Page 1 of 1

Green Carpet for the Stars

Kuoni’s climate initiative at the Zurich Film Festival

In 2010, Kuoni supported the Zurich Film Festival for the second time as main sponsor. This time, its involvement was inspired by its commitment to greater sustainability in travel.

Photo by Eduard Meltzer

It was such a surprising sight that it took a little time to get used to. Stars, including Milos Forman, Danny de Vito, Oliver Stone and Carlos Leal, were parading into the major events at the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) down green carpets rather than the usual red ones. What was going on? The answer lies in the commitment of one of the event’s main sponsors, Kuoni, which had come up with this unusual idea and given it a world premiere in Zurich. Together with its partner, the Swiss climate protection organisation, myclimate, Kuoni made use of the festival’s high profile to raise awareness of how vitally important sustainability is to the future of travel.

Tourism is one of the largest sectors of the world economy, and naturally it has an impact on the climate. As a globally active tour operator, Kuoni takes its responsibilities seriously. It is currently supporting various projects around the world that make important contributions to greater sustainability in travel. Its work includes the “Save the Beauty” campaign, launched in partnership with myclimate. This project is dedicated to offsetting the CO2-emissions impact of air travel.
The principle is simple: travellers pay a small extra charge on top of the standard ticket price, which is then used to fund a climate project whose positive impact offsets the negative impact of their flight. Passengers who do this are given a “Save the Beauty” bracelet that they can wear round their wrist or, in a later edition, fix to their luggage as a sign of their commitment to a better future. Such a visible symbol will hopefully also encourage others to take up the cause.

As the main sponsor of the ZFF, Kuoni brought together with myclimate the festival’s invited guests to Zurich climate-neutrally. This involved offsetting a total of 158 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to approximately 61 return flights from Zurich to New York. As a symbolic expression of this commitment to greater sustainability, the stars of the ZFF walked down green carpets at 23 festival events, creating a powerful impression that will hopefully remind people how important it is to take responsibility for protecting the environment. “As a symbol of our environmental commitment, Kuoni’s green carpets elicited surprise and a very positive reaction. Our international guests from Hollywood were particularly enthusiastic about the idea, as were the numerous Swiss VIPs from the worlds of politics, culture and business who visited the ZFF,” says Nadja Schildknecht, the festival’s director.

It goes without saying that Kuoni also gave the invited guests “Save the Beauty” bracelets – more than 100 in total – that were then seen on the wrists of many of the celebrities at the festival events. Anyone who wants to join Kuoni and the film stars by making their own contribution to climate protection can also buy the bands without actually booking a flight. The price of CHF 39.90 is enough to offset a return flight from Switzerland to Cyprus. Kuoni hopes the commitment it has shown in this area will kick-start a trend that in future will be taken up by the whole travel industry.