Leading conservation-focused outdoors industry conferences have combined forces to offset their carbon footprint through a Native American-owned energy project.
The SHIFT Festival in Jackson, Wyoming and The Inertia’s ‘EVOLVE’ conference in Los Angeles, California, have collaboratively offset their respective events’ carbon footprint with a Native American-owned methane capture project in southwestern Colorado.
SHIFT and Evolve offset 37 tons of CO2 with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Natural Methane Capture Project through Native Energy. Their tribal lands within the San Juan Basin are rich in fossil fuel resources. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, naturally seeps from the soil. The Southern Ute Tribe has chosen to capture the seeping methane for use in energy production which permanently and measurably reduces greenhouse gas pollution.
After becoming the first STOKE Certified event in 2017, SHIFT was recertified at the Sustainable level in 2018.
“The fight for equity, inclusivity and our natural world are integral to our work at SHIFT,” said Christian Beckwith, the event’s Director. “When STOKE presented the Southern Ute project and the potential to partner with another STOKE Event Member, it was a perfect match for offsetting our footprint.
Both events’ push to achieve STOKE (Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation) certification resulted in sustainability initiatives including composting, renewable energy, alternative transportation, equal access, conservation advocacy, and a commitment to becoming carbon neutral.
The Inertia: The Definitive Voice of Surf and Outdoors—held their inaugural EVOLVE Summit in 2018. This was benchmarked against the STOKE Events standard to create goals for certification at the second annual EVOLVE on August 17th, 2019 in Los Angeles. “Uniting leaders from the surf and outdoor communities to tackle our most pressing challenges is essential and possibly the most rewarding thing that we do. With climate change threatening earth’s sacred places of play, we were dead set on offsetting our staff and attendee travel in collaboration with SHIFT,” added Zach Weisberg, The Inertia Founder.
The collaboration of purpose-driven events like SHIFT and Evolve demonstrates how attendees, athletes, government officials, companies, NGOs, and influencers around the world can connect, share, and discuss the future of public lands, the outdoor industry, and coastal and alpine ecosystems without contradicting the ethos of the event.
“Some of our Members have a small carbon footprint—which is a good thing—but it often prohibits them from directly supporting the projects they want to offset with because of minimum volume requirements,” commented STOKE’s Co-Founder, Carl Kish. “By combining together, we can align our Members with projects that best represent their community, culture, and purpose; all while lowering the barrier to entry to decarbonization.”
For a detailed list of SHIFT’s best practices with photographs, please visit their STOKE Certified profile at http://shiftjh.org/ and visit http://shiftjh.org/ to book tickets for the 2019 Festival. Follow Evolve’s progress to certification at https://www.stokecertified.com/members/the-inertia-evolve-summit/ and head to https://evolvetheinertia.splashthat.com/ for updates on The Inertia’s next event.
STOKE (Sustainable Tourism & Outdoors Kit for Evaluation), a California Social Purpose Corporation, is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and mountain tourism operators, destinations, and affiliated events. Through its network of independent evaluators, STOKE verifies the legitimacy of sustainability claims and provides transparency for the outdoor community through its certification programs—STOKE Surf, STOKE Snow, and STOKE Events. Since 2013, STOKE has grown to 27 members in 11 countries across all of its certification programs. For more information on STOKE’s members, sector-specific tools and templates, and certification process, go to http://www.stokecertified.com/.