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Policies and Initiatives

Our policies & initiatives

Arapahoe Basin is proud of its environmental record and strives to be a leader on the environmental front. We have implemented a number of sustainability policies and initiatives to guide our operation.

Waste Reduction Policy - Waste reduction efforts are part of every employee’s daily job responsibilities. Wherever there is a garbage receptacle, there is a recycling receptacle. Employees encourage guests to recycle and are supported to share recycling and waste reduction ideas with their supervisors. Arapahoe Basin offers stations to dispose of compostable waste in all kitchen and dining areas at the mountain. Compost bins are also available in most offices and on-mountain locations, including Ski Patrol Headquarters and the Vehicle Maintenance Shop. All cutlery and cafeteria tableware are reusable and any service containers that aren’t reusable are recyclable. “Hydration stations” encourage guests to refill their own water bottles.

Energy Use Policy - Arapahoe Basin strives to use energy in the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way possible. A-Basin will continue to grow its energy performance by improving education and training, implementing effective controls and tracking strategies, and seeking out innovative ways to save energy.

Vehicle Idling Policy - The National Ski Area Association’s ‘No Idling Policy’ was adopted in 2010-11 season in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fuel costs, and vehicle hours. Idling times must be limited to just five minutes for gasoline-powered vehicles and 15 minutes for diesel vehicles. Guests are strongly encouraged to adhere to these guidelines, as are employees in their own vehicles.

Purchasing Policy - Employees making purchasing decisions are encouraged to purchase from environmentally-responsible companies that manufacture environmentally-friendly products. Employees are empowered to spend a certain percentage more on such goods and services.

Green Events PolicyArapahoe Basin seeks to provide a functional and attractive event venue that encourages guests, staff and partners to limit the environmental impacts of their events. Compost and recycle bins are always provided, carpooling is encouraged, and vendors are held to high standards regarding their waste creation and energy use.

Public Transportation and Carpooling - Arapahoe Basin strongly encourages guests and employees to ride the free Summit Stage bus or to carpool to the ski area. Lift ticket discounts and reserved parking spaces are available to the guests who do so. Employees are required to carpool or ride the bus to work on Saturdays.

Ace’s Wild Adventure - Arapahoe Basin has incorporated a sustainability message into its kids’ lessons and programs with Ace’s Wild Adventure. Situated in several areas across the mountain, these educational signs offer information pertaining to local plants, animals, and mountain ecosystems in kid-friendly terms. The areas correspond to collector cards that kids can accumulate over the course of their ski or ride lessons and challenge our young skiers to cultivate a strong environmental ethic with fun and easy sustainability efforts.

Department Sustainability Plans - Each department at A-Basin develops a sustainability plan specific to their own operation. These plans outline ways for their employees to uphold and contribute to A-Basin’s sustainability goals within the scope of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Employee Environmental Fund - For over 10 seasons, A-Basin employees have supported the strong work of two Summit County open-space organizations: Friends of the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness and the Continental Divide Land Trust. Through the Employee Environmental Fund, where A-Basin employees donate pre-tax dollars from their paychecks and all donations are matched by the Basin. Nearly $50,000 has been raised in support of land conservation and stewardship here in Summit County.

Protect Our Winters – In 2016, A-Basin embroidered Protect Our Winters’ logo onto its uniforms and began training employees to speak to POW’s mission and climate change issues as a whole. The logos and POW training have brought climate advocacy into every guest’s experience at A-Basin. A-Basin and POW are continually working to advocate for strong climate action and climate policy on the local, regional and national levels.

NSAA Sustainable Slopes Charter - In 2000, Arapahoe Basin co-founded and adopted the National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter. The charter pledged the ski industry and member ski areas to be leaders among providers of outdoor recreation in committing to environmental stewardship and improving environmental performance in all aspects of their operations.

NSAA Climate Challenge – In 2008, Arapahoe Basin joined, as a founding member, NSAA’s Climate Challenge. As part of the Climate Challenge, member ski areas have to track and inventory their greenhouse gas emissions, set an emissions reduction goal, and implement one project a year aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To read the latest results of the Climate Challenge, click here.

Summit County Partners In Energy – In 2015, A-Basin teamed up with XCEL Energy, Summit County government, and the High Country Conservation Center to work toward establishing county-wide energy reduction strategies. In an unprecedented effort of collaboration, the major ski areas in Summit County have come together to establish their own goals and strategies, and to share their experiences and success stories to help everyone reduce their energy use. Together, the ski areas have reduced their energy use significantly.

For more information regarding these initiatives please contact Sha Miklas, Senior Manager of Sustainability at or Mike Nathan, Sustainability Manager, at

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