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It’s only possible with the innovation, passion and dedication of each of our employees, guests and communities around the globe.
As a company with locations around the globe, we are committed to measuring and eliminating our carbon footprint. We’re looking at the ways we can make the biggest difference: our overall energy use and efficiency for our electricity needs and the fuels we use.
To achieve zero net emissions by 2030, we commit to:
Since 2008, Vail Resorts has implemented an aggressive plan to reduce its electricity and natural gas use and has already achieved a 19 percent reduction, after adjusting for acquisitions and new business locations.
We are already a member of Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy as well as RE100, a global collaborative initiative of influential companies committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity.
Vail Resorts intends to achieve a 50 percent reduction in its net emissions by 2025, based on 2016 levels.
At Vail Resorts, we plan to hit our 2030 goal of zero waste to landfill by diverting 100 percent of the waste from our operations to more sustainable pathways. Currently at a 40 percent waste diversion rate across our entire operations, we have set our sights on an interim target of diverting 50 percent of our waste by 2020.
To eliminate waste from our global operations, we commit to:
Managing the health and resilience of our forests and habitat is sound, long-term planning for our critical mountain environments.
To protect the beautiful environments we operate in, we commit to:
Our electricity and natural gas reductions to date are a result of two energy efficiency programs: “Target 10,” a 10 percent reduction target launched in 2008; and “The Next 10,” which was launched in 2011 after we achieved our first goal. The targets and reporting against those targets were developed using the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol as a framework to account for and report energy usage. Our progress has been reported against a rolling baseline for incremental progress year over year and the baseline has been adjusted annually to account for resorts or facilities added to or removed from operations. Data have also been normalized for annual weather fluctuations and the effect on heating, cooling and snowmaking.
Vail Resorts measures its greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint on both an absolute and relative basis. For example, in addition to calculating total emissions, the Company also reviews its GHG footprint from on-mountain operations (which excludes the Hospitality Division and its chain of retail stores) on a per-skier basis. In 2016, this was calculated to be 0.0127 tons of CO2 per skier visit.
We plan to work with one of the nation’s top renewable energy firms to identify projects that will meet our environmental and economic criteria. We will absolutely consider local and community projects where feasible as well as projects in the states where we operate.
Our commitment to energy efficiency includes reducing fuel usage in our mountain operations vehicles – including snowcats. As the mountain resort industry leader, we’ve had the opportunity to pilot the latest technology for grooming, hybrid-electric snowcats and are working with vendors to improve those technologies. We’ve also invested in state-of-the-art grooming efficiency software which is being piloted in Colorado in anticipation of a company-wide rollout.
Vail Resorts will release an annual environmental stewardship report to provide updates on our progress. We are proud to release the 2021 EpicPromise Progress Report, which tracks the company’s industry-leading commitment to preserving the environment, addressing the most urgent needs of mountain communities, and supporting employees through emergency relief grants and educational scholarships.
For our zero net emissions goals, we are working with Ceres, Rocky Mountain Institute and RE100. To accurately track our progress toward zero waste, we are piloting a new waste tracking software solution. For our commitment to zero net operating impact to forests and habitats, we are partnered with the National Forest Foundation and the US Forest Service and will continue to leverage their established methodology for identifying opportunities and managing forestry projects. We will work with these and other third-party organizations to study and report on the long-term impacts of these projects.
We invite our guests to participate in our commitment to conserve energy and reduce waste. We also provide information to guests on ways they can eliminate, reduce or offset their carbon footprint associated with travel to our resorts. For example, we've installed electric vehicle charging stations at most of our resorts to encourage more electric and hybrid transportation. We encourage and reward carpooling by guests and employees and the use of Epic Mountain Express and other programs to help guests minimise emissions associated with traveling to our resorts. We encourage guests to participate in the optional carbon offset programs offered by airlines such as United Airlines and Virgin America which allow travellers to buy offsets to reduce the impact of travel.
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Congratulations to Vail Resorts for making such a bold environmental commitment. When companies do right by the planet, they do right by us all. I particularly appreciate their creation of even more demand for renewable energy. Here’s hoping many companies are inspired by Vail Resorts and create their own ambitious commitments. It’s what the world needs now. It also happens to make great business sense.
L. Hunter Lovins, President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions