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Businesses recognized for thinking green

AWARE to present second annual Whistler Environmental Business Awards

By Andrew Mitchell

There is no shortage of nominees this year as the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment presents its second annual Whistler Environmental Business Awards.

The awards recognize small, medium and large businesses that are actively attempting to reduce their environmental impact through green policies and investments, and to improve the natural environment.

Last year the small business (under 10 employees) was the Northlands Medical Clinic, which among other things has gone paper-free with electronic patient records.

In the medium business category (10 to 99 employees) the winner was Ziptrek Ecotours, which teaches the basics of The Natural Step framework for sustainability to visitors and draws power from Fitzsimmons Creek, among other things.

The large business winner (over 100 employees) was Whistler-Blackcomb for a variety of initiatives, including a substantial investment to increase energy efficiency, its ongoing support for the Habitat Improvement Team, its green energy program, and other projects.

AWARE is still taking nominations for 2007 from local businesses. The application requirements are available online at , inviting businesses to explain their contributions in one or more of the following categories — climate change, conservation, environmental health, environmental learning, restoration and rehabilitation, and sustainable living. Bonus points will be awarded for examples of corporate social responsibility.

The winners in each category will be decided by the AWARE board of directors, who will score each application using the criteria set out in the application.

The deadline for applications is June 2, 2006. Applications should be sent to AWARE director Sholto Shaw at .

The awards will be presented at Whistler’s Enviro Fest on June 10.