Sustainability Certifications

Sustainability has been embedded in the day-to-day operations of the Inn since our inception. We have intentionally pursued a number of certifications that complement each other and cover a diverse range of initiatives.

These certifications are hard work and take dedication. The frameworks, roadmaps and audits ensure that we are accountable for our actions and transparent in our reporting. They allow us to see our progress, assess what is working and what isn't, and adjust our actions accordingly. They also provide opportunities for us to connect with our peers in the sustainability field as we share best practices and milestones together.

Green Salal Bush with Sunlight by Caitlin Ronda

Biosphere Certified

Created by the Responsible Tourism Institute in collaboration with the United Nations, the Biosphere Certification program is a promising step into the new world of sustainable and regenerative tourism. It is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 targets of the United Nations as well as the guidelines of the Paris Climate Summit, COP 21, and the principles and objectives of the main international Summits and Charters on sustainability. Beyond the environmental factors, the program also promotes social sustainability, including providing a secure and healthy work environment for our team members and a lasting legacy for our families and community.

The Wickanninnish Inn is proud to be the first Relais & Châteaux property to be Biosphere Certified in North America and the second Relais & Châteaux property in the world. We achieved our certification in 2023.

Green Key Program

For more than a decade, we have held a Five Key Status as a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Hotel Association of Canada's Green Key Eco-Rating Program. Green Key Global is a comprehensive, worldwide program delivered by the Global Sustainability Tourism Council. The Five Key Status is the highest level. We maintain this status through rigorous audits and by demonstrating our commitment to cutting-edge technologies, standards, and programs that set the international standard for sustainable hotel operations.

Sustainable Tourism Program

Since 2016, we've undergone rigorous evaluation by the Sustainable Tourism Program. As the world's largest sustainability certification for tourism businesses, the certification led by Greenstep grades properties on over 80 criteria, calculating greenhouse gas emissions, electricity consumption, and hydro usage, examining both current numbers and future projections. We are pleased to have consistently achieved Gold Certification, with reassessments conducted every two years.

Person standing on the rocks overlooking the beach

Green Leader Business

The Pointe Restaurant proudly holds Green Leader Status, attained by a green level score through the Vancouver Island Green Business Collective (VIGBC) for at least 3 consecutive years. Operating on a provincial scale, this certification assesses the environmental impact of an establishment, requiring us to meet or exceed stringent criteria in areas such as waste management, energy efficiency, and conservation. The Pointe Restaurant has been growing its score since we started working with VIGBC in 2016, achieving 46/51 points in 2022 and placing us amongst the leaders on Vancouver Island for this certification.

Complementing this certification, the Inn is also recognized as an Ocean Friendly Business. This award highlights our efforts to reduce our plastic footprint and divert waste from our oceans. Single-use plastics make up 90% of the garbage found on our local beaches during regular clean-ups. At the Inn, waste audits are implemented to determine the amount of plastic going in and out of our operations and in accordance with the Tofino bylaw banning single-use plastics, the Ocean Friendly certification has also supported us in transitioning to reusable wares throughout our property.

WildSafe BC Business Pledge

Recognizing the potential for conflicts to arise between animals and humans in our natural environment, the Wickaninnish Inn has embraced the WildSafe Business Pledge to ensure the safety of both our team members and guests while preserving the surrounding wilderness of our area. The Inn proactively works towards mitigating wildlife conflicts by implementing best practices in waste management and providing annual comprehensive training strategies by WildSafeBC for team members to enhance our understanding of safety protocols and conflict reduction.

Workplace Safety

We are proud to be a part of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program through go2HR. This program recognizes employers who go above and beyond the legal requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health & Safety Regulation by elevating their health and safety practices. Some examples of our initiatives include incentivizing non-smoking, encouraging biking to work, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Relais & Châteaux Sustainability Report

At the end of 2022, Relais & Châteaux published the first Sustainability Report in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and based on data gathered from member properties, including the Wickaninnish Inn. Please feel welcome to learn more about how, as an association, we are measuring our impact, establishing clear objectives, tracking our progress, and holding ourselves accountable.