I thought this would be a topical subject as the corporate ownership of the resort I work for has just been given an award by the EPA for being a “Green Power Leader.” Now, I do think that our ownership/leadership fully understand that to have any chance of lasting as a viable business, winter resorts such as theirs, need to do whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint as well as to educate their customers on what they can do to help counteract climate change.
I find the balance between what a ski resort can realistically change in their operations and what probably needs to change in our society quite interesting because without change in the current global trends in carbon emissions, the prospects for snowy winters 100 years down the road is quite dismal.
So, realistically how much can a ski company do? Well, committing up to 1% of revenue to promote energy efficiencies and alternatives is a good start. However, this probably is more than balanced out by all the energy needed to run the lifts, snowguns, lodges and snowcats that the resort needs to run. I think can be best summed up in what our Director of Environmental Affairs likes to say, “doing something is always better than doing nothing.” And with my personal saying (for the season) being, “you do what you can,” I think that while a ski resort could always be more environmentally friendly, ones that are trying to do what they can to to reduce their energy needs as well as educate their guests are doing more than just a simple greenwash.
Perhaps I’m just kidding myself, as this is the industry I work in and a sport I truly have a passion for, but I do feel much better working for the company I am with the environmental direction that they have taken.
A few mountain resort environmental links:
- www.saveoursnow.net – Park City Mountain Resort
- www.powdr.com/site/environmental-vision/index.html – POWDR Corp
- www.savesnow.org – Aspen/Snowmass
- green.jiminypeak.com – Jiminy Peak (love the turbine!)