Our Approach

4VI is committed to ensuring that travel is a force for good on Vancouver Island- forever. We accomplish this by supporting four pillars of social responsibility; communities, businesses, culture and the environment. 

At present, we possess a Biosphere Certification from the Responsible Tourism Institute and are a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration. We are also undertaking a carbon audit of our destination, which will be released in 2023 along with a decarbonization plan for the local tourism industry. 

4VI is committed to setting actionable goals, providing transparent reporting on our progress, and working with local partners to move sustainability forward. Readers can learn more about 4VI’s newest initiatives by subscribing to the 4VI newsletter and LinkedIn page.

Two women, one in a wheel chair enjoying museum exhibits together


Biosphere Certification

4VI is Biosphere Certified by the Responsible Tourism Institute, an international certified body that is affiliated with the World Tourism Organization and a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The Biosphere Certification ensures that 4VI is meaningfully leading and engaging with tourism projects that span the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals focus on inclusive economic growth, social and cultural well-being, and environmental sustainability in the tourism industry on Vancouver Island. 

As part of our certification, 4VI also manages a Biosphere Commitment Program which enables tourism businesses to plan, manage, and implement their own sustainability goals. Members of the commitment program are provided with the necessary resources and guidance to help transform their operations and communicate sustainability effectively with consumer markets.

Accreditation of the Biosphere distinction

Glasgow Declaration

In April 2022, 4VI became a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration. The Glasgow Declaration is an initiative supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to halve global carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. As part of this initiative, 4VI has committed to measuring the carbon footprint of Vancouver Island’s tourism industry and creating a decarbonization plan for our destination.

We are pleased to announce that this project is now underway and will be completed in early 2023. Over the following months we will be keeping our stakeholders informed on the progress of this project and announcing climate action funding opportunities for tourism operators. 

We are the first DMO in North America to perform a carbon audit and develop a decarbonization plan at this scale. 

Glasgow Declaration Climate Action in Tourism logo

Carbon Neutral

4VI became a carbon neutral organization in 2023, with 2022 marking the first fiscal year that we measured and reported our carbon emissions.

Our organization has set its reduction target of 20% emissions over its baseline year by 2025. In order to accomplish this task, we are working to reduce our largest emission sources, including staff commuting, travel, and natural gas usage.

We continue to purchase and engage with local carbon offsetting projects that prioritize and implement carbon action on Vancouver Island.

Challenges and Solutions

Data Availability

Presently, there is a lack of centralized and publicly available data that can be used to help inform sustainability planning for Vancouver Island’s tourism sector. We are working with experts in the field to bridge this gap and facilitate streamlined data sharing for all interested parties.

Funding Opportunities

Connecting tourism stakeholders with relevant funding opportunities will be essential to the adoption of sustainable initiatives across the industry. In order to address this challenge, 4VI provides information on new funding opportunities through our communication channels, events, and specialized programming. 

Key Performance Indicators

4VI is currently in the process of determining key performance indicators to accurately measure our sustainable impact on Vancouver Island. This is an innovative approach for the tourism sector and will require comprehensive research and engagement in order to develop. New key performance indicators are planned to be announced in 2023.

Collaboration & Partnerships

Partnerships across the tourism industry and between diverse sectors will be crucial to achieving the scale and sustained impact needed for meaningful change. We are currently in the process of forming new partnerships and collaborative initiatives. At this time we are performing consultation sessions with stakeholders to discuss and understand diverse perspectives, educate on the importance of sustainability, and identify further opportunities to work together.

Downhill skier in the foreground with the slash sea and islands in far background


At this time, we are working with sustainability specialists from Vancouver Island and abroad to determine which data pathways 4VI should be collecting and developing, in order to accurately track progress that is being made across our destination. Once established, the data will be publicly available through our communication channels and an online impact portal. 

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