Over the last year, Tourism Kelowna has started to focus on all facets of sustainability including equality, waste prevention, energy efficiency, transportation, purchasing, and more. During this time, our Kelowna Visitor Centre received Gold Certification from Sustainable Tourism and Tourism Kelowna became a Biosphere Committed Entity.
On Monday, May 27, solar panels are being installed on the Kelowna Visitor Centre’s rooftop. With this installation, solar panels will be supplying approximately 10% of the building’s energy in the first year. We are thrilled to be able to convert a portion of our energy usage to solar with potential for future expansion.
Last week, through our partnership with Budget Car and Truck Rental, we upgraded our Kelowna Explorer Vehicle (KEV), previously a Transit Connect minivan, to an all-new Toyota Camry Hybrid. We will be using this vehicle for transportation needs including collateral distribution, familiarization tours, media hosting, and more. After driving over 300 kilometers during the first week, the Camry has used approximately six litres of fuel.
Through consignment agreements, we have partnered with different local vendors to bring in sustainable products as part of the retail program in the Kelowna Visitor Centre. A few examples are the GoldiLocks reusable beeswax food wraps, The Market Bags, EverPresent Giving bags, and Pela Case Biodegradable phone cases.
Finally, the Visitor Experience team has created a sustainability committee which has been tasked with ensuring challenging the team to become more sustainable. This committee will have its first meeting in June where they will be recommending ways that Tourism Kelowna can share sustainability practices and wins with stakeholders, visitors, and local residents.
For more information on our sustainability initiatives, contact our Director of Visitor Experience, Chris Lewis, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 861-1515 ext. 207.