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Leonardo Academy Helps Expedition to the North Pole Achieve Carbon Neutral Status PDF Print E-mail
Press Release

Oslo, Norway, May 1, 2009 – Leonardo Academy is proud to announce that the first American unsupported ski trek to the North Pole, completed Saturday, April 25, was a carbon-neutral expedition.  Leonardo Academy donated its services to John Huston and Tyler Fish, founders of Forward Expeditions as well as the duo undergoing the journey, to calculate both the climate- and health-related emissions resulting from the expedition.  The sources of these emissions included about a year of air and car travel and accommodations leading up to the expedition for the pair’s speaking engagements and other preparations, their flight to their starting point in Canada, and the fuel they used during the trek itself.  Leonardo Academy then recruited the donation of the 22 metric tons of CO2 reductions required to completely offset these greenhouse gas emissions, a donation which was generously made by TerraPass using agricultural and landfill methane capture projects registered with the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Houston and Fish departed from Ward Hunt Island, Canada, on March 2, and completed the trek of 478 miles to the pole in 54 days.  With no air drops to refresh their supplies throughout their journey, they hauled and carried the over 650 pounds of food and equipment that they would need during the duration of their trip.  Braving harsh cold and 24-hour darkness at the expedition’s beginning, by the trek’s end, Houston and Fish faced strong winds and deteriorating ice conditions that both propelled them away from the pole and at times required them to swim through open water with their gear in tow.  Because the Russian helicopter chartered to pick them up at the pole was based on a quickly melting ice sheet, the expeditioners had to move at an all-out sprint in the last three days to meet an April 26 deadline, alternating 12 hours of skiing and 2 hours of sleep in the 24-hour daylight conditions.

Houston and Fish embarked on their journey to inspire people to embrace challenge with optimism, humility and responsible action, as well as to raise funds for CaringBridge, a charitable organization that offers free personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery.  The expeditioners are also highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change due to their extensive experiences in northern climates, recognizing the warming trend’s profound effects in these parts of the world.  In light of this, they addressed the topic in talks at schools and other venues prior to the trek, and made it a priority to achieve carbon neutrality for their endeavor.  Learn more about Forward Expeditions, the expedition, and read Houston and Fish’s expedition blog at

About Forward Expeditions LLC - Forward Expeditions is a values-based company founded by Huston and Fish for the purpose of using ambitious wilderness expeditions to inspire people to embrace challenge with optimism, humility and responsible action.  The Victorinox North Pole '09 expedition receives major support from Victorinox/Swiss Army, DeLorme, and Bergans of Norway.  For more information visit

About TerraPass Inc. - Launched in 2004, TerraPass is a leading retailer of carbon offsets and consumer energy efficiency products through The company also works with developers of greenhouse gas reduction projects to bring to market verified carbon credits. Individuals, families and businesses who are balancing out the global warming impact of their flying, driving and home and office energy use have collectively made more than 150,000 purchases of carbon offsets from TerraPass and its partners. Together, TerraPass carbon offsets have funded reductions of over 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the primary cause of climate change. TerraPass works with clean energy and carbon emissions reduction projects throughout the U.S., including wind power, farm power, and landfill gas capture. 100% of TerraPass carbon credits are verified against a broadly accepted standard by independent, third-party verifiers. For more information, visit

About Leonardo Academy - Leonardo Academy ( is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the environment and advancing sustainability. Leonardo Academy is a Think and Do Tank that on the “Think” side develops new approaches, methods, and metrics for sustainability, and on the “Do” side helps companies and organizations, families, and individuals improve the environment and implement sustainability actions.

Leonardo Academy’s sustainability work and services include: sustainability assessments and strategy development, LEED® and LEED-EB implementation and certification, emissions footprint analysis and emission reduction and offset strategies, sustainable land management, sustainability education and training, and development of ANSI standards on sustainability.  Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® Program helps buildings, organizations, and events quantify and offset their emissions and certifies their level of offset achievements.

Leonardo Academy managed the LEED-EB pilot program for the USGBC from 2002-2004 and conducted all LEED-EB certification reviews for the USGBC from January 2002 through September 2006.  Michael Arny, president of Leonardo Academy, was the chair of the LEED-EB committee from 2001-2005, guiding the committee’s work on developing this rating system.


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