4 Largest Ski Industry Leaders Unite to Fight Climate Change

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Alterra, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, and Vail Resorts

Today, Alterra Mountain Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, and Vail Resorts announce the Climate Collaborative Charter, the ski industry’s first unified effort to combat climate change with shared commitments around sustainability and advocacy.

All four ski industry leaders have agreed to operate their respective resorts with sustainability at the forefront and use their collective voice to advocate for effective public policy on climate action in order to leave a positive legacy for future generations of skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts. This will translate to further implementation of sustainable practices, including elements from NSAA’s Sustainable Slopesplatform, across the combined 71 North American resorts, including marquee destinations such as Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Vail Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain, Big Sky Resort, Snowbird, Mt. Bachelor and Killington.

As part of the Climate Collaborative Charter, Alterra Mountain Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, and Vail Resorts together announce a set of commitments and pledges.

As business leaders, the resort companies commit to:

  • Reduce energy use wherever possible and aggressively pursue renewable energy sources to be carbon neutral
  • Climate action and advocacy for effective public policy to accelerate the shift to a renewable energy economy
  • Strong efforts and goals to reduce waste
  • Be responsible stewards of the environment – the land, forests, watersheds, and habitats that provide the pristine locations where we live, work and host guests
  • Share best practices to accelerate change in their respective companies and communities
  • Support the National Ski Areas Association’s Sustainable Slopes platform

As stewards of the environment, the resort companies pledge to:

  • Incorporate sustainability into all aspects of their owned and operated mountain resorts
  • Lead by example and educate employees and guests about sustainability
  • Place collaboration over competition when it comes to sustainability
  • Advocate for climate protection

“We are very proud to be a part of this historic action and to co-create the industry’s first Climate Collaborative Charter. This is an incredible opportunity for industry leaders to engage in healthy competition while educating, sharing best practices and knowledge, and motivating each other to put our best efforts forth to help support the urgent and core issues of sustainability.”

– David Perry, Executive VP, ESG, Alterra Mountain Company

“It is through bold environmental commitments and ongoing collaboration that we will have the most impact on protecting and preserving the great outdoors. We announced Commitment to Zero in 2017, our goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030 across all our 37 resorts, and we are proud to have already made substantial progress toward that goal. Now, through the Climate Collaborative Charter, we look forward to partnering with these passionate leaders, and the entire industry, to leverage our progress and support many others on the same journey.”

– Kate Wilson, senior director of sustainability at Vail Resorts

“As part of POWDR’s Play Forever commitment to protect the environment and support our community, the importance of collaboration to drive both action and inspiration at scale is paramount. We all must reach across the chairlift to work together, and the Climate Collaborative Charter is a phenomenal step of unity that complements on-site actions like using solar power at all of our resorts. POWDR is eager to work with Alterra Mountain Company, Boyne Resorts, Vail Resorts, NSAA, and the mountain resort industry as a whole as a united front to drive necessary change.”

– Laura Schaffer, POWDR Director of Corporate Responsibility

“The idea for the four of us to unite in this pledge to combat climate change was actually formed at an industry conference in October of 2019 and it has endured many iterations and diligent review to get us to where we proudly are today. This effort brought momentum to Boyne Resorts’ progress with several environmental sustainability initiatives represented in our ForeverProject and we are excited to welcome the shared knowledge, accountability, collective voice and other benefits to come from the Climate Collaborative Charter.”

– Stephen Kircher, president and chief executive officer of Boyne Resorts

As the four largest ski industry leaders unite to combat climate change, they also humbly and urgently ask that all mountain resorts commit to taking similar action. Additionally, this coalition is working to broaden engagement and participation from its employees, guests, and community members, and be inclusive of voices and perspectives from all backgrounds.

Please click here for the complete Climate Collaborative Charter (also below):

Climate Collaborative Charter

June 2021

The four largest ski resort companies in North America agree, when it comes to our rapidly changing climate, that we have a shared responsibility to take a strong stance on the core issues of sustainability. Although we are competitors in business, we acknowledge that what we have in common is even more essential when it comes to combating climate change.

Alterra Mountain Company, Vail Resorts, Boyne Resorts and POWDR collectively own and operate 71 mountain resorts throughout North America,

We all believe that:

• Climate change is the most critical issue we face as business leaders and as citizens of this continent and inhabitants of Earth. The dramatic rise in greenhouse gasses that is disrupting our planetary system and threatening our way of life is primarily human-caused and needs urgent attention by all affected. As mountain resort companies, we appreciate that we are extremely fortunate to live, work and play in beautiful pristine natural environments and that we have a deep responsibility to our employees, our communities, and the millions of guests that visit us each year to maintain that environment.

• The scientific evidence and first-hand observations of change resulting from weather extremes and volatility is clear and true. The impacts to the forests, habitats, and ecosystems is dramatic, and just the beginning of the problem we all face on a planetary scale.

• We must do everything in our power to leave a positive legacy for future generations, and to operate and manage our mountain resorts with a commitment to protecting and preserving our environment.

As business leaders, we COMMIT to:

• Reduce our energy use wherever possible and to aggressively pursue renewable energy sources to be carbon neutral

• Climate action and advocacy for effective public policy to accelerate the shift to a renewable energy economy

• Strong efforts and goals to reduce waste

• Be responsible stewards of our environment – the land, forests, watersheds, and habitats that provide the pristine locations where we live, work and host our guests

• Share best practices to accelerate change in our companies and communities

• Support the National Ski Areas Association’s Sustainable Slopes platform

As stewards of the environment, we PLEDGE to:

• Incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our mountain resorts

• Lead by example and educate employees and guests about sustainability

• Place collaboration over competition when it comes to sustainability

• Advocate for climate protection

Throughout our industry, many mountain resorts have achieved remarkable progress already by being leaders in reducing their carbon footprint and managing their businesses in environmentally responsible ways. Our goal is to broaden this coalition and engage with the widest audience we can – industry leaders, employees, guests, and community members, inclusive of voices and perspectives from all backgrounds.

Our political leaders share the same responsibilities as we do as friendly competitors – to coalesce around our shared challenge, and to take immediate and strong action to reverse the course we are on today. We urge these leaders to adopt policies to curtail greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate a shift to renewable energy sources and the establishment of a clean energy economy.

We humbly and urgently ask that all mountain resorts and those whom enjoy our public lands and the spectacular natural settings at these resorts join us in doing whatever you can to facilitate positive change. 

Agreed:

Rusty Gregory – Alterra Mountain Company

Stephen Kircher – Boyne Resorts

Wade Martin – POWDR

Rob Katz – Vail Resorts


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One thought on “4 Largest Ski Industry Leaders Unite to Fight Climate Change

  1. Could I roll my eyes any further? You’ll have to excuse my extreme skepticism. This is highly likely just another marketing gimmick. Let’s see them put something with teeth on paper and sign it with strong consequences for breaking it.

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