– Schweitzer Mountain Resort announces several initiatives intended to reduce their impact on the environment. Schweitzer hired an environmental coordinator, signed the National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes Initiative, purchased wind energy to operate several chairlifts, enlisted an environmental committee to work on improvements resort wide, and implemented a contest to see how much energy the resort could save last summer. While recognizing that any ski resort is going to have an impact on the environment, Schweitzer is committed to minimizing theirs to the extent possible.
“It’s important that we in the ski industry recognize the importance of supporting the environment that supports us,” said Tom Chasse, Schweitzer’s President and CEO. “I am glad that we’ve found ways over the last year to take some significant steps to lighten our impact on the environment.”
By signing the Sustainable Slopes Initiative, Schweitzer committed to improving their environmental performance in all aspects of their operations. One step in that direction was to purchase 1000mwh of “Green Tags” which pay for energy to be purchased from regional wind energy producers through a partnership with Northern Lights, Inc. After an assessment of past energy use it was determined that the wind energy credits could be used to completely power Schweitzer’s Basin Express Quad, Great Escape Quad and Lakeview Triple chairlifts for the entire 08-09 winter season.
“Not only is Schweitzer able to reduce our energy consumption by buying the green tags, but also we reduced our energy consumption in August and September by 27% through a resort wide energy challenge,” said Kerri Kuntz, Schweitzer’s environmental coordinator. “It’s really cool to see people from every department on the mountain come together as an environmental committee and come up with great ideas to implement resort wide.”
The committee is working to improve recycling, reduce energy use, improve land use practices, provide transportation options, and increase guest awareness of ways they can contribute.