Club CarlsonSM, the hotel rewards program for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, announced today, Earth Day, that they have become the first hotel loyalty program to commit to a global meetings and events carbon offsetting initiative. Club Carlson will purchase carbon credits to offset the estimated carbon footprint of 100 percent of Club Carlson for Planners meetings and events globally, across the group's six brands totaling 1,077 hotels in operation worldwide.

The carbon offsetting a free service for the meeting planners will be managed through Carlson Rezidor's new partner, Carbon Footprint Ltd. Carbon credits will be purchased and invested in renewable energy in India and with the planting of one tree for every ton of carbon offset in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. Any of the 10 million Club Carlson members globally will also have the opportunity to redeem their Gold Points®, in various increments, to these projects on an ad-hoc basis.

“Carlson Rezidor takes sustainability seriously. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization-United National Environment Program (UNWTO-UNEP), hotels generate about 20 percent of tourism's total carbon footprint. This innovative offsetting solution is a unique service of Club Carlson, and will help to reduce our hotels' and our customers' carbon footprint”, said Suzanne Riesterer, chief commercial officer. “In addition to Club Carlson for Planners members, individual Club Carlson members will have the opportunity to redeem their Gold Points to help offset the carbon of their personal travel and to support the wind farms in India and the tree planting in Kenya.”

This initiative was launched near the end of 2012 at Radisson Blu hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and led to 433 tons being offset and 433 trees planted in Kenya. It is part of Carlson Rezidor's award winning Responsible Business Program focusing on a reduced negative impact on the environment, health and safety for employees and guests, and respect for social and ethical issues within the company and community.