Vail Resorts plans to invest $25 million in energy saving projects like low-energy snowmaking equipment, green building design and construction, and more efficient grooming practices and equipment, as part of its efforts to reach zero net emissions by 2030. This will reduce the company’s electricity and natural gas use by 15%, according to Vail.
Vail Resorts will also purchase 100% renewable energy equivalent to its total electrical energy use, and will work with utilities and local governments to bring more renewable energy to the grids where Vail operates its resorts.
The company says it will share its progress in an annual sustainability report following the fiscal year ending July 2018; the report will follow the Global Reporting Initiative’s standard.
Vail Resorts also plans to improve its recycling and composting program, engage with vendors to reduce packaging and to source recyclable and compostable products, work with local resort communities to increase options for reuse and diversion, and increase awareness and engagement with employees and guests through signage, labeling and training in order to reach zero waste to landfill by 2030, the company says. The goal is part of its just-announced “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint,” which also includes a commitment to reach zero net emissions by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
Vail’s CEO, Rob Katz, points out that committing to renewable energy is a good business decision. “We talk about an environmental goal of needing to use less, but that’s an important business goal too. It means we are being smart about not only the resources we use inside the company, but also how we use any resources outside the company … particularly when the environment is both our product and our passion,” he says (via the Denver Post).
With Vail’s acquisition of major ski resorts in areas like Australia, British Columbia, California, Utah, Vermont and Colorado, the company is certainly big enough to influence environmental change, according to the article.
‘I Am Pro Snow…’
Last spring, three New York State ski resorts – Belleayre, Gore Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain – pledged to bepowered by 100% renewable energy by 2030. The resorts joined The Climate Reality Project, I Am Pro Snow – 100% Committed, to help stop climate change. The 100% Committed initiative corresponds with Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, launched last August, which requires that half of all electricity used statewide come from renewable sources by 2030.