Our Sustainability Journey - Dining at the Inn

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Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Owner & Maître de Maison
Newsletters, Sustainability Journey23 June 2023


Embracing sustainability has never been a fringe movement for us. Naturally, being surrounded by such a pristine environment and wild beauty has greatly inspired our commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible business practices. We love that so much of our produce, seafood and meat has always been sourced locally from Vancouver Island and greater B.C.— from chanterelles to berries, salmon to Dungeness crab, and more. Not only are these choices in line with a sustainably-minded culinary approach, but they also immerse our guests in an experience that truly embodies the natural abundance of the Pacific Northwest.

Building solid relationships with local suppliers who share our values is paramount. We proudly partner with local producers such as NAAS and The Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild, both staples within the community. Through these partnerships, we support farmers and producers that allow us to offer fresh, seasonal ingredients while minimizing the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation – a win-win.

Behind the On the Rocks Bar, our talented team spotlights unique seasonal ingredients in our cocktail creations, treating guests to a taste of Vancouver Island while engaging them in our sustainability story. From berries foraged in the forests surrounding the Inn and coastline to products brought in by our Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild, there are sure to be fresh ingredients incorporated in innovative ways.

Howard's Wine Cellar also predominantly houses wines from regional producers and small growers, actively seeking winemakers who prioritize sustainable farming practices and responsible viticulture methods. This, in turn, allows for a celebration of the special flavours and expressions of the local terroir, promoting a sense of place and sustainability within our wine program. In 2022, we created the first Sustainability & Wine event here at the Inn, which featured more than ten wine suppliers with sustainable products.

There are a number of certifications and programs that have been instrumental in guiding our sustainability journey. Working alongside BC Green Business has provided valuable resources, expertise, and metrics to enable a continuous improvement in effective sustainability practices and improved performance. The Green Leader Certification is one that showcases our dedication to minimizing our environmental impact. This province-wide recognition awarded by an independent organization assesses and validates our efforts, requiring us to meet or exceed stringent criteria in areas such as waste management, energy efficiency, and conservation. We are very pleased to have been awarded the title of Green Leader for the last three years and to have built a lasting relationship with BC Green Business and Synergy Foundation.

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is another program we align ourselves with. This has helped us implement a broad range of measures, including reducing food waste through portion control and green composting, sourcing ingredients from local suppliers to support the local economy, and promoting sustainable seafood choices to ensure responsible fishing practices. Closer to home, the more recent single-use plastics ban in Tofino presented the perfect opportunity for us to reevaluate our operations and bring in sustainable alternatives. All single-use plastic cutlery and to-go items were replaced with compostable or recyclable items in collaboration with suppliers from our sustainability committee.

The world continues to change and evolve, but our commitment to delivering incredible experiences to our guests while ensuring a lasting legacy for our families and community remains the same. While we aren't perfect, the Wickaninnish Inn has always been dedicated to staying the course on the journey toward a more sustainable tourism experience. We look forward to sharing this commitment to learning and adapting with our dear guests for many years to come.

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