The Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) today unveiled an industry-leading tool to help green conventions, the first Carbon Calculator and Offset Program to be housed on a city's convention and visitor web site. Convention guests, event planners and other visitors can go online at visitdenver.com to access information to help green their meetings and events. The site allows individuals or groups to measure their carbon footprint using an online carbon calculator, and then offers the option to purchase carbon offsets to support new, verifiable, greenhouse gas reduction projects in Colorado which deliver both environmental and social benefits.
"Green is the new ‘gold’ of the convention industry," said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “A recent study of meeting planners found that one in three have been told by their delegates to only meet in green destinations and one in four said that if all else is equal, they will meet in the greenest destination. The same study found Denver to be one of the top three greenest cities and we want to continue to work on that reputation, while expanding everything we can do to be environmentally responsible. The Carbon Calculator gives us an opportunity to work with convention groups and delegates to help them reduce their carbon footprint,” Scharf said.
From one of the most environmentally efficient convention centers in the world, to ongoing sustainability efforts across the city, The Mile High City is one of the greenest cities in the United States. The spectacular natural beauty that surrounds the city, Denver’s eco-conscious residents, and an abundance of cutting edge tech companies has ensured that Denver is, and will remain, a pioneer in the environmental arena. The Convention and Meetings industry is no exception, leading the way with a wide array of sustainable options for events of any size. As meeting planners and travel experts become more ecologically savvy, the visitdenver.com website is offering easy, free, online resources to help plan events in an environmentally-sensitive manner.
The DMCVB has partnered with the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, the City of Aspen and Camco to allow convention guests and planners to measure and reduce their carbon footprint by using an online calculator and purchasing Carbon Offsets. A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Available to guests and participants at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the Carbon Calculator will remain on the DMCVB web site as a permanent tool for all future conventions in Denver.
“Denver’s convention greening efforts have been a tremendous capacity-building experience for our community. All of our efforts have been designed to create a legacy of sustainability. We are very proud of the Denver Metro and Convention Visitor’s Bureau’s launch of the country’s first convention bureau carbon calculators and grateful the partners who made it happen,” Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said.
The Carbon Calculator will be available for both the use of individuals who wish to calculate their carbon emissions from travel and hotel stays, as well as for meeting and event planners wishing to offer environmental options to conventions. Once a carbon footprint is calculated, guests can purchase offsets from the City of Aspen’s website (www.canarytags.com). The City of Aspen is the first local community partner for the Colorado Carbon Fund. With funds raised through this partnership with DMCVB, the City of Aspen and the Colorado Carbon Fund will work with Greenprint Denver and the Host Committee to invest in local greenhouse gas emission reduction projects that would not otherwise be possible and will help reduce greenhouse gases.
Camco, a leading climate change business in the growing and global carbon management and sustainable development market, supplied the calculations and developed the functionality for the calculators.
“We are delighted to have provided the framework for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau’s online carbon calculators,” explained Jeff Kenna, CEO of Camco. “There is growing demand from individuals and organizations to demonstrate how they are helping to protect the climate by reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Using the carbon calculators, travelers and event planners now have convenient tools that help them estimate, as accurately as possible, their carbon footprint which in turn guides their decisions about how to reduce or neutralize their emissions.”
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $2.9 billion in annual spending in 2007, while supporting 65,000 jobs. For more information on Denver call 800-2-DENVER or visit Denver’s official Web site at VISITDENVER.com.