Whistler gets a gold medal for sustainability efforts

Sustainability: the hidden story at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games which will be the most sustainable in history. The Resort Municipality of Whistler has, for many years, been at the forefront of community sustainability in Canada with their award winning plan, Whistler 2020, which is based on The Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. For years the municipality of Whistler and dozens of community partners have been taking concrete steps to move their community toward sustainability - from LEED buildings to energy reduction and transportation policies to waste management and pesticide reductions and affordable housing developments, Whistler has demonstrated unwavering leadership and commitment. The Olympics are no exception. The following is from Whistler’s account of planning for the Olympics, “Delivering the Dream”:

  • The Whistler Athletes Village – a LEED Neighbourhood Design pilot site, not only meets high standards for green building, including an innovative district energy system, but after the Olympics it will become much needed affordable resident housing.
  • Venues – Sustainability and accessibility principles and practices have been in the forefront in the development and operation planning of Games venues, including The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler Creekside and Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Celebration Plaza. The Whistler venues have a smaller footprint and capacity than those of other Games, and green construction practices and principles have been applied and monitored for all sites.
  • Carbon management programs, the Hydrogen Highway initiative and use of energy-efficient vehicles all contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of the games.
  • The Whistler Centre for Sustainability – As a lasting legacy for local residents and international visitors, the Whistler Centre for Sustainability will foster discussion and dialogue and accelerate local and global progress toward sustainability.

Congratulations to Whistler for showing leadership once again. You definitely own the podium.