Thursday, 19 April 2007

Eurostar You're a Star

from a Eurostar Press Release:
- Speaking today, Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown announced a target of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25 percent per traveller journey by 2012; the CO2 impact of a Eurostar rail journey between London and Paris or Brussels is already at least 10 times less than the equivalent journey by plane.
- Friends of the Earth executive director Tony Juniper said: “It’s great news that Eurostar is leading the way in the travel industry with its initiative to cut passengers’ carbon emissions by actually making a real reduction rather than just offsetting. It’s easy for travellers to go green by opting for the train instead of taking short-haul flights.”

Fantastic news and it also really puts domestic flights in perspective.

Like most people reading, I'm trying to tackle my carbon footprint. And those who have been following that strand will know that the major thing I am aiming to do is cutting out overseas conferences. I'll still have to travel occasionally for work but its so much more justified than those huge long trips for a 45 minute speech on whatever. There may be exceptions when it feels like a really important opportunity to spread the green marketing gospel. But I'm not Al Gore lets face it and even he made a film, to cut the need to do those extra speaker miles.

There was just one conference I didnt want to miss; its a three day retreat with some senior banking execs, and not only is a fantastic event (I've been before, it has amazing stuff on economic, political & social trends - lots of stuff on sustainability this time around) but I have a number of green schemes in mind which could potentially tie in with innovative financial products; eg energy efficiency improvements tied to a loan/mortgage equity release type thing. The only problem and its a nice problem to have once you are there, is it's in Provence in the South of France.

I've decided to get the train & indeed it turns out, if I get the first Eurostar in the morning I can just about make it for the second course of the opening night dinner. Just imagine how much reading you could get done on such a trip too! I may even have time for a quick lunch in Paris. Plus now I can feel double good about it because its using 10 times less carbon, and giving a fare's worth of margin to a company that's trying that bit harder.


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