Protecting Our Outdoors: Sustainability Stories

27 May 2021
Our mountains are our business and our future, but most importantly they’re our home. As a company deeply rooted in the great outdoors, at Vail Resorts, we’re committed to achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030 across all 37 of our resorts—including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Crested Butte. Our industry-leading Commitment to Zero creates the opportunity for one mountain resort company to have a big impact on preserving the environment through its three pillars: zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat.  
Each of our resorts in Colorado are doing their part to move us closer to a zero net operating footprint. From composting and recycling, to energy efficiency and land stewardship, the following are just a few of the innovative ways we’re prioritizing a more sustainable future.  
Zero net emissions:  
  • In 2019, Vail and Keystone unveiled massive snowmaking enhancement projects, which upgraded technology in order to make more snow with less energy. The new state-of-the-art equipment at our resorts allows for more efficient use of resources—such as snow guns with their own internal weather stations that can turn themselves on and off when weather conditions are best for snowmaking. Across Vail Resorts, we’ve committed to investing $25 million in innovative, energy-saving projects in three key business areas—snowmaking, buildings and lifts before 2030.  
Zero waste to landfill:  
  • Ever wonder what happens to the snack wrappers you’ve recycled on the mountain? Vail Resorts has partnered with PepsiCo and TerraCycle to recycle those wrappers into picnic tables and Adirondack chairs! Next time you’re at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone or Breck, take a break to enjoy a grab-and-go snack, and kick your feet up with our new, recycled furniture.  
  • This winter, Crested Butte Mountain Resort teamed up with local company 3XM Grinding and Compost of Olathe, Colorado. 3XM will haul all of CBMR’s compost—including pre- and post-consumer food waste, green waste, eco products and shredded paper—to their facility to mix and sell locally. This partnership will increase composting efforts at CBMR beyond food and beverage outlets to the entire resort and already has greatly increased the resort’s waste diversion numbers.  
Zero net operating impact on forests and habitat:  
  • We operate in some of the most incredible outdoor spaces on the planet, and we have an obligation and opportunity to protect these incredible landscapes. We make every effort not to disturb forest and habitat, but when that’s unavoidable, we plant or restore an acre for every acre permanently displaced by our operations. We seek projects offering the greatest benefits for biodiversity and wildlife through partnerships with environmental organizations, rather than limiting project scopes to planting trees within resort boundaries.   
  • Additionally, through our EpicPromise community impact program, Vail Resorts directs over $1M annually to forest restoration projects to protect and improve the natural environments around our resorts. Environmental organizations are able to address a variety of issues such as forest resilience, watershed health, stream restoration, public education, energy efficiency and waste reduction. 
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