Local ‘green’ achievement | AspenTimes.com

Local ‘green’ achievement

Dear Editor: How can your business minimize capital and/or operating costs and be good stewards of the environment? Ask the Aspen Alps.The Aspen Alps is the latest business to reap the benefits from incorporating environmental efficiency into their modus operandi. Recently they were awarded a Green Tree award from the city of Aspen. The Green Tree award recognizes “green” achievements by local businesses. Thanks to their forward thinking, all of their employees will get to enjoy a day at the Aspen Recreation Center on the city’s dime.Understanding that they contribute to global warming and that they may be adversely affected by it, the Aspen Alps has also signed on to the city of Aspen’s Canary Initiative. In doing so, they have agreed to reduce their global warming pollutants (such as carbon dioxide). Some of their recent achievements recognized through the Green Tree award have them well on their way. For example, they provide bus passes and near-site housing, allowing 95 percent of their employees to walk, bike or bus to work. They also provide an electric vehicle for employee errands and a bicycle for their guests. This strategy helps retain employees, improves reliability, offers better service, and reduces the Alps’ global warming pollutants. The electric vehicle is also reducing vehicle maintenance in the summer.To address their pollutants from buildings, they provide a list of Energy Star appliances for owners who are remodeling. They have also had energy audits performed on their units and from that have developed a strategy for cost effective improvements over time, such as replacing their 50-percent efficient boilers with 93-percent efficient boilers and retrofitting their lighting. They are also considering geothermal technologies. To address their pollutants from electricity generation, the Alps is exploring purchasing blocks of wind from Holy Cross.It’s clear that the Aspen Alps wants to be good neighbors by taking responsibility for their impact on the environment, but they’re also a business that has to meet the bottom line. To accomplish both, they are implementing efficiency into every aspect of the business. The city of Aspen applauds your efforts. Dan RichardsonCity of Aspen global warming project manager