WHISTLER, BC – Whistler Blackcomb is celebrating Earth Day (April 22) as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, awarded by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, for a third year in a row!
Whistler Blackcomb’s overarching environmental goal is to one day achieve a zero operating footprint. The company takes steps towards reaching this goal by focusing on energy conservation initiatives and waste reduction programs. While there is still a long way to go, Whistler Blackcomb believes in an “every step counts” philosophy and works hard to empower both staff and guests to work towards a greener future.
“We are thrilled and honoured to accept this award,” says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer at Whistler Blackcomb. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the dedication and support of our employees, our guests and our community. Whistler Blackcomb has been working hard to reduce our environmental footprint for a number of years, recognizing the importance of long term environmental stewardship. We will continue to work towards our environmental goals while consistently providing the best mountain experiences on the planet.”
“We are very grateful and humbled to be recognized,” says Arthur DeJong, Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Planner and Environmental Resource Manager. “Being so close to nature in Whistler, we understand that what we do to nature we do to ourselves. The soul of a company is its purpose and our purpose is to one day have zero operating impacts on our natural environment. It is our hope for guests who visit Whistler Blackcomb to become inspired by our enactments, leading them to make sustainable choices in their own homes and communities.”
Whistler Blackcomb received recognition for three new energy conservation projects for the 2010/2011 ski season representing over 1.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in electrical savings. The energy saved translates to the equivalent amount of power it takes to run 74 homes in British Columbia for one year. The energy conservation projects included:
A behavioral program in partnership with the province’s energy supplier, BC Hydro, to reduce energy use in all on-mountain buildings
A Continuous Optimization program at the Roundhouse Lodge to save an estimated seven per cent in energy, and
An efficient lighting project in Whistler Blackcomb’s staff housing.
Prior to these initiatives, Whistler Blackcomb saved more than 4.5 million kWh per year through its existing programs.
Whistler Blackcomb also received special recognition for its involvement in the Fitzsimmons Creek Run-of-River project which was launched in December 2009. Located in the middle of the ski area underneath the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, the hydro-powered renewable energy plant, created in partnership with Innergex Renewable Energy and Ledcor Power Group produces 33 gigawatt hours of hydro electricity every year. The Run-of-River project returns to the grid the equivalent of the annual power consumption of Whistler Blackcomb’s entire ski area including lifts, mountain restaurants, and snowmaking.
Canada’s Greenest Employers competition has been running since 2007 and is organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers project in partnership with Mediacorp Canada Inc. Applicants were judged on a variety of criteria, including uniqueness, success and longevity of environmental initiatives, as well as employee and community engagement.
This year, The Globe and Mail newspaper has published a national report on the nation’s most environmentally conscious employers in celebration of Earth Day. The Greenest Employers are also recognized online at Eluta.ca.