BURLINGTON, Vermont—NativeEnergy has launched a new joint venture – NativeEnergy Travel Offsets, LLC– with leading ecotourism and adventure travel experts, Megan Epler Wood and Richard G. Edwards, to deliver NativeEnergy’s unique brand of carbon offsets to the travel industry.
The company’s first client will be the Vermont bus company Lamoille Valley Transportation (LVT) of Morrisville, Vermont which has become the first carbon-neutral private motor coach operator in the world. With the help of University of Vermont Extension, LVT has calculated emissions for every mile it drives. After first converting their bus fleet to biodiesel in January 2000, LVT is now purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset all of its carbon emissions for 2007.
LVT chose to purchase its REC’s from Vermont-based NativeEnergy Travel Offsets. “We are thrilled to have LVT as our first client,” said Megan Epler Wood, of NativeEnergy Travel Offsets. “These funds will go to support renewable energy projects that directly reduce our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
Norm Prive, owner of the ten-bus fleet, said ”The use of biodiesel fuel was only the beginning of our company’s commitment to being responsible stewards of the earth we all enjoy.” Bus industry veteran Paul Provost, a manager with LVT, is justifiably proud. He stated, “LVT provides great service to its customers, jobs for Vermonters, and now is demonstrating its concern for the environment. I am pleased LVT will join a growing list of Vermont companies leading the charge in this effort.”
Dave Kestenbaum from the University of Vermont has been working with LVT from the beginning. Kestenbaum stated, “A lot of people may not realize motorcoaches average 160 passenger-miles per gallon; these vehicles are already some of the most environmentally-friendly ways to travel. Working with a company like LVT is especially exciting because, not only are they operating very efficient buses, but they are going farther by using biodiesel and offsetting greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. This is a company that really cares and is taking a lead in an important sector of the transportation industry.”
Kestenbaum believes consumers will support companies like LVT that are going green and substituting the use of imported oil. He hopes that LVT’s efforts will be good for both the environment and business.
Epler Wood states, “We are especially pleased to be launching our company with a Vermont client, and we believe Vermont is taking leadership in making the United States a more environmentally conscious country where commerce and conservation can be combined.”
Epler Wood’s partner, Richard E. Edwards, a well-known marketing expert in the travel industry states, “Our firm, NativeEnergy Travel Offsets will deliver the unique NativeEnergy brand of high quality, competitively priced carbon offsets to the travel industry,” comments Edwards. “We are helping build new wind turbine projects right now in Alaska Native villages and on the Rosebud Sioux reservation. Travel industry members can work with NET O to purchase offsets that directly help build clean energy sources,” he adds.
Tom Boucher, president of NativeEnergy comments, “Our company’s all-consuming passion is to get more wind turbines and other renewable energy systems built, and we designed a unique business model that enables our customers to do just that.” Boucher and NativeEnergy co-founder Tom Stoddard immediately saw the potential of partnering with Epler Wood and Richard Edwards to serve the travel industry.
“We have already developed a brand image that delivers concrete environmental and sustainable economic development results,” comments Tom Stoddard. “Companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Aveda, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar, Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and performing artists including Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies, have all joined NativeEnergy in the fight against global warming because they know they make a real difference working with us. We are looking forward to the opportunity of delivering carbon offsets to the travel industry through NET O,” Stoddard adds.
Megan Epler Wood oversaw the formation of The International Ecotourism Society, www.ecotourism.org, in 1990, the first and largest ecotourism NGO in the world dedicated to ecotourism, and was its president for 12 years developing a membership program in over 100 countries, workshops and stakeholder meetings that reached tens of thousands, and an international communications program that reached millions. Since 2003, Megan’s firm EplerWood International www.eplerwood.com has worked in Asia, Africa and Latin America advising nations on developing sustainable tourism with support from the World Bank and USAID. The firm’s clients also include governments, NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy, and inter-governmental agencies such as United Nations Environment Programme.
Richard spent ten years as a sustainable development economist and marketing specialist in Latin America for the Organization of American States. His more recent work is focused on the private sector, including heading the sales of a pioneering ecotourism operator and consulting with operators, hotels and ecolodges to market effectively in a technology-driven world. Currently he is VP of Wildland Adventures (www.wildland.com), one of the most awarded sustainable tour operators in the world. He is also Executive Director of Trusted Adventures (www.trustedadventures.com), an alliance of top adventure travel companies, each recognized as world leaders in their regions and expertise. Richard was named a 2006 Top Travel Specialist by Condé Nast Traveler for his efforts in sustainable tourism in Central America.
Native American majority-owned, NativeEnergy is a national marketer of renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets, offering individuals and organizations a means to compensate for their global warming pollution, or to effectively power their homes and businesses with renewable energy. NativeEnergy’s unique business process brings upfront payment to renewable projects for their estimated future REC or offset output, enabling its customers to help directly finance the construction of new wind farms and other renewable energy projects that directly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to meet the nation’s electricity needs. NativeEnergy is the choice of leading environmentally and socially responsible organizations, including the film AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (www.ClimateCrisis.net), Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Stonyfield Farm, Interface, Aveda, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Co-op America, NRDC, the Clinton Global Initiative, Bonnaroo Festival, and thousands of individuals. NativeEnergy also offers Green-e certified RECs from operating wind farms and Climate Neutral Network certified offsets from operating CO2 mitigation projects.
Online at: www.nativeenergy.com
About David Kestenbaum
Dave Kestenbaum from the University of Vermont has been working with LVT and is developing a certification program for providers of green transportation services. On June 20, 2007, LVT will become the first operator in the country to be certified by the University of Vermont’s Green Coach Certification program. During the certification event, another biodiesel bus will be certified – one carrying 12 interns from the Morris K Udall Foundation who are part of a year-long celebration of public service, featuring projects nationwide carried out by scholarship and internship alumni in honor of the 10^th anniversary of the Foundation’s education programs. Together, these events will demonstrate the viability of biodiesel use by the motorcoach industry. Native Energy Travel Offsets will be partnering with this initiative.Follow and Share with Jetsettersblog.