Town of Canmore, Canada

Canmore, Alberta, Canada Canmore, a mountain town in the Bow Valley in southern Alberta between Calgary and Banff has a permanent population of 11,500 and an additional seasonal population of 4,800. Canmore was the second Canadian community to implement The Natural Step’s community-wide engagement program (after Whistler, BC). In total, eight organizations – including the municipal government, small businesses, a large hotel, a major developer, the public library, and the local seniors association – participated in a training program based on The Natural Step Framework. As a result, The Bow Valley Sustainability Hub was established in 2006 to support a culture of sustainability in Canmore and the greater Bow Valley. It’s a thriving source of information; a natural focal point for sustainability initiatives in the area and gives seminars to small businesses, real estate agents, developers and home-owners. The Town of Canmore has also developed an internal sustainability training program for all municipal staff plus decision-making tools to be able to evaluate projects through the lens of The Natural Step Framework. Another result of The Natural Step partnership is Canmore’s Sustainability Screening Report (SSR). This new process asks developers to come forward before a project is approved with a document that explains the net environmental, social, and economic benefit of their project as it relates to community sustainability. Since implementing the SSR process, the development industry has contributed over $1 million to the Town’s Perpetually Affordable Housing fund, a formal “adoption” of the Canmore Community Daycare for 2 years, $350,000 funding support for the Canmore Community Coop Workshop and Gallery and a potential 8.5 million dollars in local wages....

Resort Municipality of Whistler, Canada

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada The Resort Municipality of Whistler was the first community in North America to adopt The Natural Step Framework. With its stunning natural beauty, tremendous growth challenges and upcoming 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Whistler has spent the last decade understanding what sustainability means in its specific context. Through leadership, commitment and competence, Whistler has created an award-winning, comprehensive, community sustainability plan, enjoyed extensive early successes and continues to have an unwavering community-created vision and commitment. Whistler2020, the community’s strategic plan, is an ambitious step toward sustainability. Guided by local values and The Natural Step’s sustainability principles, the plan is a product of the creativity and commitment of 16 community taskforces, over 20 partners and 75 implementing organizations. It’s won numerous awards, including the FCM’s Sustainable Community award, and the United Nation’s sponsored Liveable Communities gold medal for ‘planning for the future’. Recently, Whistler has opened a LEED Gold equivalent Public library, signed six new Whistler2020 partners, become the first of 157 Canadian communities to reach the final milestone of the Partners for Climate Protection, added a Food Security Task Force to their 16 community priority areas, received a Green City Award from the Premier and signed on to the Province of British Columbia’s Climate Neutral Initiative. Read the full case study...