The CIPRA main prize is awarded annually to projects, initiatives, companies and institutions from the Swiss mountain region. This year, the prize was shared by two winners; in addition to myclimate "Cause We Care", the non-profit organisation "Protect Our Winters" also received the award. CIPRA Switzerland an umbrella organisation that brings together several Alpine and environmental organisations. The annual CIPRA Awards were presented for the fourth time in 2019. The jury is made up of one representative each from the Swiss Tourism Association, the Institute of Tourism Economics at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, solerworks.ch and the President of CIPRA Switzerland. The prizes were endowed with 2,500 Swiss francs.
The silver bullet in the current climate debate — laudatory speech by René Dobler
René Dobler, Managing Director of the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, delivered the laudation at the award ceremony. Eleven years ago, as Deputy Managing Director of the Swiss Youth Hostels René Dobler set up a partnership with myclimate, which served as a blueprint for today's "myclimate Cause We Care" programme. Since then, overnight guests at the youth hostels have been able to book their overnight stay with myclimate carbon-neutrally by paying a small surcharge and at the same time initiate sustainability projects at the youth hostels themselves. This offer is accepted by 60% of all guests. Over the years, this mechanism has enabled various measures to be implemented and the company's footprint to be reduced by half.
In his laudation, Dobler outlined the basic idea that was decisive for him: "With 'Cause we Care', myclimate consistently acts in accordance with its own clear stance: 'avoid, reduce and offset the rest'. Offsetting is a good thing — but not without the commitment to avoidance and reduction". Dobler continued with a view to the climate debate: "In the very near future, it must become a matter of course that every product, every service has its carbon footprint determined, declares it and has this included in the price. 'Cause we Care' creates a preliminary stage for the integrated CO₂ tax. I am very pleased that the CIPRA jury was convinced by the idea as it embodies the ideal solution to the climate debate for me — companies and customers working together to shape supply and demand in a climate-friendly way. On behalf of all those involved, I wish for a rapid expansion of 'Cause we Care' to global normality".
"Cause We Care" partner "Protect Our Winters" also honoured
Together with "myclimate Cause We Care", the organisation "Protect Our Winters" also received an award. Both organisations had announced a partnership at the beginning of the year. In addition to joint campaigns and awareness-raising initiatives, this partnership also includes jointly developed, tailor-made solutions for operational sustainability at mountain cable car companies and holiday destinations. These solutions also involve and address customers and guests. Among other things, special action days are planned, during which snow sports enthusiasts can experience the magic of winter, but also the reality of climate change and how it can be mitigated with real life climate protection measures.
myclimate "Cause We Care"
"Cause We Care" participants offer their customers or their guests the opportunity to voluntarily invest a small amount in climate protection and sustainability when booking a service or purchasing a product. Part of this contribution is used to offset the climate-damaging emissions associated with the product, via high quality carbon offset projects from the myclimate foundation. The product or service is thereby rendered climate-neutral. What is special about myclimate "Cause We Care" is that the company or destination in question matches the contribution and pays the same amount into a special-purpose fund. On-site climate protection and sustainability measures are financed by the fund and the remaining customer contributions. The uses of the fund and the local projects are verified by myclimate.
The programme is supported by Innotour, the programme for the promotion of innovation in tourism from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.