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Sustainability Projects & Policies

summer mountain

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. 

 

Sustainability Policies

 

Waste Reduction Policy

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.

 

Energy Use Policy

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

 

Vehicles and Idling Policy

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.

 

Responsible Procurement Policy

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.

 

Green Events Policy

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.

 

Water Use Policy

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. 

 

Sustainability Projects and Initiatives

 

NSAA Sustainable Slopes and Climate Challenge Co-Founder

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.

 

Department Sustainability Plans

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.

 

Energy-Efficient Lighting and Water Fixtures

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.

 
Building Efficiency

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.

 
Energy-Efficient Snowmaking System

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.

 

FreeAire Refrigeration System

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.

 

Waste-Oil Furnace

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 Trailmaps

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.

 

Arapahoe Sports Terracycle Program

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 Employee Environmental Fund

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.

 

National Forest Foundation – Ski Conservation Fund

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.

 

Ace’s Wild Adventure

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.