Caring for the environment at Whistler Blackcomb

When people think of Whistler Blackcomb, they tend to think of the many activities that the mountains host – like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, shopping, and eating and drinking. What gets less attention is how much effort the Resort puts into considering the effect of all these activities on the environment.

"We have an environmental mission that encompasses our vision of zero waste, zero carbon, and zero net ommissions," explains Kevin Small, Marketing Manager at Resorts Reservations Whistler. "We've identified key areas on where we can reduce our footprint on the environment."

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One of the areas under consideration is how our adventurous spirits impact the environment.

"At Whistler Blackcomb, all of our employees live and play on the mountains and we've been seeing firsthand the effect of climate change. That's why we set up a Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource team to make sure that all the environmental impacts of any expansion are taken into consideration as part of the planning process."

This fall, Whistler Blackcomb launched The Big Picture, a four-part documentary series exploring the issues facing the future of the ski and snowboard industry including climate change and the environment.

Climate change is a major factor in Whistler Blackcomb’s business. “Our thirst for adventure is affecting our environment,” says Arthur De Jong, Mountain Resource and Environmental Planning Manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “We aim to be an industry leader in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change, inspiring others by setting an example and by demonstrating significant reductions are possible. We need to share our successes and our failures. If we all work together we can make a real impact.”

Whistler Blackcomb has been consistently recognized for its environmental efforts over the last three decades.

"We've received awards for being a green employer, for sustainable tourism, for habitat protection, and our waste management," Kevin notes. "Our drinking water also won an award from the British Columbia Water and Waste Association for its excellence in water and wastewater management."

Employing the concept of reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, the Resort has lowered its overall amount of landfill garbage by 70 percent since 2000 and continues its efforts towards a 90 percent reduction.

Part of the environment of course, is the communities that surround the Resort.

"The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is the largest community fundraising organization in the Sea to Sky Corridor," Kevin explains. "Since 1992, we've donated more than $9.2 million to local charitable organizations. The Foundation is particularly interested in helping in the areas of health, human services, education, recreation, arts and culture as well as the environment."

The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Environmental Fund is supported through donations from the employees of the Resort and matched 100 percent by the Foundation.

"Since 2001," Kevin notes, "our employees and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation have donated more than $380,000 to causes that are specifically focused on the environment. It shows the dedication and concern all our employees have for the mountains they love."

For more information on Resort Reservations Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb's efforts to protect the environment, call 1.888.403.4727, visit the website, email, or better yet, drive up and see for yourself. Whistler Blackcomb can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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