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iShift seeks business sustainability ideas

Competition winners will get support from Whistler's Centre for Sustainability



The Whistler Centre for Sustainability (WCS) is calling for the best sustainability ideas from businesses and organizations around the resort.

Through iShift 2013, the WCS will pick the best two concepts out of competition entries and help the winners pull their plans together to implement them.

The deadline for entries is March 15 with work to start on the ideas in early April.

"We know that Whistlerites and Whistler businesses and organizations are very creative and innovative, so we want to tap into that creativity. If people have an idea that they have at the top of their minds but they haven't had the time or resources, those are the ideas that we want to help support," said Cheeying Ho, executive director of WCS.

Submissions must come from Whistler businesses or non-profit organizations and must benefit companies' bottom lines while impacting one or more of the following: energy and emissions reductions, responsible purchasing, waste management, chemical use, and green products and services.

Examples provided, said Ho, include helping a hotel to move to non-toxic cleaning and pool disinfectants or creating an electric vehicle transition strategy for an organization.

Originally iShift was a year-long Whistler2020 project, which took place in 2010 and 2011 as a take-action challenge, putting program coordinators from WCS in direct contact with businesses and citizens to further the top five goals of the Whistler2020 document. These were enriching community life, enhancing resort experience, ensuring economic viability, partnering for success and protecting the environment.

Some of the 30 participants from the project included Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, Alta Bistro, Prior Snowboards, Maggie Thornhill, Whistler Dental and Whistler Community Services Society.

This year, instead, it is a contest.

"There were quite a range of companies that time," Ho said. "This time we are just focusing on if you have a great action and you need some help making it happen, that's what we're looking for."

Ho said the WCS understand that organizations are often stretched for resources.

"They often have great ideas but are not necessarily able to make the time to implement them," she said.

"This is a bit of a continuation with a twist. Right now we are just focusing on supporting organizations with a great idea. "

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