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London 2012 spectators invited to set new carbon offset world record

Release date:
29 September 2011

In supporting the ambition for London 2012 to be the most sustainable Games possible, BP Target Neutral announced today that they are inviting London 2012 ticketholders, from across the world, to try and set a new world record for the most number of people offsetting their travel carbon to a single event.


In so doing, BP’s not-for-profit Target Neutral carbon management scheme is seeking to create awareness of the environmental impact of all journeys and will invite ticketholders to sign up to have their travel carbon footprint offset at no cost to themselves.


As the London 2012 official Carbon Offset Partner, BP Target Neutral will be providing the administration and funds to offset the carbon emissions from Games-related travel of ticketholders. The more people that sign up, the more Target Neutral can support low carbon development projects worldwide.


A personal invitation to participate will be emailed by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to ticketholders on Monday, October 3, inviting them to take part in this unprecedented world record attempt.


Team GB hopeful and BP athlete ambassador William Sharman said: "I am a huge advocate of Target Neutral – reducing and offsetting our own carbon footprint is one small step to helping save the planet that we all live on. If everyone does their bit the impact will be significant – and what better way to start than by offsetting your journey to the 2012 Olympic Games in London – if every one of the spectators signs up for BP’s not-for-profit scheme in just a couple of clicks millions of people will be making a real difference."


Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: "Sustainability underpins all of our plans – and has done since the bid. BP’s Target Neutral scheme is a fantastic opportunity for millions to offset their carbon footprint and help London 2012 to inspire positive social, economic and environmental change for the future."


Peter Mather, BP’s Head of Country, UK, announcing the initiative, said: "We want to encourage people to play their part in tackling the impact of their travel on our environment. Today's announcement supports Target Neutral’s overriding ambition that, through collective action, individuals can work together to make a real difference to the environment as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint, and then offset what is left.


"We believe this mass offset opportunity will raise awareness about the challenge we all face in living more sustainably and will engage people who might never before have thought about the carbon impact of their travel choices. We need every spectator to sign up, so London 2012 becomes the world's largest offset as measured by number of participants."


The British Olympic Association has taken up the challenge and all of Team GB will be reducing and offsetting their carbon, as they journey to the Team GB Preparation Camp at Loughborough and to the London 2012 Olympic athlete village.


In particular, some outstanding British Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls - Jessica Ennis, Lizzie Armitstead, Richard Whitehead, Shelly Woods, Stef Reid and William Sharman - are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint and sharing their experiences.


All carbon emissions will be offset from a portfolio of six carbon offset projects that have been chosen to represent each continental region participating in the Games. These projects have been carefully selected and are compliant with ICROA Code of Best Practice.


Ticketholders should visit www.bptargetneutral.com/london2012 or Facebook page http://on.fb.me/BPtargetneutral to register their journey to the Olympics and be part of making London 2012 the most sustainable Games possible.


Further information


Editors notes

1. About BP Target Neutral


 BP Target Neutral was set up in 2006 as part of BP’s broader commitment to practical sustainability. It is a not-for-profit carbon management program, which encourages consumers to reduce, replace and neutralise their carbon emissions from transport. BP covers Target Neutral’s operating costs. That’s important because it means that when people use Target Neutral to offset their carbon, all the money paid to offset is used to support genuine carbon offset projects that also have positive local environmental and socio-economic benefits.


BP Target Neutral is a founding member of ICROA, the International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance which has recently merged with IETA, the International Emissions Trading Association. Target Neutral is audited against the ICROA Code of Best Practice annually and is currently the only not-for-profit member.


Target Neutral’s work is governed by an Independent Advisory and Assurance Panel of prominent environmental and industry experts. The Panel ensures that all policies and activities conform to best practice in carbon management, and where possible will set new standards for that best practice: members of Target Neutral can be confident they are making a real contribution to a sustainable future.


2. About the London 2012 offset


 The world record attempt supports Target Neutral’s overriding ambition that, through collective action, individuals can work together to make a real difference for the environment as they reduce, replace and neutralise their carbon footprint.


Spectators heading to the Games from across the world will be asked to confirm where they are travelling from and their CO2 emissions will then be calculated to be offset by BP at no cost to the individual. This aims to raise awareness of carbon emissions relating to travel choices and the ways to reduce and offset them among a wide and varied audience.


Whether travelling by planes, cars or public transport to London 2012, spectators will be able to offset their carbon emissions free of charge by simply registering their journey on the Target Neutral website or via the Facebook page from 3 October 2011. Ticketholders will be invited to join the scheme online, where they will also find simple tips to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint.


The travel footprint estimate is based on LOCOG’s foot printing study of March 2010. A full methodology statement used to calculate journey emissions on a per country basis was developed for BP Target Neutral by Environmental Resource Management (ERM), is available in the press packs and at www.bptargetneutral.com/london2012.


Ernst & Young has reviewed the Target Neutral London 2012 spectator programme in order to provide an objective assessment of BP's description of the assumptions, method and reporting principles used within ERM's methodology.


3. About record-setting measurement and carbon offset mechanics


 The programme aims to offset the carbon footprint of millions of spectators and Games participants generated through their journeys to the Games. BP Target Neutral is aiming to set a world record for the largest number of people participating to offset carbon emissions associated with travel to an event. So, the more people that get behind the scheme the more impressive the record will be, leaving a legacy that all future Olympic Games can follow. Research suggests it is the first time the setting of a world record such as this has been attempted.