Hydropowered Ski Resort

Any business that invests in environmentally-friendly measures like renewable energy, composting, and recycling should be commended. The Whistler Backcomb, a ski resort, is located in British Columbia, and is the future site of the 2010 Olympic and Para-Olympic games, is one such business that deserves accolades. In September construction began on the Fitzsimmons Creek Hydro Project which will generate 33.5 gigawatt hours of hydroelectricity every year, enough to power the ski resort's 38 lifts and 17 restaurants.

"This project marks a new chapter in Whistler Blackcomb's history book and will become the bedrock of our enactment on climate change," says Arthur DeJong, Whistler Blackcomb's Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager.

" We can now firmly step forward in producing a renewable energy project that makes sense, and to help us move ever-closer to our goal of achieving a net zero footprint within our operating area," DeJong added.

The ski resort is environmentally-friendly in other ways, including reducing the amount of waste it sends to a landfill. Between 2001 and 2005, it reduced the waste sent to a landfill by 29 percent. The resort recycles over 25 different types of materials, including over 800,000 beverage containers a year. In 2006 it composted 100 tons of organic materials, and expanded its composting program to include paper towels in all of the ski resort's bathroom.

Whistler Backcomb reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) it emits by 617,000 kilograms a year through a staff carpooling program. It further reduced its GHG emissions by switching 11,000 light bulbs to energy-efficient models, and installing a 1.0 megawatt river turbine to power light and heat in the lift hut and all of its restrooms.


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