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Sun Peaks: green factor

ISO14001 approved:Yes

Is the resort ISO14001 approved?

ISO 14001 is a worldwide standard of environmental management for any organisation, created in 1996. Ski resorts on at least four continents are known to be working towards obtaining ISO 14001 certification or to have already achieved it. ISO 14001 is an environmental management system applying to those environmental issues which a ski resort business, or any company, has some control over and can be expected to influence if they want to.

The ISO 14001 standard helps any organisation to implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system; assure itself of its conformance with its own stated environmental policy and to demonstrate that it is conforming with those standards and any other environmental laws and regulations.

Recycling:Yes

Does the resort recycle?

Resorts increasingly offer recycling facilities to guests, either within their accommodation and/or at special recycling points, which are hopefully convenient.

As always there's a range of how far individual resorts go. Some go as far as looking to use waste to run their communal heating systems and others make targets to recycle 100% of all waste.

Green power user:No

Is the resort a green power user?

'Green' power (eco-friendly) typically means wind generated or other naturally produced energy such as solar cells. On the other hand, some fuel sources like bio diesel are less polluting than conventional fuels so could be considered a step in the right direction, if not the perfect answer.

Of course there is a great variation in how much (or how little!) a resort can do, from running a few snowmobiles on bio-diesel to having the entire resort operating on wind power or other renewable energies.

Traffic reduction:Yes

Does the resort have a traffic reduction policy?

Traffic reduction can take many forms. Several Swiss resorts and a few in other countries have banned cars altogether for decades. Some have never had cars on their streets.

Other approaches include pedestrianised centres and out-of-centre car parking with resort centre access only on foot or by public transport - hopefully, electrically powered buses. These, along with expensive and/or severely restricted resort centre parking, and an efficient free and cheap bus service, all help to reduce traffic problems and thus cut emissions.

Sewage properly managed:Yes

Does the resort have a waste reduction policy?

The influx of winter guests to ski areas tends to bring an influx of, what's politely termed 'waste water', to the mountains as thousands of guests use the toilets on the mountain and bathroom in their accommodation.

The most environmentally forward thinking ski areas are using techniques such as composting to reduce waste from mountain restaurants. In some areas purified wastewater is also being used for snowmaking, on the one hand an eco friendly measure as it recycles, on the other it might be argued that if water is needed for snowmaking in an area of marginal precipitation, their shouldn't be a ski area there.

Climate policy:No

Does the resort have a climate policy?

If a ski resort has a climate policy it means that the 'great and the good' in the resort have got together to work out a strategy to minimise the resort's impact on climate change and global warming. This can include many different initiatives such as recycling, communal heating, ensuring new buildings cause minimal environmental impact and so on. Most important is the ethos of the community to take the potential environmental impact of all resort aspects of life into consideration now and in the future.

Green building policy:No

Does the resort have a green building policy?

Ski resorts are increasingly looking at minimising the environmental impact of their construction projects, as well as the impact of newly erected buildings and other infrastructure.

Having a green building policy means resorts put environmental concerns at the top of the list when working on new projects. This can include a myriad of things from using helicopters to reduce the damage to surrounding land when building in sensitive areas, to using natural, local materials for building and looking for maximum insulation and minimum power requirements, ideally supplied in as eco-friendly a way as possible.

Major Initiatives

ISO 14001
Sun Peaks Resort Corporation is now recognised under the Quality Management Instituters (QMI) registration program ISO 14001 for its environmental policies and controls.

Resort Environmental Policy
Sun Peaks Resort Corporation recognises that maintaining the natural environment is essential to maintaining the quality of life we enjoy now and wish to protect for future generations. With this goal in mind, the resort is committed to conducting its operations in an environmentally responsible manner, which respects the land, its flora, fauna and natural processes.

Traffic Reduction
Sun Peaks is pedestrian only and ski-through. Anyone staying in the village or even in condos/chalets close to the village walk can ski/ride around the resort. The resort operates airport shuttles for destination guests.

Environmental Policy
Sun Peaks environmental policy means the resort will:
- Comply with, or exceed, all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
- Minimize adverse environmental impacts from operations.
- Promote environmental awareness.
- Monitor performance with respect to the environment, by periodically reviewing practices, procedures and objectives.
- Train employees and contractors to incorporate good environmental practices in all aspects of our operations.
- Communicate performance to our directors, employees, contractors and customers.
- Review Environmental Management System on a regular basis to continually improve our performance.

Award Winner
In February 2006 Sun Peaks Resort Corporation receiving the Environmentally Responsible Tourism Award at the 7th Annual British Columbia Tourism Awards.

“We’re extremely pleased to be recognized by Tourism British Columbia for our efforts towards protecting the environment in which we’ve operated over the past 14 years,” stated Jamie Tattersfield, Mountain Operations Manager for the Sun Peaks Resort Corporation. “Our commitment to the environment is fundamental to our corporate culture at Sun Peaks and this award recognizes the efforts of all our employees across all of our different operating departments.”

Since its inception in 1992, the Sun Peaks Resort Corporation has been committed to environmental, social and economic sustainability. Some of the many ways Sun Peaks works to protect the environment which were recognized include: erosion and sediment control measures on all construction sites, building minimal impact mountain biking trails, designing a resort village to minimize the need for vehicle traffic, mandating the use of low flush toilets and fixtures and implementing an Environmental Management System which conforms to ISO14001 standards.

The British Columbia Tourism Awards were established in 1999 by Tourism British Columbia and The Council of Tourism Associations BC. The Tourism Awards program has grown substantially since the inaugural event and there are now nine awards open to competition within the BC Tourism Industry. The Environmentally Responsible Tourism Award, quoting the nomination form, “recognizes a tourism business that has demonstrated a will to prevent and reduce the environmental impacts of their business operations through planning and practice.”

In 2004, the Sun Peaks Resort Corporation also became the first all season recreation resort in North America to be certified under the International Organization for Standards for its environmental management system.

Since resorts are continuously increasing and improving their environmental practices, we update the Green Resort Guide throughout the year. If you have any information about new resort environmental policies/practices or anything that you think we may have missed, please email greenresortguide@skiclub.co.uk.

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