This past year has certainly become the year of global awareness, with the kids telling the parents what to do and fighting for a sustainable future we want everyone young and old today to be proud of their ski community and find ways to keep up a fun childhood while sticking with their climate goals.
The goals of environmental sustainability have been outlined time and time again but the exact steps to achieve such goals have conflicting theories, to say the least. Nonetheless the people have spoken, the marches have begun and soon the Climate Woodstock of the 21st century will be among us.
Some resorts around the world are making efforts to be more eco-friendly and conscious of the effects they have on the environment. Escaping to the mountains for a ski holiday can make us feel much closer to nature, also reminds us why we need to make decisions to protect it. Climate change will hugely affect the ski seasons and if there was ever a time to act, it is now.
Ratoong gives you the option to rate, as well as search, for ski resorts based on their sustainability. It is a feature that is growing so rating is the top priority currently. We are breaking down the sustainability parameters in order to outline 3 key sections of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Section 12: Responsible Consumption and Production: Analyzing how ski resorts provide eco-friendly products. Section 7: Renewable Energy: Is the resort providing clean energy and working to save energy at their resort? This includes things such as: Do they use solar, wind or water power to cover their energy needs? Do they reuse water from melted snow etc. etc. Section 9: Innovation and Infrastructure: Analyzing how ski resorts are making their infrastructure and innovations to become more sustainable. Looking at things such as transportation types and options to get to the resort and throughout the town. We call these: “Eco-friendly products”, “Renewable energy”, and “Transportation to/from and within the resort”.
Looking at these 3 parameters gives a broad sense of the sustainability efforts of the resorts in their on hill and off hill amenities. Starting from the water to make the snow, ending at the transportation you’re taking to return home after your ski holiday. Making a conscious effort to plan your ski trip in a sustainable way, such as taking the snow train can cut your carbon emissions by up to 90%, rather than taking a plane – according to research by carbon-measurement consultancy, Best Foot Forward. Being conscious of HOW to be sustainable is one of the initial steps to making the change. Rate resorts when you see them going above and beyond, or call out resorts that aren’t!
Being a platform that relies on the fact that people won’t take life TOO seriously, and will keep some fun in their lives, we would like to not focus on all the things that need to be stopped, but rather all the things we can do!
Sustainability DOES NOT need to be boring.
Let’s take a look at two, very different, but both very sustainable ski resorts that are out there today – leading the path for other resorts to be able to be PROUD of the ski community and keep it alive and well as the world shifts to a more sustainable way of living:
Copenhagens one and only ski resort, Copenhill. Now some will fight how Copenhill falls in with proper ski resorts, being that it is a mere hill in the city center, and does not require snow on the hill at all to ski. We believe it’s worth mentioning as it is built on a Waste-to-Energy plant! Architects needed a way to make such a plant appealing, and what better way then give Copenhagen, a very flat city, a ski resort! A hurdle of being sustainable is people are very reluctant to inconvenience themselves – this hill compromises by making a large waste plant,that had the potential to cause quite the eye sour for the town, to an amazing lookout, outdoor adventure spot all year long. They have walked all over the comments that sustainability means we need to stop having fun in our lives and loose our childhoods, but rather complemented an energy plant with a fun outdoor ski hill. Danes can now warm up their legs for upcoming ski trips, or play around in the terrain park for hours of fun. The ski school running all year long also gives children the chance to learn at Copenhill before adventuring around Europe to bigger resorts.
Andermatt, A beautiful Swiss ski resort that has been blessed with unreal skiing conditions and an ideal location to embrace all the renewable energy sources they can dream of. We got the chance to talk with an amazing ski school, Eco Ski School Andermatt, that provided us with some great insight on just how sustainable this resort and town are. 100% of the ski resort runs on renewable energy and they have more that is distributed globally. Andermatt is also on the train line, allowing visitors to use the train over less sustainable forms of travel. Andermatt gets all their water from fast flowing rivers, reducing water shortages, but also has much less snowmaking due to their large amounts of annual snowfall. The city goes above and beyond providing eco-hostels built with renewable and sustainable materials and restaurants with locally grown food, reducing the carbon emissions of importing goods. Andermatt should be a good example of how all the resorts on the snow train line should be working to reduce their footprint and become the face of sustainability ski resorts!