The looming threat of climate change hangs heavily over these winter havens.
With winters rising temperatures and diminishing snow levels lying resorts now rely on artificial snow for, up to 80% of their needs. If left unchecked this trend could lead to a future where natural snowfall becomes scarce within the century. Therefore it is crucial for the industry to adapt and prioritize sustainability or risk becoming irrelevant.
How Popular Ski Resorts Actioned on Sustainability?
Many ski resorts are rising up to meet this challenge. Zermatt, an Alpine ski resort situated in Switzerland has been, at the forefront of initiatives within the industry. Nestled at the base of the Matterhorn peak Zermatt not provides an unforgettable skiing experience for both beginner skiers and and advanced skiers but also serves as a testament to environmental conservation. The tricable gondola lift station is powered by a photovoltaic (system skiers are transported using buses and snow groomers use eco speed diesel fuels that reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 11%. Moreover they ingeniously repurpose waste plastic for road resurfacing while prioritizing the protection of forests and wildlife sanctuaries with guidance from experts.
Flims Laax Falera
Following a path Flims Laax Falera, a resort is making remarkable progress towards achieving complete self sufficiency and relying solely on renewable energy sources. The resort has accomplished milestones such as incorporating photovoltaics into lift facilities establishing e vehicle and e bike charging points setting up recycling stations and designating zones for animal and plant conservation. Even their ski wax is environmentally friendly as it is biodegradable further mitigating their impact on nature.
Big Sky Montana
Across the Atlantic in North Americas ski resorts are embracing the challenge well. Big Sky, in Montana stands out with its dedication to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 through their Forever Project initiative.This project, which received the NSAAs Golden Eagle Award, for Environmental Excellence generates energy to power ski lifts while also encouraging visitors to offset their carbon footprint.
Moving down towards Vail Resort in Colorado they are making progress towards achieving their ‘Epic Promise’ of zero emissions and waste to landfills by 2030. Their approach involves measures such as upgrading to energy snowmaking equipment implementing green standards for construction and buildings and partnering with Eco Products for sustainable restaurant supplies.
Over in Europe some French ski resorts like Chamonix have set a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2037. They are taking steps such as improving energy efficiency introducing eco buses and hydroelectric plants and promoting use of public transportation within the valley.