With shorter winters, decreasing snowfalls and warmer temperatures, the effects of climate change in the mountains are becoming increasingly visible. It is likely that only high-altitude locations will be able to offer skiing as the seasons go on, or that skiing will be entirely replaced by other sport activities.
While the effects of global warming are unlikely to disappear, can ski resorts implement sustainable measures to delay such effects? In this article by National Geographic we have found a list of extremely sustainable ski resorts.
Zermatt, Switzerland. This car-free resort is easily accessed by train and has impeccable eco credentials: a photovoltaics (solar) system powers its gondola lift station; electric buses take skiers from A to B; snow groomers run on eco-speed diesel; and environmental experts oversee construction work.
Flims Laax Falera, Switzerland. This resort is taking the fast run towards self-sufficiency and 100% renewable energy. Its electricity already comes from CO2-neutral sources and all new lift facilities are equipped with photovoltaics. There are e-vehicle and e-bike charging points, recycling stations, drinking water fountains and protected zones for animals and plants. Even the ski wax is biodegradable.
Saas Fee, Switzerland. This is the world’s first carbon-neutral municipality. The car-free resort runs on hydropower and has nailed it transport-wise, with an e-car sharing service and emission-free ski buses.
Wolf Creek, Colorado. Deep, steep and snow-sure, Wolf Creek is a shining model of sustainability. The resort is carbon-free, conservation-minded and runs on 100% renewable energy. Its snowcats even use biodegradable grapeseed oil.
Kaprun, Austria. Cue high-elevation recultivation projects, lifts running on 100% ecologically generated energy and free ski buses.
Pejo, Italy. This green-minded resort in Stelvio National Park, in Trentino, is plastic-free and has hydroelectric plants providing renewable energy. Plans are in place to introduce hybrid snowcats.
Avoriaz, France. The greenest of France’s Portes du Soleil ski resorts, Avoriaz has launched projects to revegetate slopes, protect natural snow and keep snow-groomer emissions to a minimum.