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  • Forum Environmental Pledge

  • A History of Commitment

    At the first public meeting held in Aspen in June 1949, to celebrate the life and work of German humanist Johann von Goethe, participants signed a resolution, read by Thornton Wilder at the closing assembly, calling for "the formation of a world council of international relations to continue to the work pioneered at these sessions."

    In the spirit of the founding of the Aspen Institute, we call upon all attendees at the Aspen Environment Forum to do their part to help us reduce the environmental footprint of this event. We believe that our waste reduction and recycling activities can make a difference.

  • Reducing Our Impact

    The Aspen Environment Forum is proud to team with the City of Aspen in a concerted effort to reduce waste, use recycled materials, and offset the carbon emissions that the Forum attendees are estimated to produce through air travel, ground transportation, and the use of facilities in the Aspen. The goal of this effort, as well as others during the Forum, is to not only reduce the environmental impact but also to remind attendees that there are many things we each can do on our own to help ensure a healthy environment for future generations.

    Throughout the Forum, the Aspen Institute tracks waste and energy use. In 2008, the Forum composted 600 gallons — the majority — of food waste on site, and largely avoided individually packaged and disposable items to reduce paper and plastic waste. In addition, at the outset of the Forum, all attendees received aluminum bottles for refilling at water stations around campus throughout the Forum, and plastic water bottles were nowhere to be found. Transportation was also considered, as Forum participants were shuttled in hybrid vehicles and encouraged to walk and carpool to and from the event.

    Meals at the Forum are served using reusable dishes and linens, and when disposable cups are available, they are made from recycled and compostable materials. The Forum’s signage, posters, and program book are printed on 100 percent recycled materials, and leftover banners are made into tote bags after the event concludes.

  • The ZGreen Program

    The Aspen Environment Forum is a proud participant of the ZGreen Program, a multi-pronged program designed by the City of Aspen to reduce the environmental impact of Aspen’s residents, businesses, visitors and events. This unique program provides tangible ways to minimize environmental impacts, establishes a respected and transparent green certification and label, and offers the option of carbon neutrality through locally based carbon offsets–Canary Tags.

    For more information, visit www.aspenzgreen.com

  • Canary Tags

    In August 2007 the City of Aspen launched the first municipal government carbon offset program in the United States: Canary Tags. A voluntary carbon offset program, Canary Tags generates funding for carbon mitigation and capture technologies as well as renewable energy and efficiency projects in our regional community. Each Canary Tag represents an investment of this type that offsets one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. The program was initiated at the direction of the Aspen City Council and due to concerns over the quality and transparency of offsets available in the US market. Unlike the majority of other carbon offset programs currently available to the individual consumer, Canary Tags offers complete transparency in the allocation of funds and our investment portfolio (specific offset projects). For each dollar spent on Canary Tags, 90 cents goes directly to project investment, compared to an average of 30 to 40 cents in other for-profit carbon offset companies. Also, unlike other offset portfolios which are left intentionally vague, consumers of Canary Tags are able to review our offset portfolio online complete with descriptions and photos of each project. The value of transparency also carries over into the offset calculators. Each of the Canary Tag carbon calculators developed specifically for use in this program is consistent with calculation methodologies used in existing carbon markets, includes the most recent science, incorporates the carbon factors for our local and regional utilities, and adheres to nationally accepted fuel factors.

    For more information, visit www.canarytags.com

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