Taking Vail's Epic Pledge to a Higher Level
Vail Resorts has been a leader in reducing the impact of ski-areas on the environment. “The environment is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it,” Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, said in the Zero Footprint announcement. “As a growing global company so deeply connected to the outdoors, we are making a commitment to address our most pressing global environmental challenge and protect our local communities and natural resources.”
Back in 2017, Vail announced its ambitious Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint environmental initiative, which targets zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat, all in the span of 13 years.
According to Ski Magazine, "Vail plans to meet its objectives by switching completely to renewable energy, improving recycling and compost systems, collaborating with outside vendors to reduce landfill-only packaging, and restoring an acre of forest for every acre of forest displaced by the company’s operations." […] “Committing to green energy is not only good for the environment, but it’s good for business,” Katz said.
Vail's pledge, which utilized the technology that was available at the time, is a huge step forward, and is all the more significant because it may lead to higher operating costs.
Today, with ReNewSnow's technology, Vail can reduce it's environmental footprint even further by sourcing water for snowmaking from high elevation sources. This can reduce the total energy needed to make snow by as much as 80%, which means less renewable power will be needed. This is important because, while solar and wind don't emit carbon, they have their own environmental footprints. In the end, the less energy we use, the less we will impact the environment.
And unlike Vail's current initiatives, using high elevation water will actually lower their operating costs. It's a way to do well by doing good.