saved,” said a spokesperson for the FPA2.

The mission of Mr. Goodfish is to “raise the awareness of both the entire fishing industry and consumers on this situation, and to offer simple and positive solutions”.

As part of this work to fight the problem of overfishing and encourage more sustainable choices for consumers, the programme regularly publishes a list of seafood species that are recommended to consume based on season, size and resource status as well as delicious recipes as suggested ways to enjoy them. The list is freely available to all, from those in the food industry to the general public. The latest published list from Mr. Goodfish is available here.



Photo credit: M. Dagnino

Outward Bound Monaco 2022 awards ceremony

On Monday 5th December, 18 students from Monaco who participated this summer in Outward Bound programmes in England and Wales were reunited for the Outward Bound Monaco annual awards ceremony at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year was the first time that students from Monaco had been able to join Outward Bound courses in the UK since 2019.

Outward Bound Monaco welcomed family, friends, patrons and members of the association to the event, where the proud students received their diplomas from the Patron of Outward Bound Monaco, Prince Albert of Monaco, who praised their courage and resourcefulness in the face of the challenges that an Outward Bound programme offers.

“After 2 difficult years when students were unable to travel to the UK due to Covid, this evening has been a celebration of Outward Bound and the positive impact its courses can have on the lives of young people,” said Sarah O’Connor, President of Outward Bound Monaco. “I would like to thank all our supporters and helpers who have stuck with us and made this possible, and also our patron H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco for once again taking the time to meet the students and present their certificates.”

The evening was full of pride and excitement for the students, aged 10 to 17 years old, who gave time, energy and passion this summer to do something which tested their limits but also rewarded them with a sense of achievement at overcoming new challenges as well as having great fun.

Inscriptions for Outward Bound Monaco are being taken for 2023 courses. See the website for more details


Photo credit: Ed Wright Images