;
Press release for immediate distribution

Planetair launches a guide for organizers
of carbon-neutral festivals and events

Montreal, Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - Last year, Planetair, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) and Rio Tinto Alcan launched a pilot project aimed at making the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal carbon-neutral. It served to demonstrate the possibilities and as the basis for producing a guide, information tools and training sessions geared to all Quebec festival organizers wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. For its part, Rio Tinto Alcan committed to a three-year agreement to finance the purchase of the Festival’s carbon credits.

Guide des festivals et événements carboneutres (in French only)

As part of the pilot project conducted through this innovative partnership with the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and based on the Festival’s experience, Planetair has developed a guide for festival and event organizers to assist them in their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, in three steps: by quantifying their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-in other words, by drawing up their event’s climate profile-, by reducing these emissions, and lastly, by offsetting the non-reducible emissions through the purchase of carbon credits that are recognized for the purpose of neutralizing the impact on climate. An online calculation tool complements the guide (see www.planetair.ca, in the Events section).

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, a model of carbon-neutrality

With help from Planetair, the leading vendor of Gold Standard carbon credits in Canada, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal calculated the GHG emissions generated by its 2008 edition and neutralized them by investing in the development of three micro hydro-electric generating stations in China. It did so by purchasing Gold Standard offset credits, the highest international standard in this regard. The GHG generated by the Festival will therefore be offset by the production of clean, renewable hydro-electricity to replace energy produced by highly polluting coal combustion. This project was selected jointly with Rio Tinto Alcan, which contributed $47,000 to the purchase of the offset credits.

According to Véronique Morin, project director at Planetair, “The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has always played a leadership role in environmental matters, and its current efforts to calculate and neutralize its impact on climate are another sign of this leadership.”

It is Planetair, the Canadian partner of myclimate, which provided the credits, and Rio Tinto Alcan, one of the Festival’s main sponsors, which financed their purchase. The Festival, Rio Tinto Alcan and Planetair will also work together to make the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Festival carbon-neutral.

Of the 1,267 tonnes of GHG generated by the 2008 edition of the Festival, 74% resulted from artists’ travel from their home towns to Montreal. The other sources of the emissions were the food and beverages served during the Festival (7%), office operations and business trips (5%), home/office/site trips made by employees (5%), residual materials generated (4%), artists’ lodging (3%) and the operation of the vehicle fleet and equipment (2%).

The efforts made by the Festival and Rio Tinto Alcan form part of Planetair’s pilot project, which was partly funded by the Fonds québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD).

About Planetair

Montreal-based Planetair is the leading provider of Gold Standard carbon credits and the premier bilingual, pan-Canadian offset credit provider. Planetair has set itself a mission of serving as a quality reference organization on the carbon offset credit market in Canada. It invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and has been ranked as one of the best offset credit providers in North America by carboncatalog.org for the quality of its offset credits and transparency of its services. Planetair is the exclusive representative in Canada of myclimate, regularly rated among the top offset credit providers in the world.

Planetair’s clients include environmental industry leaders such as Al Gore’s Climate Project-Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and Équiterre, as well as institutional and private leaders such as BC Hydro, Bell Canada, Concordia University, Deloitte, Desjardins, Edelman, Grand & Toy, the Marché climatique de Montréal, Nissan Canada, DundeeWealth, PricewaterhouseCoopers, NATIONAL Relations Publiques, the Quebec City and Toronto conference centres and the Université de Sherbrooke.

Planetair is a program of the International Unisféra Centre, a non-profit research and consulting centre whose mission is to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development.

About Rio Tinto Alcan

With over 100 years of experience and expertise to its credit, Rio Tinto Alcan stands as the global leader in the aluminium business. It supplies top-quality bauxite, alumina and aluminum worldwide, and its AP electrolysis technology is the industry benchmark. The company is committed to improving the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the communities in which it operates around the world. Rio Tinto Alcan is the aluminium products group of Rio Tinto, a major international corporation active at each stage of the metal and mineral production process. Its main products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, coal, iron ore, uranium, gold and industrial minerals.

About FAQDD

The Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to generate and financially support buoyant structuring projects that, with a view to sustainable development, aim to modify practices and change both individual and collective behaviours.

The FAQDD seeks to implement actions that will encourage individuals and communities to change their behaviours as part of a sustainable development process.

Through its actions, the FAQDD hopes to promote the formation of partnerships between the non-profit organizations active in sustainable development, and particularly, research centres, social economy enterprises, private companies, municipalities, unions, ministries and other government agencies.

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