Community Sustainability Toolkit

Communities around the world are searching for a road map to a more sustainable future. One of the world’s leading resort municipalities, Whistler, British Columbia—host city for the alpine events of the 2010 Winter Olympics—is a leader in the quest for both sustainable community and sustainable tourism.

Book: Whistler Community Sustainability Toolkit - The Natural Step, by Sustainability PartnersIn 2001, under the sponsorship of the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Dr. Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare, along with their collaborators Jamie MacDonald, Joey Houssian, and David Waldron, produced a 196 page ‘toolkit’ to be used as a guide for Whistler and other communities in British Columbia on their journeys to sustainability.

The Community Sustainability Toolkit is designed as a "living document" that will expand and evolve over time. The toolkit contains background and resource information on Whistler’s journey toward sustainability using The Natural Step framework as a compass to guide this journey. The toolkit is designed to be a resource for information on sustainability and best sustainable strategies and practices.

As Whistler learns more about integrating sustainable practices into its households, businesses, municipal operations, and the experience of the guests who come to enjoy this beautiful community, more will be added to the toolkit. The toolkit will be upgraded periodically as new information and best practices surface. This will allow everyone to learn together as a community and to create a vehicle for other communities to learn about and benefit from Whistler’s experiences as we all move together toward a more sustainable future.

Also read the case study on Whistler in Dancing with the Tiger.

Table of contents

The tool kit is organized into the following chapters:
  • Chapter 1 provides background information and an overview of the Whistler story leading to the Whistler. It’s our Nature program
  • Chapter 2 introduces the concept of sustainability and describes The Natural Step framework for moving Whistler in a more sustainable direction.
  • Chapter 3 presents an outline for reviewing the current reality of your organization, its energy and material flows, and your impact on the ecosphere based on the Natural Step system conditions.
  • Chapter 4 provides a sample process for creating a clear and compelling vision of what your organization might look like in a sustainable society in alignment with the four System Conditions.
  • Chapter 5 offers a strategic process through which your organization can begin moving from its current reality toward its vision in a sustainable society.
  • Chapter 6 delves deeper into specific material, waste, water, and energy flows to assist you in building strategies to move your organization toward a more sustainable future.
  • Chapter 7 describes a variety of strategies and tools being used by organizations in Whistler to move toward more sustainable practices and operations.
  • Chapter 8 is a compilation of quick reference checklists that summarize the core steps involved in implementing each part of The Natural Step process in chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • Chapter 9 is a glossary of terms commonly associated with sustainability and The Natural Step.
  • Chapter 10 provides a list of website resources for those who want to learn more.

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