Auckland, December 2012 - Conference organizers and event planners throughout New Zealand now have the option of holding their events at carbon neutral meeting venues. Mercure’s new carbon neutral meeting initiative is the first of its kind for a major hotel chain in New Zealand, and it is intended to meet the growing demand for environmentally conscious meeting venues from New Zealand’s business leaders.
As New Zealanders are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint, and how their everyday activities contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, those who organize and plan conferences and events are looking for ways to reduce or offset their carbon emissions. In order to meet this demand, Mercure is partnering with the Carbon Reduction Institute to help organizers neutralize the carbon footprints of their events by providing complimentary carbon offsets.
Mercure operates this service by working with the Carbon Reduction Institute to calculate the carbon emissions related to the use of a hotel’s meeting facilities. These calculations take account of the energy used for ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting for any particular event. They also include the emissions related to the beverages and food that are supplied during the course of the event.
The exact figures are produced by comparing a complete inventory of the event with data provided by the Ministry for the Environment, academic institutions and industry sources. Once the calculations are made, the emissions are offset through the purchase of certified carbon credits that are in line with the internationally accepted Voluntary Carbon Standard.
One unique aspect of Mercure’s offering is that the cost of the offsets is not passed along to an event’s organizers. Instead, Mercure is providing the funds for the offsets as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability. According to the hotel chain’s marketing manager, Alana Bevan, “Mercure is dedicated to providing its clients with the assurances they need to hold carbon neutral events and meetings. By participating in this program, we are demonstrating our commitment to servicing all the needs of our clients, including those that are not immediately apparent.”
The purchase of carbon credits in this system works to offset each event’s carbon footprint by providing for Energy Mad’s Household Energy Efficient Lighting Project, or HELP. HELP aims to alleviate the issue of global climate change by increasing the availability of Ecobulbs, which are high-performance light bulbs that are designed to replace incandescent bulbs. The initiative works by creating partnerships between retail outlets and electricity producers to offer the bulbs at a discounted rate to consumers.
By holding events at one of Mercure’s meeting and conference venues in New Zealand, organizers are able to offset the negative environmental impact of their events by indirectly funding this initiative. While an event may use energy from fossil fuels, it is contributing to a program that is reducing landfill waste and fossil fuel energy generation thanks to the use of inefficient incandescent light bulbs. According to Mercure’s marketing manager, “Mercure hotels offset the environmental impact of its events by promoting more widespread energy efficiency.”
About Mercure Hotels
Mercure is an international leader in the hospitality industry that operates hotels throughout New Zealand. Mercure’s locations that offer its carbon neutral meetings program include Mercure Auckland, Mercure Wellington, Mercure Willington Willis Street, Mercure Picton Marlborough Sounds, Mercure Queenstown Resort and Mercure Dunedin.
For more information please visit www.mercuremeetings.co.nz or contact Alana Bevan on + 64 (09) 358 8008.