Vail Resorts has been awarded the 2019 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) for its bold environmental sustainability program, Commitment to Zero. The annual Golden Eagle Awards, which were presented at the NSAA National Convention in San Diego last week, are the highest honors given for environmental performance in the ski industry.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive this recognition from NSAA as we work toward achieving a zero net operating footprint across all 20 of our resorts by 2030,” said Pat Campbell, president of the mountain division for Vail Resorts. “As a Company deeply rooted in the great outdoors, we are driven by our responsibility to protect and preserve the environments and communities in which we live, work and play.”
Vail Resorts announced Commitment to Zero in July 2017. The three pillars of this commitment include (1) zero net emissions by 2030 with 50 percent progress toward this goal by 2025, (2) zero waste to landfill by 2030 and increasing waste diversion to 50 percent by the end of 2020, and (3) zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
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“Our most significant opportunity for making a measurable impact on climate change exists within our own operations,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. “As we approach the start of year three of Commitment to Zero, we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made so far and look forward to continuing to work closely with our 40,000 employees, each of our communities and the industry at large to collectively address this pressing global issue.”
In November 2018, the Company announced a multimillion-dollar wind energy agreement to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of its estimated FY 2019 North American operations. The 12-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed in 2020. Vail Resorts also named Boulder-based Eco-Products its ‘Official Zero Waste Partner’ to help divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills through sustainable sourcing over the next two winter seasons.