Through our iconic Canadian Rockies experiences, attractions and hotels, we share and showcase the natural beauty, rich history and living culture of Banff and Jasper national parks. This great privilege comes with an even greater responsibility to protect our natural resources for future generations.
Over the last few years, we have been championing sustainability with Promise to Place, which guides all Pursuit operations by building community, fostering inclusivity and lessening our environmental impact.
"We're entering the next chapter in sustainable leadership," says Stuart Back, chief operating officer, Banff Jasper Collection. “By sharpening our focus to align with global best practices and setting ambitious targets, we're providing meaningful opportunities for Pursuit guests to join in our journey of minimizing energy, waste, water consumption and overall carbon footprint."
In April 2023, Banff Jasper Collection engaged Canadian sustainable tourism leader GreenStep to challenge and accelerate our stewardship goals. Our partnership with the UN Worldwide Tourism Organization affiliate member has allowed us to harness a holistic results-driven framework and benefit from GreenStep's extensive environmental and regulatory expertise and rigorous and transparent auditing processes.
"The Pursuit team is taking an active leadership role in advancing their Promise to Place journey," says Angela Nagy, president and chief executive officer of GreenStep. "Drawing from international best practices, we've created the strategic framework, accountability structure, and transparent reporting system to ensure their sustainability goals align with global standards and facilitate reaching their immediate and long-term objectives."
The following milestones reflect the invaluable contributions of our leadership, team members, guests and GreenStep partners to date.
On May 1, 2023, we introduced an EcoFee on all Pursuit hotels, attractions and transportation in Banff, Jasper and Waterton in Alberta and Golden, British Columbia. The EcoFee serves as a dynamic tool. It empowers our guests to participate in propelling existing and new sustainability initiatives forward. Through this innovative approach, all monies raised are deposited into an EcoFund, managed in trust by GreenStep. Funds will be released as we implement approved initiatives to reduce carbon, water, waste, and energy outputs, as identified in our integrated sustainability action plan.
We assessed all hotels, attractions, tours and transportation services against Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria to establish a baseline for sustainable management and our socioeconomic, cultural and environmental impact. We scored Silver in our initial rating and have set a Gold certification goal. Additionally, GreenStep facilitated comprehensive water, waste, and energy assessments and carbon footprint measurements to help identify efficiency gaps and opportunities.
Accountability is key to meeting our sustainability goals. Following GreenStep's actionable planning process, we defined objectives to align with our Promise to Place strategies and global standards, established timelines, set success metrics and assigned resources. We are in the final stages of completing our sustainability roadmap, outlining short, medium and long-term investments to improve efficiencies, lessen our environmental impact and achieve net zero by 2050.
To drive our action plan forward, we've created a green team with representatives from each attraction and hotel within Banff Jasper Collection, Waterton and Golden, as well as our transportation and support services teams. We learn through engagement and by giving a voice to our on-the-ground members, we can identify challenges and opportunities in real-time and gain valuable buy-in throughout the Collection.
Thanks to our guests unwavering partnership, we are not only nearing our 2023 EcoFund goal of $1 million, but also fostering a collective commitment to responsible travel. Each EcoFee contribution directly supports initiatives identified through GreenStep's auditing process, contributing to the reduction of our environmental impact and the enhancement of our sustainability performance. We are grateful to all our guests for supporting responsible travel — together, we will tread lighter on this planet.
We are building a team of passionate people determined to make a difference in the places we love. Every effort counts. Meet more of them here and discover how Promise to Place is the real deal.