Note From Charles April 2014
Yesterday's Earth Day – April 22 – was a good time to be thinking green. Of course, located as the Wickaninnish Inn is on the edge of a rainforest, we tend to think green year round. But now that we’ve just successfully completed our Green Key audit, we’re thinking about a lot more than the hues of moss and cedar branches.
Running an Inn that is environmentally sensitive is as important to us as offering luxurious rooms and providing attentive hospitality. When you look out the Inn’s windows, you can see why: We are surrounded by some of the most magnificent wilderness on Earth, and we want to do everything in our power to preserve it. In fact, protecting this beautiful place has been part of my family’s goal since my parents came here in the 1950s, and that’s a legacy I want to live up to.
And so we’re especially pleased and proud that we’ve maintained our 5 Green Key status with the Hotel Association of Canada even with their new and more rigorous standards. According to the Green Key Global rating system, a 5 Key property is one that “exemplifies the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility throughout all areas of operations (and) employs cutting edge technologies, policies, and programs that set the international standard for sustainable hotel operations.”
So, what have we been doing to green our world and yours?
Well, we source as much of our food from local farmers and fishers as we can. We support local artists and artisans, and use as much local material in our decor and construction as possible. Our Ancient Cedars Spa uses eco-friendly products such as the luxurious SeaFlora line made from sustainably harvested Vancouver Island seaweed. Of course, we recycle and compost; in fact, the Inn’s Environmental Steward, Jamie Hill, Is helping us upgrade our composting facility right now.
In addition, in 2011, we completed our retro-fit with super high-efficiency Viessmann boilers, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. We’ve also been cutting our electricity usage by installing as many power-efficient features as we can – even the Pointe parking lot lighting is being converted from high-pressure sodium to LED, which will lead to a 76 per cent reduction in energy use. In 2012 we installed a CS-100 electric vehicle charger, and welcomed our first fully electrical vehicles to the Inn. And since 2008, every Earth Day, we’ve led the cleanup of the Tofino Multi Use Path.
You may have cycled this popular path, and now we’re hoping more of our guests and, especially, our staff do the same. We’re a big supporter of Bike to Work Week (May 26 to June 1), and are just in the process of creating a beautiful structure to better house bikes for staff and guests alike.
After all, when you’re lucky enough to enjoy a place as beautiful as Vancouver Island’s west coast, don’t you want to take care of it so others can do the same?
Managing Director Charles McDiarmid