Team GB Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls lead call for ticketholders to neutralise their travel carbon footprint to the games
In supporting the ambition for London 2012 to be the most sustainable Games possible, BP Target Neutral announced today that they are inviting London 2012 ticket holders, from across the world, to try and set a new world record for the most number of people offsetting their travel carbon to a single event.
In so doing, BP’s not-for-profit Target Neutral carbon management scheme is seeking to create awareness of the environmental impact of all journeys and will invite ticket holders to sign up to have their travel carbon footprint offset at no cost to themselves.
As the London 2012 official Carbon Offset Partner, BP Target Neutral will be providing the administration and funds to offset the carbon emissions from Games-related travel of ticket holders. The more people that sign up, the more Target Neutral can support low carbon development projects worldwide.
A personal invitation to participate will be emailed by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to ticket holders on Monday, October 3, inviting them to take part in this unprecedented world record attempt.
Team GB hopeful and BP athlete ambassador William Sharman said: “I am a huge advocate of Target Neutral – reducing and offsetting our own carbon footprint is one small step to helping save the planet that we all live on. If everyone does their bit the impact will be significant – and what better way to start than by offsetting your journey to the 2012 Olympic Games in London – if every one of the spectators signs up for BP’s not-for-profit scheme in just a couple of clicks millions of people will be making a real difference.”
While the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has come to an end, the large amount of environmental damage is likely to affect the region for decades, local environmentalists have claimed. BP has pledged to assist local communities and regional cities in cleaning up from the disaster, with a series of funds and private grants issued to cities that have seen their environment and economy hurt by the spill.
Mississippi, one of the states most heavily affected by the spill, has been given a $3 million grant from BP to encourage tourism-based advertising and promotion within the state. While the state’s coastline has been largely cleaned, the spill has caused a public relations nightmare for coastline tour companies, accommodation providers, and regional transportation businesses.
BP’s donation seems in many ways to be a symbolic gesture – the company has spent billions of dollars cleaning the gulf itself and ensuring that the well no longer leaks into the ocean. With the tourism industry slowly recovering – most visibly in Florida – it seems unusual that such a small grant is likely to have any effect on a national level.
For Mississippi’s struggling tourism industry, however, the grant is certainly a welcome gesture from the oil major. Visitors to the state have been surprisingly high, albeit still below targets that were set preceding the disaster. Local governments are aiming to use the funds efficiently, setting the bar relatively high and looking towards projected figures as a potential target.
The grant comes alongside a $15 million donation made to state authorities earlier in the year, one of several paid out within the United States. Fighting a public relations disaster, the oil company is looking to the affected states as a recovery opportunity, vowing to help move their tourism sectors back to profitability, stable occupancy, and environmental health.