Visitors to eco-show offset travel emissions - for free

Whether coming from China or Chesterfield, visitors to the Nemex sustainable energy exhibition in Birmingham this week had the chance to offset their travel emissions for free thanks to a generous offer from engine efficiency company Enersol.

Putting the principles behind the environmental eco-show into practice, Enersol teamed up with carbon offset company Carbon Clear and for each journey registered invested in a carbon-cutting project in Nicaragua.

The thousands travelling to Birmingham to see the latest in renewable energy innovation and other environmental technologies and services have the chance to reduce their own carbon footprint by registering at the event or going to the Enersol website.

"Rather than giving away more key rings, biros or notepads we thought we'd take a bit of a risk and offer to offset the journey to Nemex from anywhere in the world for anyone who's interested," Enersol's Steve Grant told edie.

With 3-4000 people expected to attend the Nemex show this year and a typical journey costing around £1 to offset, the scheme could prove costly for the company.

"So far it's working out really well, it's a great branding opportunity for us, it's adding something to the show and it's putting Carbon Clear and the concept of off-setting into people's minds," Steve Grant said.

For every kilogram of carbon emitted from journeys to the Nemex exhibition, part of the annual Sustainabilitylive! event at the NEC in Birmingham, Enersol is investing in a project that reduces the amount of wood being burnt in Nicaragua.

The project involves converting 20 brick-firing kilns in Nicaragua, which would normally be burning wood chopped down for the purpose, to run on agricultural waste like corn husks.

"Using the technology we are paying for and implementing the kilns will burn agricultural residues like corn husks and rice stalks that otherwise would have been thrown anyway," explained Mark Chadwick, CEO of carbon offsetting firm Carbon Clear.

"We've created together with a university in Nicaragua a device that you can feed these residues into and it blows them into the kiln to be burnt, increasing the efficiency of the combustion process," he said.

Like most of Carbon Clear's projects, the Nicaragua initiative is designed with social and financial benefits for the local community in mind, as well as environmental advantages on a global scale.

"The agricultural residues are a lot lower cost than wood so it actually improves incomes for the local artisan brick-makers. This way we hope we can let them employ more people and hopefully improve incomes in the wider community," Mark Chadwick explained.

From Enersol's point of view, carbon-offsetting their customers' and other Nemex visitors' emissions makes sense as a way of showing they are walking the walk: "We can't preach to people about environmental responsibility unless we are living the philosophy ourselves to the greatest of our abilities," Steve Grant said.

Enersol already offsets all of its own emissions, and has endeavoured to pay off its "carbon debt" and offset all of the CO2 it is responsible for since the company was founded.

For more information see here.

Carbon Clear's website can be accessed here.

Goska Romanowicz



Waste & resource management
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