Ski Vermont Announces Third Annual Winners of the Green Mountain Awards
The Vermont Ski Areas Association is excited to announce the winners of the third annual Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence at Vermont Ski Resorts. Judged by Alan Hebert of Efficiency Vermont, Melinda Vieux, President of Green Up Vermont, and VSAA President Parker Riehle, resorts competed to win awards in environmental stewardship. Categories looked closely at improvements made to waste reduction, water consumption, carbon footprint, Green Up Day participation and combined environmental efforts. With thirteen resorts participating in the Great Vermont Snow Gun Round Up this season, efficiency efforts were bountiful and judging all the more difficult.
Winners of the 2015 Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence include:
Greenest Overall Resort in Vermont
Stowe Mountain Resort
Most Improved Resort Overall
Killington Mountain Resort
Most Improved Energy Consumption
Killington Mountain Resort
Most Improved Water Consumption
Stowe Mountain Resort
Most Improved Waste Reduction
Best Green Up Day
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
“Sustainability is a key aspect of the Vermont brand,” said judge Alan Hebert of Efficiency Vermont. “These resorts have shown they are fully committed to the snow sports industry, the guests they serve and the beautiful mountains they call home.”
“We at Green Up were especially pleased to see that Smuggler's hosted a breakfast,” said Green Up Vermont President Melinda Vieux. “Green Up Day is very much about ‘community.’ This is part of what has made Green Up Day an important Vermont cultural event.”
Read Winning Entries:
Stowe Mountain Resort - Greenest Overall Resort in Vermont & Most Improved Water Consumption
(Summer 2014) - Stowe Mountain Resort has retained its designation as a "Certified Audubon Sustainable Community" through the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program. Spruce Peak at Stowe Mountain Resort was designated as a Certified Audubon Sustainable Community in 2010 and is one of 4 communities in the world and the only ski resort to receive the honor.
"Stowe Mountain Resort has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and providing a sanctuary for wildlife in the community," said Joanna Nadeau, Associate Director of Environmental Programs at Audubon International.
Food composting, ‘Leave No Trace’ classes for guests and installing an electric vehicle charging station are just very recent examples of why Stowe is widely considered a leader in sustainability. Stowe Mountain Resort’s accomplishments have also been recognized by the Governor of Vermont’s Environmental Award for Energy Efficiency Efforts, as well as the Silver Eagle Award from the National Ski Areas Association.
Audubon International members maintain certification status in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen specific focus areas. Communities go through a recertification process every two years. For more information on about sustainable community efforts, visit www.auduboninternational.org/sustainable-communities-program.
CONTACT: Joanna Nadeau (518) 767-9051, Ext. 124, firstname.lastname@example.org
Killington Mountain Resort - Most Improved Resort Overall & Most Improved Energy Consumption
Vermont’s largest resort remains firmly committed to environmental leadership and stewardship, and as I mentioned last year, we improve sustainability every season. With the addition of 396 high efficiency snow guns purchased through the Great Snow Gun Roundup last summer, the resort saved more than 1 billion cubic feet of compressed air, allowing us to greatly reduce our reliance on diesel air compressors. In fact, in the past year Killington saw 20% reduction or more in energy used for snowmaking, net compressed air and the ratio of water to compressed air.
The cold temperatures of the past winter combined with the new snow guns for ideal snowmaking conditions and tremendous production. The base on our signature spring trail Superstar is so significant that we fully expect to be open until June, despite warming temperatures through the month of May.
Killington’s parent company Powdr Resorts brought the Protect Your Playground initiative back for a sophomore season to solicit sustainable ideas from the community, and Killington/Pico lead all Powdr Resort with project idea submissions by double digits. Adding to our electric vehicle charging stations and recycled terrain park features, we will be undertaking a significant wildflower planting effort on the trails at Pico Mountain, in hopes this pilot program will grow to include Killington’s trails during future summer, allowing more native pollinators to thrive, and adding natural beauty to the mountain.
Since 2008, Killington has offset 100% of our power with Renewable Energy Credits, the largest effort of any Vermont resort. Our purchase of over 107 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of REC has eliminated 66,000+ tons of carbon dioxide emissions – the amount produced by 7,466 average homes.
