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GOGO Goes GreenSeptember 28, 2010
GOGO Worldwide Vacations Green Policy
GOGO Worldwide Vacations are responsible corporate citizens and will work to reduce the impact on the climate from their own operations and will continue to assist its customers to minimize their carbon footprint.
What is “Carbon Neutral”?
Climate change is a serious problem, caused primarily by the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas. The only long-term solution to climate change involves stabilizing global levels of greenhouse gases by making deep, absolute emission reductions in every sector of our economy. However, it will take time to build a new economy based on sustainable energy use, and one of the transition strategies is going ‘carbon neutral’: making all reductions currently possible, and then using carbon offsets to address remaining emissions. Going carbon neutral is a way to take responsibility for the greenhouse gases we create every time we drive our cars, take a plane or turn on our computers. Here’s how it works: if you add polluting emissions to the atmosphere, you can effectively subtract them by purchasing what are known as “carbon offsets”. Carbon offsets are simply credits for emission reductions achieved elsewhere by projects such as wind farms or solar installations. You can purchase some of these reductions and use them to cancel your own emissions. The result is that you have no net impact on the climate.
Why Go Carbon Neutral?
Although the best thing for the environment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions instead of offsetting them, at present it is impossible to reduce emissions to zero. Purchasing offsets is a practical and inexpensive way to compensate for emissions that otherwise wouldn’t be addressed. In addition, purchasing high quality carbon offsets such as those from sustainable energy projects helps make these projects economically competitive with fossil fuels, and supports the transition to a sustainable energy economy.
Based on information from the David Suzuki Foundation website. Find more resources and other helpful information at www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/What_You_Can_Do/carbon_neutral.asp.
GOGO's Carbon Emission Offsetting Program
GOGO Worldwide Vacations has teamed up with Cleaner Climate Ltd. to provide us a link to a “carbon calculator”. This adds a simple procedure at the time of booking your travel arrangements that will allow you to determine the carbon emitted from your flight and voluntarily fund a renewable energy project in a developing country to offset it. For example, should a traveler want to go ‘carbon neutral’ they can offset the carbon emissions produced by their trip through Cleaner Climate, who in turn put the money into a project that will save the same amount of carbon emissions through energy efficiency means (efficient light-bulbs) or energy renewable projects (wind turbines, land fill remediation, solar). The company’s projects are structured in accordance with guidelines set out by bodies such as the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Gold Standard and are monitored by a third party to verify that they offset the amount specified.
How much does offsetting cost?
Offsetting a short haul flight (up to five hours) costs approximately $5-$7. For longer haul flights the offset cost ranges from approximately $15-$25 dollars depending on the length of your flight. For more information and to use the climate offset calculator please visit www.cleanerclimate.com/travel-calculator/calculator.php?country_id=2.
The Offset Project
Cleaner Climate's carbon project portfolio complies with the rigorous requirements of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). These projects include the generation of clean renewable energy, destruction of damaging greenhouse gases and improvements in energy efficiency. Cleaner Climate's projects not only reduce the impact on the environment but promote sustainable development in the area in which they are implemented.
Projects developed under the CDM ensure that the emission reductions satisfy stringent criteria set up by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Committee (UNFCCC). In addition, all projects are validated by a UNFCCC registered audit organization to ensure that they produce verified carbon reductions.
Contributions from climate change conscious consumers assist in the development of these projects and enables the growth and promotion of clean technology.
Office Environmental Policy
At GOGO Worldwide Vacations, an internal Green Director has been established in each department to ensure our green policies are being practiced:
Recycling & Waste Reduction
Ensuring recycling bins are available & accessible in all office areas. Using e-mail to communicate and send documents whenever possible. Printing information only as really needed. Practicing efficient copying/printing (e.g. double-sided copying) Reducing packaging. Sourcing and using recycled, unbleached, 100% post-consumer paper for printed materials wherever possible. Reducing the number of duplicate subscriptions to periodicals, trade journals and magazines. Reducing the amount of paper faxes being received.
Heating will be switched off in summer, at weekends and on holidays.
Computers, radios & other machines will be turned off when not in use. Standby and energy save modes will be used when not feasible to switch off.