Greening of the Snow Industry, part 4: Vail’s Epic Promise

As snowgrrl has discussed recently, caring about the environment and “going green” isn’t just a trendy term in the snow sports industry — players are taking specific actions to follow up on their commitment to the environment.  One of the biggest players, Vail Resorts which owns and operates nine mountain resorts and three ski areas in seven states and two countries, comprising 291 chairlifts, more than 34,000 acres, and selling more than half a million Epic Passes each year, has made an “Epic Promise,” the details of which are. . . well, epic.

Annually, Vail Resorts donates more than $7.8 millio to more than 250 nonprofit partners focusing on youth programs and environmental initiatives. Over the past five years resource and forest conservation have been amongst Vail’s top priorities; it has reduced energy use by 10% and pledged to reduce it by another 10% before 2020; and raised more than $3.5 million through a guest donation program to sustain the health of our forests.

Across Vail Resorts, a combination of composting, recycling and material reuse diverts more than 40% of waste.  Recycling and composting are required elements of the company’s operations.  They also have made an effort to reduce, through joint efforts with purchasing planning and event planners, to minimize the waste created in daily operations.  Retail stores have successfully reduced packaging in ski helmet shipments, and when possible, bulk shipments are used to minimize individually wrapped packaging.

We applaud Vail Resorts’ Epic Promise and hope other resort companies will follow suit in the near future.