Get RV Rental Pricing & Availability

Don’t go away – we’re working on it!

Get RV Sales Pricing & Availability

August 8th 2023

The experience of exploring the Athabasca Glacier with a Columbia Icefield Adventure is unmatched. For Pursuit Collection, the operator of the glacier-top tours, the great adventure comes with even greater eco-responsibility.

The Glacier Discovery Centre in Alberta’s Jasper National Park is surrounded by untouched wilderness. Preserving this pristine place is hugely important to Pursuit's Columbia Icefield Adventure team, who believe that each eco-initiative implemented — no matter the size — will have a positive impact.
Ice Explorer on Athabasca Glacier
Interested in learning more? Read on to find out what's being done now and how you can get involved.
1. Refurbish versus replace
Rather than overhauling the entire Ice Explorer fleet, Pursuit is upgrading all 22 vehicles. To date, 11 have been fully refurbished, and the new engines have drastically reduced nitrogen oxide emissions.
Another plus is that the eco-friendly horsepower is positively impacting guest experience. Quieter engines create a calmer feel on the ice, which enhances the magic.
2. Biodegradable is best for hydraulic fluid
The hydraulic fluid — the stuff that keeps things moving — used in the Ice Explorer fleet is zinc- and calcium-free. Conventional transmission fluids contain these minerals, which can seep into the soil and water stream. To mitigate the ecological effects of the operation, Pursuit has sourced a product that’s more than 30% biodegradable within 28 days. It’s also recyclable and nontoxic to water-inhabiting species.
3. One-of-a-kind water treatment
Because of its remote location, everyday operations at the Columbia Icefield often require innovative solutions. And while the Glacier Discovery Centre has long been self-sufficient in water usage, in 2016 it received a massive upgrade. Designed and constructed by AquaDiversities and 9dot Engineering, the Glacier Discovery Centre’s on-site wastewater plant uses advanced oxidization technology to ensure the water used re-enters the environment with a net-zero impact. Now, not only does the treatment quality meet Parks Canada’s strict environmental standards – it exceeds them.
Testing water samples on the Athabasca Glacier
4. New energy efficiencies
To help reduce fossil fuel and energy consumption, the Glacier Discovery Centre recently switched its generator system from diesel to propane. Diesel engines produce carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
By switching to propane, the Glacier Discovery Centre’s carbon footprint has been reduced by more than 30%.
5. Guest education
As the Columbia Icefield Adventure team does their part, they ask guests to also lend a hand. Small acts add up. A few easy additions for your packing list include a reusable water bottle, coffee mug, shopping bag for souvenirs and snack bags.
Couple walking on glacier
Eco-initiatives at the Columbia Icefield are in a constant state of evolving and growing. Thanks to the groundwork that’s been laid to date, more guests can responsibly enjoy the wonders of the Athabasca Glacier, with hopes of continued tours for generations to come.

Columbia Icefield Adventure is a CanaDream Club partner.  Book your Icefields tour now and experience this quintessential Canadian Rockies tour for yourself.

back to top