Boulder, CO (February 21, 2007) – Sustainable Travel International (STI) announced today that it is launching TravelGreen™, a carbon offset initiative designed specifically for hoteliers. Through TravelGreen, hoteliers around the world can connect their guests with the opportunity to support the development of solar and wind power while traveling.
“At its most basic, the TravelGreen program is a tool that allows for the sale of clean, renewable electricity generation through the purchase of renewable energy certificates, also called Green Tags,” explains Brian T. Mullis, STI’s President. “More broadly, it’s a valuable service provided to the public by hoteliers that allow guests to participate directly in taking actions that meet their own environmental values.”
Hotel guests can participate in the TravelGreen program at participating hotels by purchasing a TravelGreen Mini-Green Tag for $1.00, which is equal to offsetting 35 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and represents 25 kilowatt-hours of electricity supplied by new wind and solar power.
The $1.00 Mini-Green Tag can be purchased at the hotel upon checking in or out. Each TravelGreen traveler receives information on how they can continue to support the development of renewable energy sources and a website where guests can calculate their carbon footprint.
The TravelGreen program highlights the positive impact hotels can have on global climate change. The American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates that in the U.S. alone, 17 million international travelers stayed in a hotel or motel in 2005. Conservatively, one night in a hotel generates approximately 0.01 metric tons of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, which would equate to a minimum of 170,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent being generated in the U.S. during 2005. Offsetting that amount CO2 is equal to 36,797 passenger cars not driven for one year.
“More and more businesses within the travel and tourism industry are offering carbon offset programs, but uptake is so small our research indicates they don’t have as much of an impact as they could,” said Peter D. Krahenbuhl, STI’s Vice President. “We aim to change that by offering hoteliers a turn-key solution for achieving carbon neutral status that can be a revenue producer.”
Hoteliers participating in the TravelGreen Mini-Green Tag program do not incur any additional costs. STI provides each participating facility with TravelGreen Mini-Green Tags and related marketing materials. Hoteliers also have the option to offset the hotel’s greenhouse gas emissions and purchase Mini-Green Tags in bulk quantities at wholesale rates, at which point they can resell the TravelGreen Mini-Green Tags for an additional profit. Hoteliers that choose this option are encouraged to reinvest in local environmental conservation and community development initiatives.
TravelGreen Mini-Green Tags are supplied by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). All of BEF’s Green Tag products are from 100 percent new, renewable resources across North America, and are certified by Green-e, the leading independent voluntary certification for green power products.
About Sustainable Travel International (STI)
STI, recently featured in the New York Times, USA Today, US News & World Report, and The Wall Street Journal, is regarded for its due diligence in selecting the ‘best of the best’ offset partners, including MyClimate and Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). BEF Green Tag projects are certified by Green-e (www.green-e.org). And, MyClimate projects are developed in accordance with procedures, criteria and methodologies from the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto protocol and the criteria of The Gold Standard (www.cdmgoldstandard.org). All projects STI offers are inspected, verified and certified by independent, third-parties. Recent notable offset efforts include the 2006 FIFA World Cup, HSBC (one of the largest Banks in the world), Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods Market, World Wildlife Fund.