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Fairmont Chateau Whistler Environmental Initiatives

Keeping it green in a Whistler wonderland

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts was founded on an enduring connection to the land and communities where we do business. In 1990, we pioneered the Green Partnership program - a comprehensive commitment to minimizing our hotels’ impact on the planet. This green philosophy has grown to become a core value of our company. 

Continuing this tradition, Fairmont Chateau Whistler has continued to develop and seek out improvements in the areas of waste management, water and energy conservation and innovative community programs, while continuing to exceed guest expectations. Green Partnership programs embraced at Fairmont Chateau Whistler include:

FAIRMONT'S CAPED CRUSADERS
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club has welcomed a colony of furry winged creatures to the treed sections of our course. As part of our sustainability program, we have installed two “bat hotels”. These structures help preserve local bat populations while decreasing insect pest populations and we can house up to 600 bats in these new properties. Don’t worry, these little guys are nocturnal!

BUZZWORTHY GUESTS
Our rooftop is home to four beehive and a one of a kind bee hotel, specifically designed to attract solitary pollinator bees. These “sweet” new initiatives are part of the Fairmont’s Green Partnership program, helping the local environment by providing bees to pollinate area gardens and parks. These particular bees have produced a clear, delicate wildflower honey that our Chefs are using for culinary and cocktail creations.

ECO-MEET
Fairmont’s Eco-Meet Programoffers planners the opportunity to minimize the ecological footprint of meetings and events through the reduction of waste and conservation of valuable resources. At Fairmont Chateau Whistler this includes:

  •  Linen and towel reuse program and in-room recycling
  • Conference FIT – a health and fitness program for conference attendees and their spouses
  • Morning nature runs
  • Menus featuring local, organic and sustainable offerings
  • Coordination of green or community service team building activities

CARBON MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Fairmont has introduced an Energy and Carbon Management Program in support of our Climate Change Strategy, that allows us to monitor, track, and report on our progress toward achieving significant CO2 reductions at all of our locations worldwide.

 GREENING OUR GREENS
All Fairmont-managed golf courses are enrolled with Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuaries, an organization which sets guidelines for an international system of wildlife and environmental conservation. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club's  grounds naturalization projects include:

  • Limiting our use of herbicides, with much of the weed removal done by hand
  • Installing sprinkler heads with adjustable angles of spray to reduce excess water use
  • Placing bird houses throughout the golf course and leaving trees standing, that would typically be removed for easier play, if inhabited by woodpeckers
  • Providing information on Black bears detailing their habitat, food sources and general activities at the starter kiosk
  • Posting signage throughout the course identifying different species of plants and trees
  • Asking golfers to refrain from entering the surrounding creeks and ponds to prevent the disruption of fish habitats

GREEN CUISINE
Fairmont is committed to purchasing local, organic, Fair Trade and sustainable food products wherever possible, including utilizing organic or biodynamic wines, local purveyors and on-site herb gardens. In Whistler, Fairmont takes great pride in these sustainable community programs:

  • Supporting local organic farms such as North Arm Farms in Pemberton, located 20 minutes north of Whistler
  • Featuring an on-site rooftop garden with over 25 herbs
  • Offering a selection of organic wines
  • Using Ocean Wise certified sustainable seafood on all menus

WASTE MANAGEMENT
Paper, packaging and garbage are a reality of our lives, and of any business. Fairmont has consistently cut these side effects of our  operations. While effective waste management comes with challenges, such as operating in communities without recycling facilities, we continue to reduce and divert waste and identify other eco-friendly opportunities. Recycling initiatives in place at Fairmont Chateau Whistler include:

  • Recycling bins are available in all guestrooms, meeting rooms, offices and throughout our colleague housing
  • Over 90% of our organic waste is diverted from landfill
  • A fully functional recycling program is in place which includes all plastics, glass, aluminum, tin, paper and cardboard
  • Portobello Deli and Bakery offers biodegradable to-go containers
  • The Housekeeping department uses reusable laundry bags in place of plastic bags
  • Integrated pest management program with Ecolab Pest Control
  • Recycling program for electronic waste is in place
  • Electronically sending documents and double sided printing to reduce paper usage is encouraged
  • Kitchen grease recycling program
  • Unclaimed lost and found items are donated to local charities and old products are donated to a Vancouver organization that provides shelter and showers to the homeless
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  • Compostable Straw upon request policy - initiative to eliminate plastic straw usage and offer a compostable alternative
  • Partnership with Clean the World Canada to recycle all used bottled & bar soap amenities

ENERGY & WATER CONSERVATION

To conserve energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, Fairmont has introduced LED light bulbs where possible, with the goal to be 100% LED by the end of 2018. All hotels now have water-efficient showerheads and tap aerators, and we have replaced all toilets that have a flush capacity over 2 gallons (7.6 liters). Guests can do their part by choosing to participate in the towel and sheet exchange program offered at all Fairmont properties.  At Fairmont Chateau Whistler specifically, energy and water conservation projects include:

 Replacing lighting with energy efficient bulbs and ballasts

  • Low flow toilets in all Fairmont Gold guestrooms
  • 1 gas boiler has been replaced with an energy efficient electric boiler
  • Energard monitors all energy and water consumption at the hotel
  • Water saving devices have been installed including low flow showerheads and tap aerators
  • Colleague Housing lounges and laundry rooms are outfitted with motion sensor lights

PARTNERSHIPS & AFFILATIONS
Our affiliations highlight our commitment to the environment, and also help promote unique Fairmont eco-experiences. The growing number of partners and associations who share our vision include The World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, WWF (Climate Savers Program), The International Tourism Partnership, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, The Hotel Association of Canada (Green Key Eco-Rating Program) and the National Geographic Society. On a local level, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, partners include:

  • Eco-Innovations Signature Project – Get Bear Smart Society which seeks to provide a safe environment which people and bears can coexist in harmony

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PLANET 21 

Providing a positive hospitality experience Fairmont Chateau Whistler is delighted to participate in Accor Hotels' Planet 21 program to drive positive and sustainable hospitality. The program is structured into the following six pillars:

  • Engage our guests in a sustainable experience
  • Co-innovate with our partners to open up new horizons
  • Work hand-in-hand with local communities for a positive impact
  • Move towards carbon neutral buildings
  • Strive for zero food waste and healthy sustainable food
  • Act as an inclusive company for our people

Find out more about the Planet 21 program

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Green Partnership Program continues to be recognized by a number of international organizations including the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Ad Age and Strategy magazines.

  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler has received the Hotel Association of Canada Green Key Eco Rating of 4 Green Keys


Top photo: High Note Trail alpine hikers image courtesy of Tourims Whistler, photographer Steve Rogers

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