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Burlington, Vermont — NativeEnergy, the company that was chosen to provide the carbon offsets for the landmark climate crisis documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has launched a new joint venture –NativeEnergy Travel Offsets, LLC (NET O) – with leading ecotourism and adventure travel experts, Megan Epler Wood and Richard G. Edwards, to deliver NativeEnergy’s unique brand of carbon offsets to the travel industry.
The deal, inked on October 18, 2006, brings together some of the leading minds in carbon offsets and ecological travel to address the growing threat from carbon dioxide emissions caused by the travel industry.
Megan Epler Wood, founder and past President of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), approached NativeEnergy with the idea earlier this year. Epler Wood, based in Burlington, VT, is known as one of the leading pioneers in the ecological travel movement. NativeEnergy, also Vermont-based, uses carbon offsets to help build Native American, Native Alaskan, and family farmer-owned renewable energy projects. The idea took off after one meeting.
Epler Wood states, “I am pleased to be allied with NativeEnergy to address the most important environmental challenge the travel industry has to face in the 21st century – global warming. We are particularly pleased to be presenting information on our firm for the first time to the adventure travel industry as part of the Adventure Travel World Summit on October 19-21, because this segment of the industry will be the first to understand and embrace our model of carbon offsets”
Epler Wood has also teamed with Richard G. Edwards to launch NET O. Edwards has worked with pioneering ecotourism firms in both Costa Rica and the U.S. to deliver effective, technology driven marketing approaches, and was named 2006 Top Travel Specialist by Conde Nast Traveler for his work marketing sustainable tourism in Central America.
“Our firm, NET O, will deliver the unique NativeEnergy brand of high quality, competitively priced carbon offsets to the travel industry,” comments Edwards. “We are helping build new wind turbine projects right now in Alaska Native villages and on the Rosebud Sioux reservation. Travel industry members can work with NET O to purchase offsets that directly help build clean energy sources,” he adds.
“It is increasingly well-known and publicized that the tourism industry is a major contributor to the climate crisis,” says Epler Wood. “As one of the founders of the ecotravel movement, I could not continue advocating ecotourism as a legitimate environmental conservation tool worldwide without addressing this problem.” Air travel is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions and presently accounts for 3.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. In the next 10 years this impact is expected to grow by at least 75%. Without action air travel emissions will likely continue to grow exponentially.
Tom Boucher, president of NativeEnergy comments, “Our company’s all-consuming passion is to get more wind turbines and other renewable energy systems built, and we designed a unique business model that enables our customers to do just that.” Boucher and NativeEnergy co-founder Tom Stoddard immediately saw the potential of partnering with Epler Wood and Richards to serve the travel industry.
“We have already developed a brand image that delivers concrete environmental and sustainable economic development results,” comments Tom Stoddard. “Companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Aveda, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar, Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and performing artists including Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies, have all joined NativeEnergy in the fight against global warming because they know they make a real difference working with us. We are looking forward to the opportunity of delivering carbon offsets to the travel industry through NET O,” Stoddard adds.
About Megan Epler Wood
Megan Epler Wood oversaw the formation of The International Ecotourism Society, www.ecotourism.org, in 1990, the first and largest ecotourism NGO in the world and was its president for 12 years developing a membership program in over 100 countries, workshops and stakeholder meetings that reached tens of thousands, and an international communications program that reached millions. Since 2003, Megan’s firm EplerWood International www.eplerwood.com has worked for the World Bank International Finance Corporation to develop sustainable tourism strategies for some of the poorest nations in the world, and for USAID developing market-based ecotourism programs in biodiverse regions of Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ecuador, and Honduras.
About Richard Edwards
Richard G. Edwards spent ten years as a sustainable development economist and marketing specialist in Latin America for the Organization of American States. More recent work is focused on the private sector, including heading the sales of a pioneering ecotourism operator and consulting with operators, hotels and ecolodges to effectively market in a technology-driven world. Currently he is VP of Wildland Adventures (www.wildland.com), one of the most awarded sustainable tour operators in the world. He is also Executive Director of Trusted Adventures (www.trustedadventures.com), an alliance of top adventure travel companies, each recognized as world leaders in their regions and expertise. Richard was named a 2006 Top Travel Specialist by Condé Nast Traveler for his efforts in sustainable tourism in Central America.
Native American majority-owned, NativeEnergy is a national marketer of renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets, offering individuals and organizations a means to compensate for their global warming pollution, or to effectively power their homes and businesses with renewable energy. NativeEnergy’s unique business process brings upfront payment to renewable projects for their estimated future REC or offset output, enabling its customers to help directly finance the construction of new wind farms and other renewable energy projects that directly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to meet the nation’s electricity needs. NativeEnergy is the choice of leading environmentally and socially responsible organizations, including the film AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (www.ClimateCrisis.net), Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Stonyfield Farm, Interface, Aveda, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Co-op America, NRDC, the Clinton Global Initiative, Bonnaroo Festival, and thousands of individuals. NativeEnergy also offers Green-e certified RECs from operating wind farms and Climate Neutral Network certified offsets from operating CO2 mitigation projects. Online at:www.nativeenergy.com