Goldpoints Plus members donate carbon offsets
Following its 'carbon offset' campaign earlier in 2008, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has reported that the initiative generated sufficient donations from members of its Goldpoints Plus frequent guest programme to offset some 340,436 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
So far, members have converted 709,000 Gold Points into contributions for carbon reduction projects operated by The Carbon Neutral Company. Carlson has also matched its members donations, doubling the overall 'green value' of the campaign.
Carlson invited Goldpoints Plus members to donate Gold Points generated through their global travels in recognition of Earth Day (the international programme created by the United Nations in 1969 to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment). Members can redeem increments of 1,000 points for carbon offsets.
The Goldpoints Plus programme was significantly revamped and relaunched at the end of 2007, creating new opportunities for members to offset their travel-related CO2 emissions by donating Gold Points to community-based carbon reduction projects.
Carlson has so far contributed to two such projects through Carbon Neutral. The first is a North American project to replace outdated, energy-consuming water heaters in low income homes with energy-efficient models at a reduced cost. The second is the re-forestation of 11 acres of native forestry at the Dale Hay Farm biological heritage site in the United Kingdom.
According to Paula Winkler, executive vice president of operational strategic support for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, some 40.33 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions are generated by each hotel room night and, overall, the travel sector accounts for about 4% of worldwide carbon emissions. Consequently, Carlson expects to announce a new environmental sustainability project by the end of 2008 as part of a global initiative marking the opening of its 1,000th worldwide property.