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 December 08, 2015
Whistler Conference Centre and Resort Achieves Impressive Sustainability Certification

 Whistler is the first Canadian destination to achieve the prestigious APEX/ASTM sustainability certification, recognized in four areas.

This is big news in the meetings world, where meeting planners continue to seek out destinations -- and venues -- with strong sustainability records and initiatives.

Tourism Whistler led the certification process with Whistler achieving level 1 certification in the following four standards:

- Meeting Venue -- Whistler Conference Centre (operated by Tourism Whistler)
- Food and Beverage -- Centerplate (F&B provider for the Whistler Conference Centre)
- Destination -- Whistler
- Audio Visual -- Freeman Audio Visual Whistler (A/V provider for the Whistler Conference Centre)

"We celebrate this achievement, as the visitors' bureau for Whistler and the operator of the Whistler Conference Centre, together with Centerplate and with Freeman Audio Visual Whistler and the entire resort," said Karen Goodwin, Tourism Whistler's Vice President of Market Development and Sales.

"We are very proud of this achievement, as it highlights Tourism Whistler's commitment and pioneering attitude toward implementing sustainable procedures and practices. The certification offers event organizers added assurance that they are working with a proven leader in sustainability."

Offering green meeting options has long been a priority for Whistler, resort hotels and the Whistler Conference Centre, which are all committed to sustainable practices wherever possible.

At the Whistler Conference Centre, clients are provided a green meetings guide, detailing the necessary information to implement green meetings and events best practices. Through initiatives like offering fair-trade coffee and 100 per cent OceanWise approved seafood, to no water bottles and waste diversion tactics, Tourism Whistler is able to generate more awareness around sustainable industry procedures.

"Environmentally sustainable practices are at the very core of the Whistler Conference Centre's values, and are a vital part of our corporate and social responsibility," says Goodwin.

APEX is spearheaded by the US Environmental Protection Agency and their relationship with the Green Meeting Industry Council. Standards were developed in collaboration between APEX and ASTM (an ANSI-certified international standard development organization). The standards are referred to as the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards. There are nine independent standards, relative to meetings and events. Each standard comprises of eight environmental impact areas including: staff management and environmental policy, communications, waste, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners.

This certification is the latest sustainability achievement for Whistler, with the Whistler Conference Centre also recognized in 2012 at the top of the list for the Best Places to Meet Green (North America) and recognized with the Sustainability in Action Award at the 2015 Whistler Business Excellence Awards.

Meetings and group business is a significant economic driver for the resort, traditionally representing between 15-30 per cent of room bookings in Whistler with the highest demand from April through October. Room nights generated by the Whistler Conference Centre have historically been more than 50,000 annually.

"Group and meetings business is extremely important to Whistler," said Goodwin. "This type of business helps to drive the overall results for the resort, boosting our annual occupancy and driving business during shoulder-season when the resort would typically be less busy.

www.whistler.com/meetings

@MeetWhistler

Whistler

Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.944.7853 and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

www.whistler.com

@GoWhistler