Aspen Snowmass and Steamboat are the latest Colorado ski areas to enroll in the Climate Challenge. The Climate Challenge is an environmental initiative produced by the National Ski Areas Association that targets carbon emission reductions. Now in its third year, a total of 29 ski areas including three other Colorado resorts are taking the four-step Challenge. Those four steps include taking an inventory of total existing emissions, targeting substantial emission reduction goals, followed by taking measures to reduce overall carbon footprints, and finally reporting results on an annual basis. Arapahoe Basin and Telluride enrolled in the Climate Challenge in 2011. A-Basin has implemented a waste reduction program that includes an expanded recycling program, composting, and hydration stations to reduce the use of disposable water bottles. The area’s landfill waste has been reduced by 42 percent. Through the Challenge, A-Basin will reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 10 percent per square foot throughout all of its buildings by 2020, and will reduce its overall GHG emissions by 3 percent. Meanwhile Telluride has targeted a 5 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2018, facilitated primarily through lighting upgrades. Finally, Copper Mountain made short work of reaching its goal after enrolling in the program in 2012. The area reduced its emissions by 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) in just one year. As part of its effort, Copper installed two vertical axis wind turbines and has continued its dedication to recycling and composting. This past year the resort recycled more than 31 tons and composted more than 78 tons, diverting 109 tons of waste from local landfills.
The Climate Challenge Provides A Framework
“The Challenge provides a framework for participants to engage in a multi-year process to challenge themselves to reduce emissions at their ski area while supporting like-minded ski areas in a collaborative effort to reduce emissions industry-wide,” says Geraldine Link, NSAA public policy director.
The Climate Challenge is orchestrated by Brendle Group, an environmental engineering and consulting firm based in Fort Collins. Other supporting partners include Renewable Choice Energy, based in Boulder, LeitWind, with offices in Grand Junction, energy bar maker CLIF Bar, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Find more details on the Climate Challenge at www.nsaa.org/environment.