Thredbo, Australia Goes Green: Sustainability in the Ski Industry

Joseph Phillips | | Industry NewsIndustry News
POW supports Thredbos decision to go 100% reneewbale energy, sustainability
POW crew at Thredbo supporting their commitment to 100% renewable energy. Photo Cred: Thredbo Resort

The skiing industry is a dirty business: energy for hotels and lifts, gas for travel and snowcats, water for snowmaking and guests, and literally tons of waste do not exactly make it a green activity. It is in the ski industries best interest to limit their emissions and work together to protect winters.

Many ski resorts have realized they need to take initiative and invest in cleaner operations. Thredbo is the newest resort, and first Australian resort, to announce their plan to operate on 100% renewable energy by partnering with energy provider Red Energy. According to Thredbo’s Sustainability Action Plan, they are planning an overhaul to minimize waste and emissions. They are hoping other resorts will follow suit and commit to more sustainable operations.

Simple initiatives can go a long way. While installing arrays of windmills like Berkshire East and establishing production and storage of solar power like Squaw Valley makes for flashy releases, the little things matter. Limiting food waste, efficient water use, organizing shuttle services, eliminating single-use items, and more efficient heating systems go a long way.

Wind Turbine at Berkshire East Resort, sustainability
A Wind Turbine at Berkshire East Resort. Photo Cred: Berkshire East Mountain Resort

RootsRated released a report on 10 sustainable ski resorts and their unique approaches to increasing sustainability. Ranging from more efficient buildings in Taos to Aspen’s Environmental Foundation, many ski resorts are going above and beyond to protect our planet. Aspen Snowmass has historically gone the extra mile in sustainability efforts. They have the financial means to do so with their foundation and have contributed to state and national action. They even partnered with Holy Cross Energy to capture methane from an old coal mine and generate power from that source. A win-win of clean energy and preventing methane from escaping into the atmosphere.

Apens new power plant, sustainability
Aspen Snowmass’ carbon-negative power plant. Photo Cred: Aspen Snowmass Resort

Vail Resorts, owner of 20 resorts and counting, has even committed to going 100% renewable by 2020. This is a big step for the ski industry as a whole. Vail also created an awareness campaign called EpicPromise to raise awareness about their efforts and encourage more people to support.

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