Respecting Nature

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Our inspirational mountain setting is a fundamental element of the Banff Centre experience; stimulating participants to connect with, and reflect upon, the physical environment. Banff Centre has adopted practices that will help to protect the diversity of our natural environment as well as the processes that sustain it.

Clean Air

  • Banff Centre has significantly reduced utility CO2 emissions as a result of energy efficiency initiatives.
  • A campus-wide no-vehicle idling policy is in place, which applies to all motorized vehicles and equipment.
  • Four-stroke line trimmers are used on campus to reduce noise and air pollution.

Gentle Practices and Products

  • No pesticides are used in grounds maintenance and no salt is used on roadways.
  • Banff Centre's Housekeeping, Custodial, and Hospitality departments use biodegradable, environment friendly cleaning products for nearly all applications.
  • Environment friendly paint stripper and stain is used to re-finish buildings, including the Professional Development Centre and Leighton Artist Colony.
  • Ox-eye daisies, considered to be a noxious weed in Banff National Park, are removed by hand throughout campus grounds every spring.

Integration with Natural Setting

A key objective of the Centre’s Campus Master Plan and 2005 Area Redevelopment Plans — the guiding documents for the Revitalization project — was to create a unified and cohesive campus that reflects its mountain location. The plans recognized the importance and uniqueness of the Centre’s spectacular setting within Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The project’s architectural language integrated with the mountain topography. Landscaping plans created identified spaces for contemplation and appreciation of art in a mountain environment.

Campus Greening 

Throughout the Revitalization Project and as part of our environmental leadership within the National Park, the Centre undertook:

  • A significant greening of the campus, reducing the areas dedicated to roads and paving (from 14 per cent to 13 per cent site coverage).
  • Increasing natural landscaping (from 63 per cent to 69 per cent).
  • Creating a more pedestrian-friendly campus, while at the same time preserving, and where possible restoring, natural montane vegetation.
  • Wildlife corridors were maintained and wayfinding and access has been improved and simplified, reducing the Centre's overall environmental impact by reducing off-trail traffic.
  • Since 2007, Banff Centre measures its Carbon Footprint. Buildings are equipped with gas and electricity meters that allow us to monitor the consumption of each building, measure the impact of upgrades and renovations and make decisions accordingly.

No Net Growth

The Revitalization Project created no-net growth in the Centre's residential capacity and no intensification of campus use. It made no changes to permitted or discretionary uses or development regulations established by the Town of Banff and Parks Canada.

Earth Day Campus Cleanup

Each year in the spring a campus clean-up day is organized. All Centre staff are invited to participate and prizes and refreshments are offered.