Vail Resorts Inc. today released its second annual EpicPromise Progress Report which highlights significant progress toward the company’s bold sustainability goal, Commitment to Zero, and details its ongoing community and employee giving programs. The report, which covers the 2018/19 season, outlines big wins in energy efficiency and waste reduction as well as $14.5 million in community and employee grants.
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Since the last EpicPromise Progress Report, Vail Resorts has added 19 resorts across the U.S. and Australia to its portfolio and intends to incorporate each into Commitment to Zero.
“Our company is growing and so is our commitment to preserving the spectacular places in which we live, work, and play,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We are encouraged by our progress over the last year, inspired by our learnings, and excited to think even bigger. Our growth allows us to have more of an impact in investing in mountain communities, more of an impact in supporting employees, and more of an impact in preserving the environment.”
Commitment to Zero:
Vail Resorts is on track to reach its industry-leading Commitment to Zero goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Announced in 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 on forests and habitat. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include:
- Energy efficiency: During the 2018/19 season, Vail Resorts invested $2.4 million in energy-efficiency capital to upgrade its snowmaking operations across several resorts and to continue its efforts to switch to LED lighting. In total, this year the company launched 168 low-energy, high-efficiency automated snow guns to create more snow, with less energy, in less time. These upgrades decreased energy use by 37,511 MMBtu this year, which puts the company 25% toward its energy-efficiency goal.
- Waste diversion: In total, Vail Resorts was able to divert more than 11 million pounds of waste from landfill over the last season through recycling and composting. Those efforts allowed the company to achieve 44 percent waste diversion – beating its 42 percent goal for this year and coming in seven percentage points ahead of last year’s diversion numbers.
- Reforesting habitat: Vail Resorts addressed 100 percent of the forests impacted by the company’s operations over the last year by reforesting 10 acres on the Western Slope of Colorado that had been impacted by the bark beetle.
Community and Employee Investment:
In addition to its commitments to the environment, Vail Resorts provides ongoing support to preserve the vitality of the communities in which it operates. The company is also dedicated to supporting and investing in the development of its now 55,000 employees. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include:
- Community Giving: During the 2018/19 season, Vail Resorts donated a record $14 million and more than 24,000 volunteer hours to 350 non-profit community partners across 12 regions. Every dollar of community giving is locally driven, which means the resort leadership teams and employee groups work with local leaders to identify grants that are most needed in each community.
- EpicPromise Employee Foundation: The Foundation achieved its annual goal of giving nearly $1 million in educational scholarships and emergency-relief grants. Of this $1 million, $500,000 is donated by Vail Resorts and $500,000 is covered by employee contributions and fundraising. With these funds, the Foundation granted 119 educational scholarships and gave 240 emergency relief grants during the 2018/19 season.
This year, Vail Resorts was honored for its Commitment to Zero program with several environmental awards, notably the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence from the National Ski Areas Association and the Colorado Governor’s Award for Outstanding Sustainability Initiative.
To read the full 2018/19 EpicPromise Progress Report, click here.