Snow is the essential ingredient in winter sports, and ski areas around the world are concerned that global warming could have a serious effect on their business. So they’re taking action to fight the problem on many fronts.
For starters, ski areas are leading by example: using energy efficient technology and increasing the use of renewable energy in their operations -- using wind energy and solar energy to power buildings and lifts, applying energy-efficient building technologies and saving energy by replacing inefficient equipment.
Here are some examples of how local resorts are trying to help the environment.
MONT SUTTON applies its own code Conscience SUTTON to guide its actions for the Environment. The code lists more than 20 actions taken to date and some next steps to come. Of course, SUTTON has been recuperating cans, stopping bus motors and purchasing phosphate-free detergents, and so on, for years. But recently, SUTTON has taken some new high impact actions such as installing locked thermostats and purchasing snow guns requiring less energy. In addition, the resort is studying the possibility of adding more energy-saving snow guns and turning restaurant residues into compost.
JAY PEAK has a property-wide single stream recycling system. Jay Peak has converted all existing urinals to waterless urinals, using the EcoCube system. All new condo and townhouse construction since 1999 has been coordinated with Efficiency Vermont and Energy Star programs, and we have achieved the highest ratings in the various systems (5 star) for energy efficiency. Jay Peak has converted our snowmaking gun inventory to high efficiency tower guns, and converted the power system on the Tram. Jay Peak is in the process of converting all conod and townhouse lightbulbs to compact fluorescent high efficiency bulbs.
Our new hotel is planned to meet the Core Performance Guide for energy efficient construction, and will perform at 20-30% more efficient than code. All new projects stormwater management include capacity to also treat existing unmanaged stormwater from existing buildings and parking lots.
Since the value of our environment is priceless, Mont Tremblant has endorsed the Sustainable Slopes charter created by the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) to ensure that the development of our skiable terrain and village will be undertaken with the utmost respect for the environment. The charter outlines principles which act as guidelines for the sustainable use of our natural resources. The areas covered by these principles include:
- Planning, design and construction
- Water management: quality/quantity, snowmaking, facilities, landscaping, summer activities
- Waste water management
- Energy management: facilities, snowmaking, lifts, vehicle fleets
Waste reduction, product reuse, recycling
- Hazardous waste management
- Fish and wildlife management
- Forest and vegetation management
- Wetlands and riparian area management
- Air quality
- Visual quality
- Education and outreach