Environmental group gives Vail a ‘B’ | VailDaily.com

Environmental group gives Vail a ‘B’

Vail Daily file photoSnow-making guns go off under Vail's gondola

VAIL, Colorado – Vail gets a “B” and Beaver Creek, a “C” on a environmental report card released Monday by a a coalition of environmental groups.

The analysis by the Ski Area Citizens Coalition also says that ski resorts are getting ‘greener,’ and Colorado resorts are leading the way.

“We see a lot of jockeying for position going on, with resorts engaged in something of a ‘greenness’ war with their local competitors,” commented Paul Joyce, of Colorado Wild, one of the groups in the coalition. “The good news with this trend is that many more ski areas are stepping up and accepting their environmental responsibilities. I only hope it isn’t a trend that disappears when the economy rebounds.

Colorado resorts are industry leaders when it comes to environmental policies and practices like recycling, waste reduction and environmental performance reports, but they continue to lack a comprehensive strategy for addressing climate change, said the annual report released Monday.

Colorado scores the strongest in the 11 western states evaluated in the environmental policy and practices category, the coalition said.

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“Although ski areas are using all kinds of creative ways to save energy, save money, and wave their green flag, it is clear that there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Joyce said.

Aspen Skiing Co. mountains outscored Vail Resorts mountains. Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands got straight As in the report’s four major categories: habitat protection, watershed protection, climate policy and environmental policy.

Vail Mountain got a C in habitat protection, D in watershed protection, B in climate policy and an A in environmental policy. Beaver Creek got Cs in habitat protection and climate policy and As in watershed protection and environmental policy.

Vail Resorts’ lowest scoring resort was Breckenridge, which got a “D.”

The biggest environmental news Vail Resorts has made recently is its effort to help reforest the area scorched by Colorado’s largest ever wildfire. It also announced that it would stop buying wind power credits to offset energy use at its resorts.

To view each resort’s score and details on their environmental management practices, visit http://www.skiareacitizens.com.

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