South by Southwest goes green

The festival pledges to offset its carbon emissions

Austin’s renowned South by Southwest Festival has announced a new eco-friendly approach that will offset 100 per-cent of its carbon emissions.

By purchasing Texas wind energy carbon credits from Austin’s Green Mountain Energy Company and donating $5000 to the city’s Parks Department for the purchase and maintenance of native trees, the bash hopes to offset the carbon emissions it generates.

The festival determined its carbon emissions by measuring those from last year using guidelines from the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol.


It found that the emissions arise primarily from gas and electricity usage in its offices and the Austin Convention Center, movie and party venues as well as business travel.

In addition, SXSW will work with Ecology Action of Austin to recycle its waste materials and use bio diesel in generators and production trucks.

“Once we set the goal for SXSW to achieve carbon neutral status, our staff took a very active hand in gathering all the pertinent information about our activities which generate carbon emissions,” said SXSW managing director Roland Swenson.

“An important lesson we learned was that any business can achieve this goal with some work and a willingness to invest in new activity. While the amount of carbon emissions generated by SXSW alone is relatively small, if every business took similar steps, it would make a profound difference to our planet’s future.”

The 2007 festival will include performances by The Stooges, Bloc Party and Lily Allen.

–By our Los Angeles staff.


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