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Travelocity First Major Online Travel Company to Offer Carbon Offsets During Checkout
Proceeds Help Regenerate Forests and Wetlands for Future Generations and to Reduce Carbon Impact on Global Warming

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2006


Contacts:
Alyson Briggs, (alyson@vollmerpr.com) (972) 488-4790
Andrea Collins, (andrea@vollmerpr.com) (212) 715-2222
Jena Thompson, (jthompson@conservationfund.org) (703) 908-5809
Tom MacKenzie, (tom_mackenzie@fws.gov) USFWS ( 404) 679-729


SOUTHLAKE, Texas (Aug. 29, 2006) – To support the growing number of customers concerned with global warming or simply with re-generating forests, wetlands and other elements of nature, Travelocity is the first major online travel company to allow customers to purchase “carbon offsets” during the checkout process when they buy travel.

The program, called Go Zero, allows customers to effectively “zero out” or offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated by their flight, hotel, or car usage through a donation to The Conservation Fund, which then plants trees that absorb carbon dioxide.

“We are very pleased to see a major travel company like Travelocity leading the charge to regenerate forests and wetlands that can be used by future generations, but that also helps address climate change,” said Larry Selzer, president of The Conservation Fund.

“We see this as a positive program all around, whether someone is concerned with global warming or simply cares about re-generating our nation’s forests and wetlands and the wildlife that inhabits them, said Michelle Peluso, president and CEO of Travelocity. “This is a first step in providing options to passionate travelers who can band together to have a tremendous positive impact in the world.”

The carbon offsets are offered as an option that customers can elect to add on at the end of their trip package purchase. Travelocity will give ALL proceeds to The Conservation Fund, and is providing a link to The Conservation Fund web site, where donations can be made independent of any travel purchase. Go Zero purchases are fully tax deductible.

Travelocity has also purchased carbon offsets for its own corporate travel with a donation to the Go Zero program. The first grove of Travelocity trees will be planted in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge, which is located 45 miles north of New Orleans, LA. These permanently protected lands provide important wildlife habitat for migratory birds including the Prothonotary and Swainson's Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and White-eyed Vireo. The Refuge is also an excellent travel destination, offering extraordinary opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, hiking, fishing and wildlife watching.
http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=43616

"We are excited about this creative partnership with Travelocity and The Conservation Fund that will augment our terrestrial carbon sequestration program," said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Travelocity customers will help address global climate change by reforesting one of the south's most beautiful wetlands, and will enhance Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.”

About Go Zero

As part of its Climate Change Program, The Conservation Fund launched Go Zero to engage people around the world -- companies, communities and individuals -- in the effort to combat global warming. Simply put, Go Zero measures the carbon dioxide emissions of virtually any slice of life, including travel related activities such as air and automobile transportation and hotel rooms. The Conservation Fund then offsets that impact on climate change by planting trees, which absorb tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide as they grow.

These newly created forests do more than just address global warming they leave a lasting legacy by restoring important wildlife habitat, enhancing outdoor recreation areas and improving air and water quality. Through this program, the Fund has protected more than 25,000 acres and planted five million trees, which will sequester nearly seven million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years. To learn more about The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program, please visit www.gocarbonzero.org.

About The Conservation Fund

Founded more than 20 years ago, The Conservation Fund is dedicated to protecting America’s natural, cultural and historic heritage. Since 1985, the Fund has preserved more than 5.3 million acres of the nation’s most important landscapes and waterways – ranging from national parks and wildlife refuges to community open space and recreation areas. For the past five years, the American Institute of Philanthropy has recognized The Conservation Fund as the top-rated environmental nonprofit for its unsurpassed efficiency and effectiveness. In 2005, the Fund also received the highest “four star” grade from Charity Navigator.

About Travelocity

Travelocity® is committed to being the traveler’s champion – before, during and after the trip – and guarantees everything about a customer’s booking will be right. If it’s not, Travelocity will work with its partners to make it right, right away. This customer-driven focus, backed by live 24/7 phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the fifth largest travel agency in the U.S. – booking $7.4 billion in travel worldwide in 2005. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity BusinessSM and GetThere® for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG), a world leader in travel commerce.

About US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. Visit the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov.


Bogue Chitto NWR -- FWS photos
Tour Scenic Bogue Chitto swamp Hobolochitto Beech Magnolia

 


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