Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Golden Arrow Retires 132 Tons of Carbon Dioxide

The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, New York retired 132 tons of carbon dioxide for the month of December 2008. The Golden Arrow accomplished this by working jointly with the Adirondack Council and their Cool Park/ Healthy Planet Carbon Retirement Program. The program was created by the Adirondack Council to prevent thousands of tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted by power plants from Maine to Delaware.

The Golden Arrow committed to retire enough carbon credits to offset the total number of occupied room nights for the month of December. It has been estimated that the there are 100 lbs of carbon emitted per room night. The Golden Arrow had a goal to retire 100 tons of carbon credits through the program. A total of 2590 rooms were occupied at the resort for the month of December.

The resort through the program permanently retired 132 tons, which was almost one third more than their original goal. It was their objective to make guests and the public to understand that they can really help make a difference.
The Golden Arrow made a donation of $1100 to the Cool Park/Healthy Planet Carbon Retirement Program. What made the Adirondack Council’s program unique was that it removed actual carbon credits that power companies in the northeast had been able to purchase to give them the right to emit carbon. Through the Adirondack Councils Cool Park/Healthy Planet Program, these are now permanently retired which is a major benefit to the environment.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been the first government-mandated carbon dioxide control program in the United States. It requires power plant emissions reductions in New York and nine other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Over a period of years, the 10 states will work to steadily reduce their power plant carbon emissions through a “cap-and-trade” program. Founded in 1975, the Adirondack Council has been a leading environmental research, education and advocacy organization with members in all 50 United States. The Adirondack Council’s Cool Park/Healthy Planet Program has allowed the public to help quicken the pace of those reductions. Every year, power plants in the region must purchase one “carbon allowance” for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit. The number of allowances available at auction each year will be reduced, until the emissions reduction goal is reached which is 10 percent in the region by 2019.

As supplies are reduced, the price will rise, making it more affordable for power plant owners to eliminate carbon emissions than to continue buying allowances. To speed this process, the Adirondack Council participated in the kick-off auction alongside the power plants and bought 1,000 tons’ worth of allowances that were offered in groups of three tons each for $25.

As part of the program the Golden Arrow will receive a serial number as proof of their contribution. The Council does not sell the allowances to donors, but retires them in the donor’s name. Certificates have no cash value, but simply proof of a good deed toward a healthier environment.

Since the start of their “Green” program in 2005, The Golden Arrow has made significant advances in their Green Initiatives. They are a leader in green efforts throughout the North Country and have set high expectations for other green hotels and resorts nationally in their quest to preserve the valuable resources provided by the lush region of the Adirondack Mountains. The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort recently received the Environmental Excellence Award from New York State. They are the only resort in the United States to have achieved a 4-Green Leaf rating from International Audubon.


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