The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment presented their second annual Whistler Environmental Business Awards earlier this month, recognizing the efforts of small, medium and large businesses to reduce waste, educate the public and become more sustainable.
In the small business category, one to nine employees, the winner was Winning Team Solutions. Winning Team Solutions, which works with athletes and groups, uses recycled printer paper and toilet paper, has an office composting system in place, uses no synthetic fibres in the office, and holds meetings outdoors when possible.
In the medium category (10 to 99 employees), the winner was Ziptrek Ecotours for the second year in a row. Ziptrek generates all of its on-mountain electricity from a micro-hydro and solar system, plants trees to offset its carbon dioxide emissions, recycles all paper, uses compostable cups made from cane sugar fibre, donates to environmental research and education organizations, and educates all of its guests on sustainability and The Natural Step.
The winner of the large business category (110-plus employees) is the Four Seasons Resort and Spa. The Four Seasons has installed compact fluorescent lights in all staff and public areas, implemented a Sempa Energy Management Plan to increase the efficiency of the hotel’s hybrid gas and electric heating system, composts all landscaping cuttings, and achieved a greenhouse gas reduction of 3,727 gigajoules in just six months — the equivalent of 90 Honda Accords driving over two million kilometres.
The awards were presented at Enviro Fest, following a review and vote by AWARE’s board of directors.