Greyhound helps customer go greener

By: Graham Gardiner

Greyhound Australia has rewarded its customers for "going green" by giving away a $12,000 solar panel system. Brisbane resident and Greyhound

Greyhound Australia has rewarded its customers for "going green" by giving away a $12,000 solar panel system.

Brisbane resident and Greyhound customer Angela White is now the proud owner of the 1 kW solar panel system, as part of the company’s Green Dollar competition in conjunction with its carbon offset partner Cleaner Climate and sponsored by one of Australia’s leading solar companies, Energy Matters.

Greyhound Australia CEO Robert Thomas says Australians are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

"Whether it’s by installing energy efficient light bulbs in their homes or through innovative carbon offset schemes such as the one we’re offering, people are taking note of how their actions will impact the environment," he says.

"I understand Angela is a deserving winner who is very mindful of her family’s carbon footprint so it’s great the solar panel system will go to such an environmentally conscious household."

Angela has four daughters who regularly travel on Greyhound between Brisbane and Toowoomba and she always offsets their carbon emissions.

"The girls have cousins in Toowoomba, so I’m quite happy sending them out there on Greyhound," she says.

"They’re all still at school, so at least I know that when I drop them off at Roma Street they are going to get there safely.

"As a family we are extremely environmentally conscious. We always offset our carbon emissions, whether it’s when travelling with Greyhound or flying.

"We’ve also just renovated our home, which we’ve tried to make as green as possible. It’s very exciting for us to win the solar panel system because it will add to our environmental efforts and will also help to add value to our house."

The 1 kW system is valued at more than $12,000 before subsidies and can save an average house over $200 per year in electricity bills.

In a first for Australia’s coach industry, Greyhound teamed up with Cleaner Climate and Energy Matters last year to give customers the opportunity to reduce the impact their travel has on the environment through Kyoto compliant carbon offset projects.

Thomas says for just $1 extra per trip travellers can feel confident their journey is having a reduced impact on the environment.

"Our scheme isn’t just for private travel, commercial and charter service clients also have the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions," he says.

‘Green Dollars’ will be invested in Cleaner Climate’s international renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

As part of Greyhound’s Travel Green initiative, Cleaner Climate is working on establishing a Carbon Action Plan which includes the identification of energy efficient design and technology improvements throughout Greyhound’s offices and terminals.

Cleaner Climate’s analysis has shown, if one in three Greyhound Australia customers choose to travel green, more than 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent can be offset annually through carbon reduction projects. These projects not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the introduction of cleaner technology and employment in local communities within the developing world.

Thomas says the scheme further boosts the green credentials of coach travel.

"When compared to jet aircraft, studies have shown one full coach has almost eight times less CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre on the same route. In addition, just one full Greyhound coach is equivalent to taking 16 cars off the road," he says.

"In April this year we were rewarded for our green initiatives by achieving the QBIC Environmental Innovation award."

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