The Climate Challenge, organized by National Ski Areas Association, is a voluntary competition designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The program began three years ago and has grown to 19 participants. The program requires participating resorts to inventory all GHG emissions, set targets for reduction, commit to one measurable step each season to reduce GHG, and report reduction of GHGs.
Climate challenge participant Copper Mountain installed two Windspire Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, a solar voltaic array and a solar thermal array. These sustainable energy generators produced over 14,000 kWh’s of power in the past two years, or the equivalent to saving 23 barrels of oil. Other GHG reduction projects include Park CIty Mountain Resort installing a 38 Kw solar array, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort began a composting program for local restaurants.
Vice president of Sustainability for Aspen Ski Co, Auden Schendler, has been a powerful and high profile voice for climate activism. Schendler advocates that business have a responsibility and the clout to make an impact on climate change. Auden has been published in the L.A. Times, Scientific America, The Huffington Post, Denver Posts and other publications. He has testified before congress on the effects of climate change.
Ski Butlers has taken steps to become a company that leads on climate change. We are a ski rental delivery company, but we do not just rent skis. We are made up of skiers and riders who live in fragile mountain ecosystems. Our business depends on consistent snowfall each season. We saw the effects of a poor snowfall season on Park CIty Mountain Resort (PCMR) last season. Ski areas in Tahoe area are closing because of inconsistent snowfall. Squaw Valley closed for stretches last season. We cannot continue to rent skis without snow. This season, Ski Butlers has partnered with Protect Our Winters (POW). We are developing climate advocates at each of our locations that will work with their local communities to lower negative environmental effects of ski resorts. If we act now, we can save the sport we love for future generations.