The mountain town of Canmore, a hugely popular tourist destination, is deeply involved in the business of sustainable tourism through its association with an international movement.
The Natural Step is an international, non-profit organization started in Sweden more than 15 years ago.
The fundamental goals of this organization are to promote a greater understanding and commitment to sustainability, as well as the implementation of sustainable development by working with organizations, individuals and communities.
The ultimate objective if the Swedish group is to eliminate things like the physical degradation on nature, and conditions that systematically undermine people's capacity to meet their needs.
There are currently TNS teams in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Japan and Brazil with activities occurring in many other countries such as France, Italy and Hungary.
The Town of Canmore, in partnership with various local organizations, made its commitment to sustainability and to the Natural Step process in 2004.
This endeavor involved a series of education and training workshops for participating organizations leading to a process whereby participants commence creating a common vision for a sustainable Canmore and a plan to move the community strategically toward its vision.
Along with the town, among the first organizations to step up to the plate were Three Sisters Mountain Village. Others to come on board early were the Radisson Hotel, Alpine Insurance, Bow Valley Waste Management Commission (BVWMC), the Canmore Seniors Association, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co, the public library and Polar Pin.
On Oct. 12, 2005, a one-day community sustainability forum, with special guest speakers David Suziki, Karl-Henrik Robert and tem manning launched The Natural Step in Canmore.
Siziki and Robert talked to the community about the sustainability challenge and solution using The Natural Step framework.
Manning spoke about the "business of sustainable tourism" focusing on the planning and management of tourism for the mutual benefit of tourists, the tourism industry, communities and tourism destinations like Canmore.
The Environmental Advisory Review Committee has been also working with the town of Canmore toward a more sustainable future with less negative impact on the environment.
Action plans for the following five environmental initiatives have been undertaken" water management energy management, waste management, cosmetic pesticide management and snow management.