Green Destinations has recently certified the town of Breckenridge, CO, as a sustainable destination. Breckenridge is the second town to gain the Mountain IDEAL certification, behind Vail, CO.
Breckenridge has made a serious effort to improve its impact on society and the environment. Green Destinations looks at a town’s innovation, diversity, education, authenticity, and leadership for their Mountain IDEAL certification. In 2011, Breckenridge created their SustainableBreck plan, focused on the impacts of growth. The plan included the town’s approach to resource conservation, economic development, and sociocultural issues. Since then, Breckenridge has made serious strides in the overall sustainability of its community.
The Green Destinations Foundation is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, focusing on sustainable destination development. Many global standards of sustainable tourism focus on destinations such as beach resorts or safaris. Mountain IDEAL was created to specifically address the impact of mountain tourism. When Vail began pursuing certification, Green Destinations realized it was more efficient to create Mountain IDEAL to better serve the needs of mountain towns.
When people think of sustainability, things like recycling, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas reduction. The Mountian IDEAL certification includes workforce housing and cultural heritage protection within its parameters as well. It encompasses a broader spectrum of social, economic, and environmental factors. Within the requirements Mountain IDEAL, Breckenridge will provide local businesses with a sustainability training program.
Breckenridge’s next steps revolve around meeting its renewable energy goals: a 100% reduction in electricity emissions by 2035 and 25% from transportation by 2030. Steps will be taken to increase the number of electric vehicles within the town’s infrastructure and accessibility to power EVs.
Green Destinations will check in every three years to ensure that Breckenridge continues to meet Mountain IDEAL certification standards.