How We Get To Zero
Zero net emissions by 2030.
Zero waste to landfill by 2030.
Zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
It’s only possible with the innovation, passion and dedication of each of our employees, guests and communities around the globe.
Zero Net Emissions by 2030
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:
- Reducing electricity and natural gas use by another 15 percent – in addition to the 19 percent already achieved – by improving operating practices and investing $25 million in innovative, energy-saving projects such as low-energy snowmaking equipment, green building design and construction, and more efficient grooming practices and equipment.
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.
- Purchasing 100 percent renewable energy equivalent to our total electrical energy use and working with utilities and local, regional and national governments to bring more renewable energy to the grids where we operate our resorts.
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.
- Investing in programs such as tree planting to offset the use of other types of energy (e.g., gasoline and diesel).
- Engaging with vendors and suppliers to identify and collaborate on opportunities for them to reduce their emissions and environmental impact.
- Providing resort guests with information and opportunities for them to reduce or offset their carbon footprint.
- Sharing our progress in achieving our "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint" goals in an annual sustainability report following the fiscal year ending July 2018, which will follow the Global Reporting Initiative's standard.
Vail Resorts intends to achieve a 50 percent reduction in its net emissions by 2025, based on 2016 levels.
Zero Waste to Landfill by 2030
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:
- Improving our recycling and composting program.
- Engaging with vendors to reduce packaging and to source recyclable and compostable products.
- Working with local resort communities to increase options for reuse and diversion.
- Increasing awareness and engagement with employees and guests through signage, labeling and training.
Zero Operating Impact on Forests and Habitat
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:
- Minimizing or eliminating the impact of any future resort development.
- Planting or restoring an acre of forest for every acre of forest displaced by our operations, with the goal of achieving improved species and age diversity, resulting in healthier, more resilient forests.
- Continuing and expanding our existing commitments to partner with and fund local organizations focused on the health of forests, habitat and wildlife. In 2016, for example, the Company contributed more than $1 million to 50 environmental stewardship projects through direct grants, the Company’s $1 guest donation initiative, and the 1% for the Forest commitment, made in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
You mentioned that since 2008, Vail Resorts has already achieved a 19 percent reduction in electricity and natural gas use. How was that figure calculated?
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.
What is Vail Resorts’ greenhouse gas (GHG) per skier footprint?
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.
Where will your renewable energy projects be located?
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.
What about transportation and grooming?
Our commitment to energy efficiency includes reducing fuel usage in our mountain operations vehicles – from snowcats to shuttle buses to Colorado Mountain Express. 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 companywide rollout.
How will we know you are following through on these commitments? How will you be reporting on this and staying accountable?
We will release an annual environmental stewardship report to provide updates on our progress. We expect to publish our first report on this website following the fiscal year ending July 2018 and plan to use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI G4)
framework to report our progress.
Which organizations have validated your approach?
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.
How can guests participate?
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 Colorado Mountain Express
and other programs to help guests minimize 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 travelers to buy offsets to reduce the impact of travel.
How can I get more information?