Lima, Peru– May 4, 2007:- In honor of Earth Day 2007, INKATERRA, Peru’s foremost ecotourism company, has become the first carbon-neutral travel provider in Peru. “Inkaterra has made the decision to offset permanently all hotel guest stays as well as our own business operations, including transportation, electricity consumption and waste generation – through a U.S.-based non-profit company called Sustainable Travel International (STI),” says JosÃ© Koechlin, Inkaterra’s founder. “What we have been doing since 1975,” explains Koechlin, “is creating both a world-class product and a unique entrepreneurial model of nature-based conservation that’s profitable.”
Inkaterra acknowledges that travel in and of itself generates unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions that affect global warming. As a result, Inkaterra has partnered with STI to offset unavoidable emissions through investments in renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in developing countries. Through these combined efforts Inkaterra has become one of the very first carbon-neutral tourism companies in the world.
Specializing in eco-friendly boutique hotels near the famous ruins of Machu Picchu, the mystical Sacred Valley and in the Peruvian Amazon, Inkaterra caters to 45,000 visitors per year. Since developing the first eco-lodge in the southern Peruvian rainforest in 1975, Inkaterra has continued to integrate sustainable business practices into all aspects of its operations. Through its conservation programs, for example, Inkaterra protects 30,000 acres of Amazon forest, which contributes to global carbon fixing. Since 1989, in cooperation with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the UK’s Leeds University, the company has established four permanent plots to assess the role of its forest as a global carbon dioxide sink. “Results suggest that the forests provide a substantial buffer against global climate change,” says Koechlin.
Inkaterra also actively supports energy efficiency, obtains renewable energy from hydroelectric plants and promotes recycling and conservation education campaigns, including reforestation and environmental education programs with local, neighboring communities. As a company, INKATERRA already is very low in carbon emissions; for instance, Inkaterra Machu Picchu has no cars and Reserva Amazonica has only one vehicle.
Inkaterra also provides its guests with the opportunity to offset their air travel-related greenhouse gas emissions through a unique custom carbon calculator developed by STI. “Inkaterra is setting a precedent,” explains STI Vice President and Co-founder Peter D. Krahenbuhl. “As one of the leading and most influential tourism companies in Peru, they’re taking the lead in sustainability and the fight against global warming. In addition, they’re actively educating their customers to do so as well.
INKATERRA is a Peruvian organization with more than 30 years of experience in sustainable tourism initiatives. It focuses on preserving and rescuing Peru’s geography, nature, customs and cultures and sharing them with the world. INKATERRA MACHU PICCHU has been rated by Travel+Leisure magazine as one of the 10 best hotels in South America and Best Value for the money hotel in all Latin America. On the Madre de Dios River, INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZONICA has been sharing the wonders of the Peruvian jungle with visitors since 1975. In a quaint hamlet in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, INKATERRA URUBAMBA VILLAS.offer the experience of living in a private home with caring staff dedicated to the traveler. INKATERRA has an alliance with the NGO Inkaterra Association through which the company’s profits are invested in research, conservation, educational and social development programs.
For more information, visit www.inkaterra.com