Government launches new sustainability certification, praises Intrepid as trailblazers in carbon offsetting

The wind field of the mountain ridge. High angle aerial photography.

The government has launched a new initiative to help consumers make informed, voluntary carbon neutral choices.

Launched last week, the Climate Active brand is a certification that shows an organisation, product or service, event, precinct or building has met all certification requirements in achieving zero carbon emissions.

Formally known as the Carbon Neutral certification, the program has been relaunched with a new logo and brand, designed to be more recognisable and better inform choices.

In a statement, the government-run initiative praised Intrepid for being a leader in sustainable travel, becoming carbon neutral in 2010 after establishing its own carbon management program. In 2018, the company received certification through what was then called Carbon Neutral certification.

“Given the travel industry is a significant source of global carbon emissions, we are always seeking opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, and being carbon neutral certified is yet another acknowledgment of our commitment to the environment, and will hopefully inspire other travel organisations to follow our lead,” Intrepid chief executive James Thornton said.

“A key company goal is for Intrepid to become Climate Positive by 2020, which means we will be offsetting 125 per cent of our emissions.”

Along with offsetting emissions across 41 international offices and its Melbourne headquarters, the company also measured and offset emissions stemming from its tours to 120 countries on all seven continents, accounting for emissions from overnight stays in community-run lodges through to rickshaw rides, offsetting almost 34,924 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions last year. Intrepid continues to focus on reducing its emissions and offsets its footprint by investing in six renewable energy projects, from rainforest restoration in Borneo to savannah burning in Arnhem Land, Australia.

“Climate change is real and it’s our responsibility to help preserve the planet for the next generation of travellers and the communities that call these places home. As the world’s largest adventure travel group we can spread the importance of this message to all corners of the globe and hopefully encourage our travellers to support other like-minded businesses bearing the carbon-neutral trademark,” Thornton said.

Climate Active director Daniel Sheedy said certification represented climate leadership by businesses voluntarily committing to Australia’s most credible carbon management program.

“Climate Active is the most rigorous and credible voluntary carbon management and certification program in Australia,” Sheedy said.

“Businesses can help drive change by undertaking Climate Active certification, signalling a commitment to an environmentally-sustainable future for consumers of their goods and services.

“More than 16 million tonnes of carbon have been offset by Australian businesses and companies that are members of the Climate Active network over the past decade. That’s the equivalent of taking every car off Sydney’s roads for one year.”

Some of Australia’s biggest businesses have been certified carbon neutral through the program, including ANZ, NAB, Qantas, Swiss Wellness, and GTP Group.

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