Partners of 2010 Winter Games join forces to help make Canada's Games carbon
neutral

VANOC, Offsetters to offset air travel of 2010 Olympians and Paralympians

VANCOUVER, Nov. 3 /CNW/ - On the eve of the 100-day countdown to the Games, 25 partners of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are among the first to join forces in an ambitious effort to leave Canada and the world an environmental legacy of carbon neutral Games in 2010, including offsetting air travel for Olympians and Paralympians.

The partners, including corporate sponsors, governments and broadcasters, have volunteered to offset some of their own carbon emissions related to the Games; such as emissions generated by delegations travelling to and from the Games region.

These partners will invest in a portfolio of British Columbia clean energy technology projects, as well as international Gold Standard offset projects. The 2010 Legacy Portfolio is developed and managed by Vancouver-based Offsetters, the Official Supplier of Carbon Offsets for the 2010 Winter Games, in partnership with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

The energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will help offset a newly updated forecast of 268,000 tonnes of carbon emissions - 118,000 tonnes from direct emissions and 150,000 tonnes from indirect emissions resulting from Games-time travel by participants and spectators.

This updated estimate, prepared by the Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, was released today by VANOC at a breakfast event called "2010 Talks Carbon." It reflects Games operational efficiencies and more accurate data on participants and spectators.

In 2007, preliminary estimate prepared by the David Suzuki Foundation and reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggested the Games would produce approximately 330,000 tonnes (110,000 direct, 220,000 indirect) of carbon emissions.

"We're excited to announce that 25 of our partners are helping us make the 2010 Winter Games carbon neutral and we expect more to join in the near future," said Linda Coady, VANOC's vice president of sustainability. "What's more, athletes at the Games will be the first carbon neutral athletes in Olympic and Paralympic history - the result of our partnership with Offsetters -where the travel and accommodation of close to 7,000 athletes, coaches and officials will be offset as part of the Games' direct carbon footprint."

"The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will not only showcase British Columbia to the world, it will also establish a carbon neutral legacy for future Games," said John Yap, BC's Minister of State for Climate Action. "We are really pleased to see the efforts of these 2010 partners and sponsors and encourage more to join in to make these clean, green and carbon neutral Games."

The first companies and governments participating in the 2010 Carbon Partner Program for voluntary offsets include: Acklands-Grainger, Afexa Life Sciences (COLD-FX), Aggreko, Atos Origin, Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC), BC Hydro, Bell, Bombardier, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, Canadian Pacific, Canwest Publishing Inc., City of Surrey, Coca-Cola, Hudson's Bay Company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), McDonald's, Panasonic, the Province of British Columbia, Royal Bank of Canada, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Ricoh Canada, Samsung, The Globe and Mail, and Visa.

In what is another first for the Olympic Movement, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay presenting partners Coca-Cola and RBC have joined VANOC in offsetting all their emissions arising from the 45,000-kilometre journey across Canada, as well as from their entire operations related to the Games.

The support of the 2010 Legacy Portfolio by these companies will not only reduce carbon emitted into the atmosphere, it will also showcase made-in-BC climate change solutions, explained Dr. James Tansey, president of Offsetters, a leading BC-based carbon asset management company and supplier of high-quality carbon offsets.

"We're proud to be the first Official Carbon Offsetter in Olympic and Paralympic history and have the opportunity to showcase how British Columbia is playing a leadership role within Canada and internationally in the fast growing clean technology sector," he said. "We look forward to working with these companies to find environmentally friendly solutions to offset their Games-time carbon emissions."

"We also invite spectators participating at the Games, along with members of the public, to help play a role in making the 2010 Winter Games carbon neutral by voluntarily offsetting emissions from their travel to and from the Games region," Tansey added. By clicking www.offsetters.ca they can calculate their carbon footprint and purchase carbon credits immediately online.

As part of the offset portfolio for the Games, Offsetters is working with BC clean technology companies to establish demonstration projects, such as: biomass gasification systems for renewable heat and power production, manufacturing of cellulosic ethanol (biofuel made from wood debris), proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cell technology, computer controlled hybrid fossil fuel and electric building heating systems, and reduced carbon footprint silviculture.

The 2010 Legacy Portfolio of carbon reduction projects for the Games will provide high-quality offsets consistent with the standards applied by new BC provincial greenhouse gas regulations, and have been designed to meet or exceed the highest international standard for carbon accounting and offsetting.

About Offsetters

Offsetters is Canada's first and leading integrated carbon management company. Since 2005, Offsetters has been helping individuals and organizations understand, reduce, track, and offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Offsetters uses carbon offset funds to develop and invest in high-quality, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that would otherwise not take place. The goal is to create a mainstream shift toward clean energy systems, away from the fossil fuel dependence of today.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit vancouver2010.com.

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Stephanie Snider, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-1817, stephanie_snider@vancouver2010.com; Kari Grist, VP Marketing & Client Engagement, Offsetters, (604) 699-2657, kari_grist@offsetters.ca

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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