Vail Resorts earns award for environmental excellence
National Ski Areas Association recognizes VR for its sustainability initiatives
Vail Resorts has been awarded the 2019 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence by the National Ski Areas Association for Commitment to Zero, its environmental sustainability program. The annual Golden Eagle Awards, which were presented at the National Ski Areas Association national convention in San Diego earlier this month, are the highest honors given for environmental performance in the ski industry.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive this recognition from (the association) as we work toward achieving a zero net operating footprint across all 20 of our resorts by 2030,” said Pat Campbell, president of the mountain division for Vail Resorts, in a statement. “As a company deeply rooted in the great outdoors, we are driven by our responsibility to protect and preserve the environments and communities in which we live, work and play.”
Vail Resorts announced Commitment to Zero in July 2017. The three pillars of this commitment include:
- Zero net emissions by 2030 with 50 percent progress toward this goal by 2025.
- Zero waste to landfill by 2030 and increasing waste diversion to 50 percent by the end of 2020.
- Zero net operating impact on forests and habitat.
“Our most significant opportunity for making a measurable impact on climate change exists within our own operations,” said Kate Wilson, director of sustainability for Vail Resorts. “As we approach the start of year three of Commitment to Zero, we’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made so far and look forward to continuing to work closely with our 40,000 employees, each of our communities and the industry at large to collectively address this pressing global issue.”
In November 2018, the company announced a multimillion-dollar wind energy agreement to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of its estimated fiscal year 2019 North American operations. The 12-year virtual power purchase agreement enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
Vail Resorts also named Boulder-based Eco-Products its Official Zero Waste Partner to help divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills through sustainable sourcing over the next two winter seasons.
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Company officials say every aspect of Vail management is now focused on attaining the company’s goal of achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Vail Resorts calls the plan their “Commitment to Zero,” and defines it a zero net carbon emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfills, and zero operating impact on forests and natural habitat.