Aspen Skiing Co. releases the first of annual environmental reports
The Aspen Skiing Co. has published a “sustainability report,” said to be the first corporate environmental report from a ski industry player.
The Skico intends to release similar information annually to mark the company’s progress in reducing its impacts on the environment. The document is also intended to inform the community as to what the company is doing to reduce resource consumption. The report makes public a record of the Skico’s consumption and impacts for comparison in the future.
“The idea is first to set a baseline, so we know where we are,” said Auden Schendler, the company’s environmental affairs director.
Since the Skico’s environmental affairs department was instituted three years ago, the company has taken steps to reduce environmental impacts, also documented in the report.
The Skico has reduced its paper consumption and waste by better planning, designing and ordering of printed materials. It has eliminated solvent-using parts washers in vehicle maintenance shops and has instituted preventive maintenance to prevent hydraulic oil spills from its fleet of snowcats.
The company also deconstructed two buildings and sold the used building materials, keeping 84 percent of the old Sundeck building out of the landfill. And the new Sundeck was built in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
Schendler said Skico officials plan to set a series of goals for reducing their impacts. First to be attacked is production of carbon dioxide, a gas produced by combustion, decay and other processes, and a primary cause of global warming.
Schendler said the company will set a carbon dioxide reduction goal within three months. The Skico produces carbon dioxide through its use of electricity, motor fuels, natural gas, propane and water and through disposal of trash. The company is already making efforts to reduce its consumption of these resources through various means.
Copies of the sustainability report were sent to other resorts and to the National Ski Areas Association, Schendler said. He handed out copies of the report at an NSAA conference in Vail in January, when he spoke to conference attendees about the construction of the Sundeck and other Skico green projects.
The Skico attracted over 1.2 million visitors last season. With 3,400 winter employees, it is the largest employer in the Roaring Fork Valley.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.