Tourism Whistler Sustainability

Corporate Social Responsibility

As an organization, Tourism Whistler strives to conduct its business in a socially responsible manner. While no formal organizational corporate social responsibility policy yet exists, business operations are always undertaken with consideration to ‘doing the right thing’, whether that involves acting fairly in relationships with business partners, setting human resource policy that provides for a safe, productive work environment, engaging in responsible corporate governance or assuming responsibility for environmental stewardship.

At the heart of Tourism Whistler’s social conscience is its employees. Many of the corporate social responsibility initiatives undertaken by the organization are the result of the grassroots efforts and support of staff. Employees at Tourism Whistler embrace their personal roles in assisting the organization to be socially responsible and accountable.

In the pursuit of living a philosophy of social responsibility, Tourism Whistler and its employees give consideration to the following areas, and make efforts to implement initiatives that address and promote good corporate citizenship.

Enhanced Social Awareness, Support and Engagement

Recognizing a responsibility to their fellow man, employees engage in numerous events and programs to promote social awareness and provide assistance to various charities and community services such as the Whistler Food Bank, Coats for Kids program, BC Children’s Hospital, and other charitable organizations. Staff members also sponsor a child in Zambia through Plan Canada.

As an organization, Tourism Whistler understands that Whistler’s success is only possible through the cooperation of resort partners. It actively participates in the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s ‘Whistler 2020’ process, and endorses the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. Staff members are encouraged to participate in community organizations both as volunteers and as Board members, and Tourism Whistler provides directors to both the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and One Whistler.

Environmental Stewardship

The act of bringing visitors long distances to enjoy the resort comes with an environmental price tag. Recognizing this, within the organization and the resort, Tourism Whistler is committed to making whatever efforts possible to promote and engage in responsible environmental stewardship. To this end, Tourism Whistler pursues initiatives to reduce green house gases, waste, paper and ink consumption, and water consumption. Similarly, Tourism Whistler makes efforts to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides in its golf operations, and utilizes, wherever possible, non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning supplies and materials in maintaining the Whistler Conference Centre.

Waste Reduction

All of Tourism Whistler’s operations participate in active waste reduction programs, which include recycling of plastic, paper, cardboard, recyclable containers and compost. Initiatives, such as ‘No Garbage Month’ are periodically undertaken to encourage waste reduction and increase awareness around recycling. Whistler Conference Centre clients are educated on our waste reduction initiatives, and are also requested to participate in recycling.

Paper and Ink Reduction

As a marketing organization, Tourism Whistler is guilty of significant use of paper and ink in the production of brochures, maps and other printed marketing pieces. Over the last several years, production of printed material has consistently decreased, with greater and greater reliance being placed on electronic media. Where printed materials are still produced, only FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paper and plant-based inks are used.

Similarly, in Tourism Whistler’s administrative operations, FSC paper is used, and many of the previously paper-heavy communications, such as invoicing , press and Member releases have been changed to electronic communication where possible. As a Member, you will note the Annual Report is now available only online, and the previous mail-in voting system has been replaced by an online voting program. These two initiatives alone have saved the organization thousand of dollars annually.

Water Consumption

Probably the largest consumer of water in Tourism Whistler’s business operations is the Whistler Golf Club. In 2007, a new, computerized irrigation system was installed on the course, which resulted in a 30% reduction in water consumption. The water used for irrigation of the course comes from a well on the course, hence is not treated prior to being used, saving the use of additional water treatment chemicals.

In much of the Whistler Conference Centre, low-flow fixtures and toilets, as well as waterless urinals have been installed to reduce water consumption.

Equitable Human Resources Practices

Tourism Whistler strives to meet and exceed all labour standards, and to provide a safe and fair work environment. It maintains human resource policies on topics such as work place safety, code of conduct, harassment and discrimination, and whistle blowing. Through a constantly up-dated employee handbook, regularly scheduled staff meetings, and an online employee intranet, staff are communicated with and encouraged to provide feedback on the organization’s business activities. Tourism Whistler supports an active health and safety committee, an employee social activities committee, and, as mentioned above, a committee dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.

Corporate Governance

Honesty, integrity and transparency are the corporate values that have been identified by the Tourism Whistler Board of Directors. The Board endeavours to engage in best practices for corporate governance, including working by a standard, regularly updated manual and code of conduct and participating in periodic governance training. Three committees of the Board, Human Resources and Compensation, Audit and Finance, and Governance and Nominations, meet regularly to ensure appropriate corporate oversight and responsible governance.