The Screen Actors Guild Awards is expanding efforts to further reduce its carbon footprint thanks to a unique reforestation partnership with Chile’s Patagonia Sur, a for-profit conservation company founded by American entrepreneur Warren Adams that is a leader in private land conservation, reforestation and carbon offsetting in South America.
Though Hollywood and Chilean Patagonia are thousands of miles apart, these two unique regions are being linked in an exclusive effort to battle climate change. In 2012, on behalf of the SAG Awards, Patagonia Sur planted a grove of 45 native-species trees on degraded lands in Patagonia, Chile, to help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby helping to fight the threat posed by climate change.
For the 2013 SAG Awards, Patagonia Sur is planting 3,400 trees — two for each of the 1,700 guests at the Post SAG Awards Gala hosted by People magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. In their gala gift bags, guests will find a code enabling them to log on patagoniasuroffsets.com/SagAwardsForest/ where they will be able to affix their names to the trees being planted in their honor within a part of Chilean Patagonia, now called the SAG Awards Forest. Viewers inspired by these efforts can also evaluate their personal carbon footprint by going to the same website.
This year’s expanded partnership with Patagonia Sur continues the SAG Awards’ commitment to green practices. In October 2012, for the fourth consecutive year, the SAG Awards was honored with the Environmental Media Association’s Green Seal, recognizing the production’s outstanding efforts to implement sustainable initiatives and promote environmental awareness, while creating a nearly zero waste event.
What’s in a tree? Actually quite a lot when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases. Trees capture, or sequester, carbon from the atmosphere in the process known as photosynthesis.
In 2010, Patagonia Sur launched a reforestation project at its 8,000-acre Valle California property in the Palena region of southern Chile, with the aim of enhancing biodiversity and selling carbon offsets. The company is planting a mix of native beech trees on degraded lands that were previously cleared for pastureland by early settlers. A single tree planted in Valle California will sequester nearly half a ton of carbon over an 80-year period.
Patagonia Sur’s Valle California project, which planted one million trees in 2012, is the first in Chile to use native species to generate carbon offsets, and has been officially accredited by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) by meeting three key criteria: measurability, permanence and independent verification. That means SAG Awards attendees will offset 1,700 tons of carbon, negating their carbon footprint.
Patagonia Sur is a for-profit conservation venture that invests in, protects, and enhances scenically remarkable and ecologically valuable properties in Chilean Patagonia. A leader in eco-tourism experiences, Patagonia Sur has developed sustainable lodging on two of its properties, Valle California and Melimoyu, (patagoniasurreserves.com), where guests may enjoy all the amazing outdoor activities scenic Chilean Patagonia has to offer.
The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Nominations were announced Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.