Sustainability consultants take root in the Comox Valley

GreenStep Solutions operate a sustainable tourism certification program called Green Tourism Canada.

GreenStep Solutions Inc. co-founders Lindsay and Darrell Eason have expanded their company from the Okanagan to Vancouver Island.

From one beautiful valley to another, GreenStep Solutions Inc. co-founders Lindsay and Darrell Eason have expanded their company from the Okanagan to Vancouver Island.

“This is such a unique place,” Lindsay said. “There is so much opportunity for sustainable tourism and green business in the Comox Valley. We are very excited to continue to work with B.C. businesses from our new home base.”

Helping tourism businesses remains their focus. GreenStep runs a sustainable tourism certification program called Green Tourism Canada. It provides third-party assessments to help members minimize waste, promotes the use of local suppliers, and advises how to use water and energy efficiently. The program allocates bronze, silver and gold awards to members assessed by auditors on more than 140 measures in 11 categories.

“Vancouver Island is an eco-tourism hotspot, and we want to enhance the awareness of this on a national scale, and help businesses get a sense of what else they can do to reduce their environmental impact even further,” says Eason.

There are many attractions, whale watching and wildlife tour companies, as well as hotels and resorts certified on Vancouver Island, and a few of those members are unique.

Strathcona Park Lodge has been part of the program since 2010. Their sustainability roots run deep and owner Jamie Boulding has found that being part of Green Tourism has “helped us to stay competitive. We offer a true, off-grid experience, and with the growing competition, this certification gives us a competitive advantage.”

40 Knots is the first Island winery to become certified by the international program. Owners Brenda Hetman-Craig and Layne Robert Craig chose to join Green Tourism because they were “seeking assistance with furthering their business plan to be ethically and environmentally responsible and gain recognition for efforts by a recognized and reputable program.” When asked how the certification is helping them, Brenda said “Green Tourism provided expert advice regarding reductions in electricity and water consumption and offered resources for purchasing sustainable products. They created a prioritized action list for our planned work that gave us the highest impact for money savings and environmental footprint reductions.”

Other North Island members include Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours, West Coast Expeditions and Destiny River Adventures.

GreenStep is working with businesses all over the Island, with most certified members in the Capital Regional District. But “by establishing our presence up Island, we can grow the awareness of sustainable tourism here in a unique way compared to Victoria, Vancouver or the Okanagan,” adds Eason.

There are over 2,400 tourism operators certified internationally, with over 80 businesses certified or awaiting grading in B.C. The program is expanding across Canada with plans to include U.S. tourism businesses next year.

FMI www.greentourismcanada.com or contact Lindsay Eason at 1-800-469-7830 or lindsay@greenstep.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District receives $100,000 to develop poverty action plan

Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says a $100,000 grant in provincial funding… Continue reading

Spring In The Garden: Natural disarray adds to the charm of the English cottage garden

Ellen Presley Special to The Record The cottage garden has had an… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community generosity helps Courtenay Elementary school replace stolen bikes

Community compassion, coupled with school connections, helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

Comox Valley businesses, organizations and individuals helping improve the lives of others

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read