Tourisme Montréal collaborates with the Space for Life to offset GHG emissions

Montréal, January 12, 2012 – As part of the eco-friendly commitment it implemented four years ago, Tourisme Montréal announced the financing of a planting project overseen by the Scientific Research and Development Division at the Montréal Botanical Garden. The amount of $6,000 that Tourisme Montréal will invest in this project covers the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from employee business travel in 2010.

Air transportation for that year represented more than three million kilometres and produced 178 tons of CO2 equivalence. To offset these emissions, as well as those resulting from land transportation, 1,400 trees will be planted, and their growth and health will be monitored to ensure successful carbon sequestration.

The planting project will allow for the reuse of an old sand pit located in Mercier, in the Montréal suburbs, where fast-growing poplar trees will be planted, a rare yet increasingly common cultivation in Québec. The poplars will grow to maturity in 18 to 25 years and will then be used to produce sustainable objects. This will avoid the release of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere from forest dieback.

"Urban and peri-urban regions contain several sites that must be rehabilitated following certain industrial uses, as is the case with quarries and sand pits," affirms Mr. Alain Cogliastro, researcher at the Space for Life. “These contexts are opportunities both to conduct research and to determine new functional ecosystems, all with a view to timber production for the future," he adds.

Mr. Cogliastro is pleased to embark on this partnership, which will transform a standard reforestation project into an experiment for which the results will provide us with advances in knowledge and skills in many areas.

Tourisme Montréal has already effected a great number of actions whose ultimate objective lies in the reduction of the environmental footprint of the Montréal tourism industry. The organization has issued the 4th edition of a green office guide (internal); has created a green committee for the tourism industry, as well as a sub-committee for eco-responsible conferences; and has published an eco-responsible tourism newsletter. Plans for an eco-responsible tool box and a Green Montréal section for the Tourisme Montréal Website are also being prepared and will be available online between now and spring 2012.

About the Space for Life
The Space for Life is the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. Bringing together the Montréal Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Planetarium, the Space for Life offers an exceptional opportunity to explore the countless facets of life and nature in an original way.

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.

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