What Moves Us
Long before global warming became a household term, before most companies started touting corporate green initiatives, Whistler Blackcomb learned a hard lesson on the impacts of poor environmental performance. What began with an apology grew into one of the most dynamic efforts at sustainability planning in the ski resort industry and spurred the motivation to become a leader in the pursuit of sustainable operations. For us, the catalyst was a diesel spill in 1992 that polluted a mountain stream. An ecological tragedy that had us scrambling to clean up the mess and to look at the issues that led to the spill. This early wake-up call drove us to partner with our staff, our guests and our community to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint while continuing to provide the best mountain experiences on the planet. We have a long way to go but we believe that these continued partnerships will help us reach our goal of Zero Operating Footprint.
Zero Operating Footprint
Since 2000, we have reduced our waste by more than 60%. Between 2008 and 2009 alone, we saw waste reduced by 42% in our restaurants through the implementation of large-scale composting at our large facilities. If we purchase with the end in mind, reduce packaging, disposables, recycle and compost, we can reach zero waste. We have reduced our energy consumption by 15% and continue to implement energy efficiency projects across our operations.
In 2010, a micro hydro renewable energy plant situated in the middle of Whistler Blackcomb underneath Peak to Peak Gondola built through a partnership began production. The project returns to the grid the equivalent of Whistler Blackcomb's annual demand. Not only is a Zero Operating Footprint possible, it represents good business. Today, our sustainability programs return over $750,000.00 in savings to our bottom line and help to improve efficiency and employee and guest satisfaction.