Whistler announces carbon neutrality two years ahead of goal

Offsetters Proud to Work with the Resort Municipality of Whistler to Offset Footprint

VANCOUVER, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Offsetters, a leading carbon management solutions provider, has partnered with the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to offset their 2010 corporate footprint, enabling the municipality to be carbon neutral two years ahead of its goal.

As one of the first British Columbia municipalities to adopt a Carbon Neutral Operations plan (September 2009), the RMOW has measured emissions associated with municipal operations, reduced emissions wherever possible, and offset what the municipality has been unable to reduce. Offsetters has invested in high quality and verified projects for the municipality: a local energy efficiency and renewable energy project at SunSelect Produce in Aldergrove, as well as a Gold Standard wind turbine project in Turkey.

"It certainly is a proud moment for us to support the RMOW as a climate action leader," says Dr. James Tansey, CEO and founder, Offsetters. "Thanks to the RMOW's vision and commitment, they have shown municipalities across BC that being carbon neutral is a viable goal to achieve."

The RMOW was one of 179 BC Municipalities that signed the Climate Action Charter, pledging to be operationally carbon neutral by 2012. Although this is the first time that the municipality has purchased offsets associated with their annual municipal operations, the RMOW and Offsetters previously worked together during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, when Whistler voluntarily offset their Games-time emissions.

As well as offsetting carbon emissions, RMOW also implemented reduction initiatives including:

  • A $900,000 upgrade to the Meadow Park Sports Centre that included the installation of a ground source heat pump and a solar hot system designed to significantly reduce the energy load on the building
  • Worked with the designers of the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, the Lost Lake PassivHaus, Village Stroll lighting upgrades, and the Whistler Public Library to reduce emissions
  • Actively engaged on-the-ground staff to identify carbon emissions reduction opportunities
  • Developed a vehicle allowance/staff vehicle mileage framework designed to reduce single occupancy vehicle use and actively reduce overall fuel use for staff travel
  • Ensured that emission reduction requirements are phased into all new contracted service agreements

"The impact of changing climatic conditions - especially reliable snow patterns - has the potential to substantially impact Whistler's primary economic engine - tourism.  It was important for us to take action to have any hope that others will take on this challenge to reduce GHGs," says Mayor Ken Melamed. "We are proud of the comprehensive carbon reduction work that the municipality is doing, and believe that by also supporting great projects that further offset our emissions, we are helping ease the transition to a low carbon future."

For more information about RMOW's Carbon Neutral Operations Plan, visit www.whistler.ca. For more information about Offsetters projects visit www.offsetters.ca.

About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler's local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 10,000 residents and two million annual visitors. The RMOW manages municipal planning and development, park and Village operations, sports facilities and recreation, public utilities and environmental services, bylaws and enforcement, fire rescue, fiscal planning and financial services, legislative services, human resources, communications and the administration of the Whistler2020 Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Whistler's Official Community Plan.

Whistler's vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

About Offsetters
Offsetters is a leading carbon management solutions provider, based in Vancouver, BC with an international portfolio of projects and clients.  Founded in 2005, the company helps organizations and individuals understand, reduce and offset their climate impact. Offsetters invests in high-quality projects that achieve tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and was the first official supplier of carbon offsets in the history of the Olympic movement (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games). For more information and a full list of all of Offsetters' clients and achievements, visit www.offsetters.ca

SOURCE Offsetters Clean Technology

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Alison Murphy, Offsetters: 604-699-2672 or alison.murphy@offsetters.ca
Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838 or brian@tartangroup.ca
RMOW Communications: 604-967-3030 or communications@whistler.ca

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