Vail Resorts releases latest EpicPromise progress report
Company reports progress on meeting sustainability goals by 2030
Vail Resorts recently released its second annual EpicPromise progress report, which highlights significant progress toward the company’s sustainability goal, “Commitment to Zero,” and details its community and employee giving programs. The report, which covers the 2018/19 season, outlines wins in energy efficiency and waste reduction as well as $14.5 million in community and employee grants.
Since the last progress report, Vail Resorts has added 19 resorts across the U.S. and Australia to its portfolio and intends to incorporate each into Commitment to Zero.
“Our company is growing and so is our commitment to preserving the spectacular places in which we live, work, and play,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We are encouraged by our progress over the last year, inspired by our learnings, and excited to think even bigger. Our growth allows us to have more of an impact in investing in mountain communities, more of an impact in supporting employees, and more of an impact in preserving the environment.”
Vail Resorts is on track to reach its Commitment to Zero goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Announced in 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; and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include energy efficiency, waste diversion and reforesting habitat.
During the 2018/19 season, Vail Resorts invested $2.4 million in energy-efficiency capital to upgrade its snowmaking operations across several resorts and to continue its efforts to switch to LED lighting. In total, this year the company launched 168 low-energy, high-efficiency automated snow guns to create more snow, with less energy, in less time. These upgrades decreased energy use by 37,511 MMBtu this year, which puts the company 25% toward its energy-efficiency goal.
In total, Vail Resorts was able to divert more than 11 million pounds of waste from landfills over the last season through recycling and composting. Those efforts allowed the company to achieve 44 percent waste diversion — beating its 42 percent goal for this year and coming in 7 percentage points ahead of last year’s diversion numbers.
Vail Resorts addressed 100% of the forests impacted by the company’s operations over the last year by reforesting 10 acres on the Western Slope of Colorado that had been impacted by the bark beetle.
In addition to its commitments to the environment, Vail Resorts provides ongoing support to preserve the vitality of the communities in which it operates. The company is also dedicated to supporting and investing in the development of its now 55,000 employees. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include community giving and the EpicPromise Employee Foundation.
During the 2018/19 season, Vail Resorts donated a record $14 million and more than 24,000 volunteer hours to 350 nonprofit community partners across 12 regions. Every dollar of community giving is locally driven, which means the resort leadership teams and employee groups work with local leaders to identify grants that are most needed in each community.
The EpicPromise Employee Foundation achieved its annual goal of giving nearly $1 million in educational scholarships and emergency-relief grants. Of this $1 million, $500,000 is donated by Vail Resorts and $500,000 is covered by employee contributions and fundraising. With these funds, the foundation granted 119 educational scholarships and gave 240 emergency relief grants during the 2018/19 season.
This year, Vail Resorts was honored for its Commitment to Zero program with several environmental awards, notably the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence from the National Ski Areas Association and the Colorado Governor’s Award for Outstanding Sustainability Initiative. To read the full 2018/19 EpicPromise Progress Report, go to http://www.epicpromise.com.
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