Sunshine Coast, British Columbia (August 28, 2023) - Sunshine Coast Tourism is pleased to announce that its Gibsons and Sechelt Visitor Centres have each received Silver Certification with GreenStep Sustainable Tourism, North America’s largest certification program for the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Our objective when we took over the management of the Gibsons and Sechelt Visitor Centres was to elevate every aspect of operations,” explained Sunshine Coast Tourism Executive Director Annie Wise. “The Centres serve as the voice of our destination, and it’s crucial that voice echoes the core values of our communities. Our commitment to improving on all four pillars of sustainability is unwavering, and achieving GreenStep certification underscores our pledge to turn words into action and lead by example.”
Key initiatives that contributed to Silver Certification:
Launching the Sustainable Sunshine Coast campaign, a partnership managing local sustainable tourism capacity, educating visitors on responsible travel, and aiding the industry's sustainability through resources and programs.
Enhancing cultural awareness and acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples and the First Nation communities of the Sunshine Coast amongst our staff, industry, and visitors to the destination, including mandatory training for staff.
Providing on-site and online visitor education resources, covering topics like WildSafeBC, Safe Boating Guides, AdventureSmart, and water conservation.
Ensuring wheelchair-accessible facilities at both Visitor Centres, including parking, entry, washrooms, and reception desk.
Upholding staff welfare through employment standards, living wages, and continuous learning.
Prioritizing eco and socially sustainable suppliers for retail goods at Visitor Centres.
Using FSC Certified paper for Sunshine Coast Travel Guides.
Implementing recycling programs at both Visitor Centres.
Opting for energy-efficient fixtures and appliances like Energy Star-rated devices, low-flow faucets, toilets, and LED lighting.
To attain Silver Certification, both Visitor Centres underwent assessment by a GreenStep assessor. This process measured their practices against Global Sustainable Tourism Council-Recognized criteria aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals. The certification, valid for two years (2023-2025), mandates re-certification for both Centres afterward.
"We congratulate Sunshine Coast Tourism on achieving GreenStep Certification for both the Gibsons and Sechelt Visitor Centres. By measuring their sustainability performance against the 87 criteria and having their results verified by a GreenStep assessor, they have achieved the requirements and therefore the designation. Visitor Centres play a critical role in helping communicate destination and community values, and this latest achievement helps to showcase the efforts of current sustainability measures of today, while advancing efforts over time through the creation of a sustainability action plan. We look forward to following their progress through the implementation of their action plan in the coming years."
- Jenn Burling, Director of Sustainable Tourism
For more information about Sunshine Coast Tourism’s sustainability initiatives, please visit: https://www.sunshinecoastcanada.com/sustainability/
About Sunshine Coast Tourism
Sunshine Coast Tourism (SCT) is a non-profit destination marketing organization (DMO) established in 2008 to promote and manage BC’s Sunshine Coast as an unparalleled destination for discerning travellers. The organization’s mandate is to cultivate a sustainable year-round tourism economy while protecting and respecting the region’s natural environment and cultural diversity. SCT is committed to facilitating the evolution of the Sunshine Coast as a travel destination that is consistent with the values of its Indigenous communities, residents, local business, and stakeholders across the region. For more information, please visit: Sunshine Coast Canada
About GreenStep Sustainable Tourism:
GreenStep Sustainable Tourism is the largest sustainability certification program for the tourism and hospitality industry in North America. Certified Sustainable Tourism businesses have received a one-on-one assessment of their sustainability performance against a set of 87 criteria, and a customized action plan on how to make their operations more sustainable. Sustainable Tourism is delivered by GreenStep Solutions. To learn more visit www.greensteptourism.com.