A SOCAP Guest Post by Eric Zimmerman of TripZero
In 2016 SOCAP and TripZero partnered to both upgrade attendees’ travel experience and significantly reduce our community’s environmental impact. I’m happy to report that we succeeded on both fronts.
For most events, travel is the environmental “elephant in the room” that no one wants to talk about. As thousands of attendees convene from across the globe, they create the massive carbon footprint detailed fully in this related post.
To address this problem, we launched a new hotel program in advance of SOCAP16. For starters, we expanded the number discounted hotel blocks available to attendees through an upgraded SOCAP hotel site. Then TripZero used the travel agency commissions earned from bookings to finance a variety of certified carbon projects—including wind energy, forest protection and methane capture—to offset the impact of attendee travel. Among our favorites is the Southern Ute Tribe methane capture project. This collaboration between fellow B Corp NativeEnergy and the Southern Ute Tribe in Colorado, prevents huge quantities of methane from escaping into the atmosphere. And carbon offset purchases like ours make it possible.
Carbon Offset Totals from SOCAP16
The response to our inaugural program exceeded expectations. Attendees took advantage of specially discounted hotels across the city, collectively saving tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly, they enabled TripZero to offset over 3,400 tonnes of CO2. Those offsets erased the travel footprint of everyone who attended SOCAP, not just the attendees that booked a hotel through the program. That’s like eliminating the annual emissions of 718 cars or erasing the impact of burning 3,628,123 pounds of coal, according to the EPA calculator. Not bad for year one.
With this collective impact in mind, we’re delighted to bring this hotel program back for SOCAP17. We invite everyone to visit our travel page to learn more about our free carbon offsetting program and book from this year’s selection of nine significantly discounted hotels. And we encourage travelling attendees to book early, since we expect our hotel blocks to sell-out again this year.