By Dave Butler, Director of Sustainability at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures
This past spring I was lucky enough to get in a visit to Costa Rica. Amidst the beaches, wildlife and diverse landscapes that were a dramatic contrast to this winter’s amazing skiing here at CMH, I was impressed with, and inspired by the commitment there to sustainability. I saw this at both the national level and in individual towns and businesses. It got me thinking about what commitment really means.
The dictionary definition of commitment combines two key elements: responsibility and loyalty. At CMH, we’ve accepted a responsibility for, and have been devoted to fiscal, community and environmental sustainability since Hans Gmoser started the business nearly 50 years ago.
In Costa Rica, I saw successful tourism businesses built from the ground up with a focus on sustainability. In their planning, construction and operations, they use key sustainability principles to create businesses with a very high experience to foot-print ratio. I also visited tourism operations that didn’t start out with sustainability top of mind, but which are now working very hard to incorporate community and environmental stewardship into as much of their business as they possibly can, while at the same time remaining strong and profitable.
I saw both kinds of businesses working hard to continually improve. And that is one of the key pieces in our journey toward sustainability at CMH: no matter how much we’ve done, there is always more to do.
One of the new approaches we’re taking to help us continue to improve is to engage a small team of internal thinkers, leaders and influencers to critically consider: how we stack up against other businesses which lead in sustainability; how we can be more efficient and effective in our sustainability efforts; the business cases for taking action; and how we best monitor our results over time. Known as our Sustainability Advisory Group, this small staff group will take us to a deeper level of commitment to fiscal, community and environmental stewardship.
If you have any questions or ideas for us, please contact me directly. For some of you who have expertise or interest in sustainability, you may be hearing from us to get your perspective on how we can continue to improve. It’s a journey we believe is worth taking.