The new Peak Lodge ensures that Vermont’s highest structure embodies the earth-friendly spirit of the state through efficient design. We save roughly 44,000 kWh of electricity, 2,400 gallons of propane and 82,000 pounds of carbon emissions each year because of high efficiency lighting, refrigeration, and of course, Cow Power. We added new panoramic maps to the Peak Lodge this season to identify the other peaks in the area, and to further educate our guests about sustainability efforts. See the attached PDF.
As the largest supporter of Green Mountain Power’s Cow Power program, Killington is able to power both the Peak Lodge and the K-1 Express Gondola year-round. In 2012, Killington purchased 300,000 kWh of Cow Power for the gondola and increased this commitment by more than 100% for 2013-14 to over 600,000 kWh then again to 1,000,000 kWh for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The partnership with Green Mountain Power has been so successful that we currently act as a Cow Power ambassador and will continue to invest. Check out the video.
Killington embraces Freeaire refrigeration with twelve walk-in coolers resort-wide, including those at the Peak Lodge, with more to come. This technology has cut resort CO2 emissions by 13.2 tons per year. In addition, Killington supplements snowmaking through the Woodward Reservoir, conserving water to protect historical flows in local streams and the habitats of aquatic species.
Killington chooses environmentally responsible paper, from towels to tissues to trail maps. This saves approximately 175,000 gallons of water, 75 cubic yards of landfill space, 102,000 kWh, 1,500 pounds of air pollutants, 9,500 gallons of fuel oil, and 424 trees each year.
Finally, local transportation solutions have been a major focus of the resort to reduce carbon emissions and we have increased shuttle and bus services between our many lodging and base areas, and support a $2 bus route between Killington and Rutland. We also publicly encourage carpooling on our website and social media channels.
Sugarbush Resort - Most Improved Waste Reduction
This season at Sugarbush saw significant strides in recycling efforts. Recyclables for the 2014 calendar year were up to 33.3% of the total tonnage between recyclables and waste, up from 30.2% in 2013. The resort saw close to 135 tons of recyclables move through its system. This January, which isn’t included in the 2014 calendar year numbers, Sugarbush introduced liquid dumping stations, which will help provide even further reductions in waste moving forward.
Sugarbush also continues its composting efforts. This season saw 12.8 tons of compost move through its system. The resort first began composting during the 2010/2011 winter season and expanded to year round composting in 2012. Since the program began 55.44 tons of organic matter has been composted. Food scraps are hauled to Grow Compost in Moretown.
Recently, Sugarbush was awarded a grant from Sustainable Slopes to fund a four-stream waste receptacle to start the implementation of a program to increase its diversion rate for recyclables, food scraps, liquids, and trash. This new receptacle will be put to use this summer to determine its effectiveness and how to move forward with the program.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort - Best Green Up Day
Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s annual Green Up Day has been happening for so long that no one can remember when it started – the effort is a rite of spring that current employees can attest to participating in for more than a dozen years. Typically the resort holds its own Green Up Day separate from Vermont’s official statewide effort in early May. This timing gives resort employees the opportunity to participate in their hometown Green Up Day effort in addition to greening up at work. At Smugglers’, the day starts with a delicious breakfast prepared by the resort’s Mountain Grille, and a safety presentation. After receiving their bags and gloves, teams fan out over the resort property, covering the upper mountain parking areas in addition to the Village and Base Lodge areas and along Route 108. This effort typically collects two to three one-ton truckloads of trash each year, leaving the resort pristine for its busy summer season.
Efficiency Vermont provides technical assistance, rebates, and other financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment, lighting, and approaches to construction and major renovation. Additionally, they partner extensively with contractors, suppliers, and retailers of efficient products and services throughout the state. They are operated by a private nonprofit organization, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, under an appointment issued by the Vermont Public Service Board.
Green Up Vermont
Green Up Vermont is a nonprofit organization with 501(c) (3) status. Green Up's mission is to promote the stewardship of our state's natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day and raising public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment. For 43 years running, Vermonters have held Green Up Day – a state-wide tradition of beautification where armies of volunteers remove roadside debris previously camouflaged by Vermont’s abundant winter snow.