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One Good Green Path to Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Travel

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 15 April 2011

These days there’s a lot of lip service being paid to taking personal and business responsibility for one’s carbon footprint. Sadly, there’s really just not a great deal of walking the talk. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t changing. In commendable contrast to ‘veneer environmentalists,’ a growing number of individuals and businesses take very seriously their commitment to making a minimal impact on the world around them.

Green Path Transfers logo

In this spirit and in keeping with a company vision to help build a sustainable and responsible travel industry, Green Path Transfers launched a bit more than a month ago as a global provider of eco-friendly airport transfers and ground transportation.

Global Green Chassis

As the newest subsidiary of the WHL Group, Green Path Transfers leverages five years of expertise in sustainable tourism to answer the needs of leisure and business travellers seeking cost-effective ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Through a straightforward online system showing real-time availability and returning instantly confirmed bookings, Green Path Transfers offers the competitively priced choice of local transfer operators all across the globe committed to environmental sustainability, especially through the use of low-carbon-emission fuels or engines.

Appreciating that some local partners do not yet have green-technology fleets (especially in emerging economies), Green Path Transfers has an additional 100% carbon-offset emissions policy. Through verified third-party carbon-offset organisations like atmosfair and Blue Ventures, Green Path Transfers brings customers peace of mind with the knowledge that their trips are helping to fund clean-energy projects worldwide, from solar energy programs in India to hydraulic irrigation systems for rural farmers in China.

“It’s crucial for us to embrace green and cleaner technologies and modes of transport for the long-term health of the planet,” says Adrian Cordiner, CEO of this far-reaching network of transfer operators. “As transport is a main emitter of carbon, it’s a natural place to start in order to try to make a dent in global carbon emissions.”

An ecoShuttle van, Portland Oregon

The ecoShuttle nine-passenger van heads into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Photo courtesy of ecoShuttle

Local Green Wheels

As a truly global network of existing service-minded transfer and ground transportation businesses, Green Path Transfers unifies its local partners around a goal to go ‘green’. This takes places without losing sight of maintaining top-quality fleets that assure comfort, quality and competency, even (sometimes against expectations) in the cases where they consist of low-carbon-emissions vehicles run on alternative-fuel engine systems.

The green technology currently in use by Green Path Transfers partners includes:

  • vehicles powered by recycled vegetable oil by Portland, Oregon’s ecoShuttle and San Diego, California’s Wherever Shuttle;
  • engines running on renewable, non-toxic and all-natural fuels like biodiesel and ethanol in Colorado’s Vail Valley by Green Limousine, Il Viaggio Travel in Costa Rica, and Executive Transportation in Denver, Colorado;
  • Ultra-Low and Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs and SULEVs) and alternative-fuel cars using compressed natural gas (CNG) by Los Angeles-based Naturalimo and San Francisco-centred Green Carpet Limousine;
  • hybrids on the streets of Toronto under the Eco Taxi label and the calles of Barcelona with Taxi Ecológico.

Going the Whole Green Distance

Green Path Transfers is currently operational in nearly 40 destinations around the world, but contracted to begin service in many more with a target of reaching 100-plus by the end of 2011. This is aided by Green Path Transfers’ discovery of small ground-transportation and transfers operators, often at the very local level, with clean-technology vehicles and/or a desire to move in that direction.

“In designing the airport transfers business, we noted the increasing number of ‘green’ transfer and taxi companies appearing around the world and had the idea to try and bring as many of these into one big global family as we could,” commented Cordiner in a Tnooz Tlabs Showcase of Green Path Transfers. “Doing this we could leverage our collective presence to push a very visible green transfer option to the world. We also saw the chance to take the learning from the developed world to support those in the developing world who were keen to learn about green options but had no access to learning.”

Seth Bounds, CEO of Green Limousine.

Seth Bounds, CEO of Green Limousine, stands near a Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid before stunning Vail Valley scenery in Colorado

An important goal is then to give “them access to the technology to plug them into global markets.”

“Every little bit helps,” Cordiner adds. “We hope that, by being an industry leader in the use and support of cleaner technology, both in transfers and through offsets, we will inspire others to follow suit.”

Meeting Green Needs

Green Path Transfers is designed for conscientious travellers and businesses keen to hit the road confident that, for rates equal to those of other global providers, their travel to and from airports, ship ports, bus stations, train stations and border crossings, as well as between cities and countries, is in good hands and that they’ve made a beneficial earth-conscious choice.

Perfectly aligned with businesses that have clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility policies that extend to their choice of suppliers, Green Path Transfers and its strong commitment to environmental sustainability are clear winners.

Leading travel providers, travel agencies and reservations specialists will find even more reasons and incentives to work with Green Path Transfers, including a green transportation alternative offered at competitive prices; the convenience of one central point of contact for contracting and invoicing of a global product; the comfort of full insurance coverage; and attractive commissions for distribution partners.

To learn more about Green Path Transfers and how be part of carbon-neutral travel arrangements that emphasise green technology, visit www.GreenPathTransfers.com.

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Ethan Gelber

In addition to his freelance travel writing (Lonely Planet author, ex-AFAR Ambassador, Huffington Post Travel blogger and more), Ethan has agitated tirelessly for responsible/sustainable travel practices, family travel, keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. Among many other things, Ethan is editorial director of the Family Travel Association, a co-founder of OutBounding, and tackles content projects for HomeExchange.com and RW Social, which produces the NY Trav Fest. Previously, Ethan was Chief Communications Officer of the WHL Group, for which he founded and edited The Travel Word (this now-independent blog); publications manager of the French government tourist office (Atout France) in NYC; and helped manage a Paris-based bicycle tour operator.
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