The Sea Otter Classic announced today that the San Francisco Region, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., has joined the Sea Otter Classic and Clif Bar & Co. on a “Path to Sustainability.” The goal of Sea Otter's “Path to Sustainability” is to reduce the four-day, multi-sport festival's environmental impact on the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and the adjacent Bureau of Land Management property.

“In our efforts to one day build an entirely 'green' event model, we will continue to build creative partnerships with environmentally conscious companies who are dedicated to reducing their environmental impact on this planet,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of Sea Otter Classic. “We're proud to have Toyota as a new partner in our Path to Sustainability and delighted to welcome back Clif Bar & Company and their expertise in guiding us to achieve a 100 percent Climate Neutral rating for the event.”

Arrive at Sea Otter in a Toyota Prius or any other hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle and claim a spot in premier reserved parking
“Since 1998, when Toyota brought its new Prius gasoline-electric hybrid sedan to the American market, the company has made a substantial commitment to environmentally responsible transportation,” said Mike Wells, vice president and general manager of Toyota's San Francisco regional offices. “We're proud that Northern California is the nation's number one region to embrace hybrid technology. Early adopters and enlightened drivers here have wholeheartedly embraced the green concept – and now with our Camry Hybrid and a new Highlander Hybrid coming late this spring, Toyota continues to expand our product lineup of environmentally-friendly motor cars.”

Anyone arriving at Sea Otter in a hybrid vehicle or other alternative fuel vehicle will be directed to premier reserved parking. Pedal-powered vehicles and carpools of three or more people per vehicle will also gain access. The reserved parking area is hosted by Toyota.

Organizers will continue to build on last year's efforts in its “Path to Sustainability.”

In 2006, Clif Bar & Co.'s Climate Neutral Program and the Sea Otter Organization purchased enough clean wind energy credits from Native Energy to completely offset the estimated 748 tons of CO2 emissions making the event 100 percent Climate Neutral. High marks were received by the county for recycling efforts and the Bureau of Land Management reported that the land in which the event took place was returned in better condition than it was received thanks to post event efforts by Sea Otter crews who spent several days cleaning up, seeding, reseeding, and vegetating the land. But to event organizers, there's little satisfaction in holding back and saying, “We're doing our part” especially when the opportunities to do more to reduce environmental impact are not only inventive, but limitless too.

“When we're talking about minimizing the environmental impact of our daily lives, a bicycle can be a powerful tool,” said Peter Berridge, field marketing manager for Clif Bar & Co. “I love a good bike race but I also value my bike for transportation and the fight against global warming. In fact, this year our staff will be going car-free to the Sea Otter Classic.”