Carbon offsetting takes off in US

Posted: 25 February 2007

A major travel organisation, based in the United States, has expanded its services related to carbon offsetting in response to growing consumer and industry demand for a customer-frendly system to help to curb global warming.

The new programme devised by Sustainable Travel International (STI) involves integrating custom carbon calculators into business web sites so that consumers can easily compensate for their personal and travel-related carbon dioxide emissions on-line.

Selected as the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year in 2006, "carbon neutral" has become the new buzz word in the US. The rise in popularity of what was a foreign concept only two years ago has increased demand for transparent and credible carbon offset programmes.

"Current demand is skyrocketing. We get calls and email from consumers, businesses and the media all of the time, asking how they can get involved with carbon offsetting without a heavy investment," explains Peter D. Krahenbuhl, STI Vice President who directs the non-profit's Carbon Neutral Travel initiative. "More and more businesses - from large tour operators and expedition cruise ship companies to major resorts and non-profits - want to give customers the ability to take personal responsibility for neutralizing their own carbon dioxide emissions. At STI, we make it accessible and affordable."

The carbon calculators STI offers start at only US$99 for a co-branded calculator that calculates the carbon dioxide emissions associated with flying, driving, home electricity, and hotel stays. STI says more customized calculators start at US$299. These fees include greenhouse gas emission assessments (additional charges may apply), education and training materials, and media outreach and marketing support.

"By giving consumers and businesses the information they need, we're empowering them to address their own GHG emissions," adds Brian T. Mullis, STI's President. "Our holistic approach affords us an opportunity to determine how best to integrate a carbon offset programme into any given business, and it helps to ensure our partners' success.

For more information on custom carbon calculators and other STI carbon offset programmes visit www.carbonneutral.travel.