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Sustainability Projects & Policies

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We are proud that our sustainability program goes beyond a roadmap for ski area operations. Sustainability is part of our culture and something we all believe in. Policies help guide our behavior, and projects and initiatives make a real impact. We have large-scale projects like solar arrays, carbon offsets, and area-wide waste reduction efforts, as well as unique, innovative, and one-off projects in remote corners of the resort – all aligned around the shared cause of reducing A-Basin’s emissions and educating our guests and staff alike. 

POLICIES

Waste reduction efforts are part of every employee’s job responsibilities. This policy ensures the needed systems and physical infrastructure are in place to achieve 75% landfill diversion by 2025.

Achieving 100% Renewable Electricity is just the beginning. This policy supports the electrification and efficiency work that will continue to drive our emissions downward.

Addressing transportation emissions from our fleet continues to be a priority. This policy commits us to ‘no-idling’ standards and guides our fleet’s ongoing transition to more efficient and all-electric options.

Scope 3 emissions from our supply chain are significant and difficult to track. This policy empowers purchasers to find responsible products and vendors that support our other sustainability goals.

We host fun and engaging events that attract a wide variety of guests all year round. This policy leverages event guests and vendors and engages them with our existing sustainability initiatives.

Located at the top of our watershed, every drop of water we save trickles downstream from here. This policy commits us to limiting water use in the face of development and increased visitation.

Projects & Initiatives

In 2000, A-Basin co-founded the National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter, pledging ski area action and leadership in the environmental space. In 2008, A-Basin helped found the NSAA’s Climate Challenge, committing members to track and publicly report their emissions and implementing at least one direct emissions reduction project each year. Collectively, Climate Challengers have saved more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon since 2008.

Every A-basin department creates a specific sustainability plan for its operation. These plans outline ways for their employees to uphold and contribute to A-Basin’s sustainability goals while creating employee buy-in and ownership for sustainability initiatives within their department.

In 2012, we replaced all our lights with newer, efficient fixtures saving more than 50,000 kWh and significant emissions annually. We’ve since revisited many of these areas, continuing our upgrades and furthering our emissions reductions. In 2019 we remodeled our aging, A-Frame bathrooms with waterless, hybrid, and low-flow fixtures that saved more than 500,000 gallons of water in their first year.

Since the 2015 construction of the Kids Center, sustainable design and construction practices have been featured in all our new buildings and major renovations. Roof-mounted solar, water-saving or waterless fixtures and efficient HVAC systems are a part of Steilhang and Il Rifugio in addition to the Kids Center.

Installed in 2003, our snowmaking system features airless fan guns that use only a portion of the energy of a conventional system with compressed air. Our snowmaking team also follows strict water-use commitments that help protect the habitat of the Snake River.

The FreeAire system installed in the A-Frame’s walk-in coolers monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures, cycling clean mountain air into the cooler whenever the outside air is cool enough. By utilizing existing cold air, these walk-ins use roughly 90% less energy than traditional coolers.

The CleanBurn Technologies furnace in our maintenance shop can burn used motor oil, hydraulic fluid, and other engine waste to heat the building. Vehicle, snowcat, and equipment oil changes mean we need fewer propane deliveries and waste-oil disposal pick-ups.

Stone Paper utilizes naturally occurring minerals to create durable, tear-proof paper that saves trees, water, and reduces harmful chemical use. Our trail maps are reusable thanks to their durability, so be sure to drop your map in one of our base area collection bins for someone else’s use.

Our retail store works with TerraCycle to collect and repurpose non-recyclable plastics. This partnership allows us to keep all our plastic shipping materials out of our Summit County landfill and create a circular economy for these otherwise non-recyclable plastics.

A-Basin employees support the work of two great open-space organizations: the Eagle-Summit Wilderness Alliance and Colorado Open Lands. Thanks to our employees’ generosity, more than $60,000 has been raised to support land conservation and stewardship in our community.

A-Basin donates $10 of every uphill pass sold and asks guests to contribute $2 when they complete a purchase online. The money raised has funded multiple projects in the White River National Forest, our home, including trail-building, invasive weed removal, educational campaigns, and much more.

Educational areas around the mountain teach about local plants, animals, and mountain ecosystems in kid-friendly terms. These areas are popular among our snowsports classes and correspond to collector cards that challenge kids to cultivate an environmental ethic with fun and easy sustainability activities.

Fluorinated Wax contains per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) known as "forever chemicals". These chemicals have 0% biodegradability; once they are in the environment, they will stay there forever. PFAS are toxic to the environment and are proven to be carcinogenic to animals and people. Most of this fluorinated wax applied to skis or snowboards ends up directly in the environment or local watersheds. So, we've partnered with Mountain Flow Wax, a sustainable plant-based wax company, to collect and send petroleum-based waxes back to Mountain Flow for safe storage and disposal. If anyone brings in an old unused wax, the tune shop will provide them with a free belt wax!

The EPA has recognized A-Basin as one of the nation's leading green power users. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations, advancing the American market for green power and the development of those sources to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use.