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PATA Takes Up the Green Challenge

PATA Takes Up the Green Challenge (Forimmediaterelease.net) PATA explains the measures it has employed to reduce and offset the carbon footprint of the inaugural PATA CEO Challenge.
BANGKOK, THAILAND, April 29, 2008 – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today announced plans to invest in two sustainable tourism projects as part of a range of measures to reduce the carbon impact of the PATA CEO Challenge.
 
In his opening comments at the Challenge, outgoing-PATA Chairman Brian Deeson said that PATA would contribute to Thai Royal Project, a sustainable development initiative in northern Thailand, as well as the not-for-profit organisation Atmosfair, which manages carbon-reducing projects worldwide.  
 
In January 2008, PATA signed an agreement with EC3 Global, managers of the Green Globe brand in Asia Pacific, to “use its science and systems to help significantly reduce the carbon footprint of key elements of the CEO Challenge”.  Green Globe is the leading international environmental benchmarking and certification programme for the travel and tourism industry.
 
In consultation with Green Globe, PATA employed a range of measures to reduce the carbon emissions of the CEO Challenge, including:
 
Locating the Challenge in a venue that has been benchmarked and is proceeding to certification by Green Globe (the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld)
Accommodating delegates in hotels within walking distance of the venue
Providing escorted walks from hotels to the venue
Setting a relaxed dress code to further encourage walking
Printing marketing collateral, the event programme, delegate roster and evaluation survey on recycled paper
Constructing the onsite signage and stage backdrops from recycled cardboard
Using environmentally-friendly materials for the delegate bag
Placing only essential items in the delegate bags (no marketing premiums, minimising the amount of paper documents)
Ensuring that sponsors remove and re-use any collateral materials not taken by delegates
Encouraging delegates to offset the carbon emissions generated by their air travel to and from?? the event.
 
After taking these measures into account, Green Globe provided a preliminary carbon reduction report which included key elements of the event e.g. airport transfers, accommodation, meals and other event logistics – and calculated the CO2 output at an estimated 20.4 tonnes or 0.8 tonnes per delegate.
 
Green Globe will provide PATA with a final report on the completion of the conference and final data analysis.
 
To offset the emissions produced by the event, PATA is partnering with Atmosfair, which is certified by the Kyoto Clean Development mechanism and the Gold Standard.
 
“We were particularly enthusiastic about one of Atmosfair’s offset projects that cleans and recycles sewage water in a palm oil factory in the Chumphon district of Thailand,” said Mr Deeson.
 
“Gas released through the recycling process is used to power the factory, negating the need for fossil fuels. It employs over 800 local workers. Importantly, all palm used at the factory is grown on local, sustainable farms with no destruction of natural forest or vegetation.” 
 
Mr Deeson said PATA would also make a donation to the Thai Royal Project, which is a sustainable development initiative, endorsed by His Majesty the King of Thailand, to provide a healthy food supply to villagers in the north of the country.  
 
“While this is new territory for us, we have tried to do everything possible to reduce our emissions, as well as learn how we can improve our performance for future events. Our approach is to mitigate where possible and offset where we can’t.” 
 
Mr Deeson thanked EC3 Global and Green Globe for their strategic advice and analysis. “Green Globe is recognised as the leading benchmarking and certification programme developed specifically for the travel and tourism industry.  We are delighted to have had access to their science and systems to help us with this event and in other areas of PATA’s strategic operations.”
 
EC3 Global CEO, Mr Stewart Moore, said EC3 Global and Green Globe was “absolutely committed” to supporting PATA achieve its goals. “We are delighted to be the carbon consultant for this event and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with PATA well into the future.”
  
ABOUT PATA
Mission: PATA is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA’s private and public sector members, we enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region."
 
Founded in 1951, PATA provides leadership and advocacy to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. PATA is a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at www.PATA.org.
 
ABOUT EC3 GLOBAL
EC3 Global is a leading International Environmental and Tourism Advisory Group, offering sustainable tourism advice for organisations and destinations. EC3 Global has exclusive management rights for the Green Globe within the Asia Pacific Region. With origins since 1987, EC3 Global is owned by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the largest source of sustainable tourism research in the world.  STCRC has, and continues to provide access to significant industry science and technology, providing a strong foundation to address today’s sustainability challenges.
 

or more information contact: PATA Marketing Communications Mr David Gillbanks Tel: +66-2 658-2000 extension 108 Email: david@PATA.org EC3 Vice President – Brand Development & Distribution Ms Paula Quirk Russo Tel + 61-7 3238 1904 Email: paula.quirk.russo@ec3global.com

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