Three Whistler companies, all stalwarts of caring for the environment in their work practices, are the finalists for this year’s Sustainability in Business Award.
Alta Bistro Restaurant, RDC Fine Homes and Ziptrek Ecotours hope to be named the winner of the competition, which will be announced at the Whistler Excellence Awards at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on June 21.
Cheeying Ho, the executive director of the Centre for Sustainability, said they jumped at the chance to partner with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce to offer the award, now in its second year.
“The winner will get a plaque and the glory,” Ho said, laughing.
“We’re impressed with what many businesses and organizations are doing. The award is really to highlight and showcase and celebrate the great work that many Whistler businesses and organizations are doing in order to make their practices more sustainable.”
Karen Playfair the vice-president of finance and operations at Tourism Whistler, chaired the committee set up to select the winner.
“These three shortlisted businesses are all successful and compete against others that might not have the same levels of sustainable practices, but they’re still managing to compete very well. That’s where the award is important, to highlight how people can be both successful and sustainable,” Playfair said.
“Because they have sustainability embedded in their culture they are able to get the message out to employees, to visitors and to other businesses in their sector, so they are leading the way.”
She described the criteria that nominees needed to meet.
“Have they adopted practices that support the sustainability and success of their particular business, of the sector in general, and of the resort community? And how do they hope to continue on that path?” she said.
Six companies vied for the award overall, and Playfair said one of their goals for next year is to increase the number of entries.
“What I was interested in was the really good quality of the entries that came in. It made us all realize that there are probably a bunch of good businesses that could be in the running for this kind of award,” Playfair said.
The three shortlisted companies are all excellent examples of how to bring sustainability into the workplace, she said.
“This isn’t just about recycling and changing light bulbs, this is about these companies having sustainability embedded into their workplaces,” she said.
Other finalists for the Whistler Excellence Awards were named on June 13, 2013.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD — SMALL BUSINESS
Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD — LARGE BUSINESS
Meadow Park Sports Centre
Village Host Program
Whistler Blackcomb Guest Services
INNOVATIVE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Nonna Pia's Gourmet Sauces
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD
BUSINESS AND THE ARTS AWARD
North Shore Credit Union
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARDCharles Steele (Ziptrek Ecotours)
Danielle Kristmanson (Origin Design + Communications)
Wayne Katz (Gone Eatery, Moguls Coffee House, Zog's Dogs)For more information on the Whistler Excellence Awards visit http://www.whistlerchamber.com.