Ski Vermont Announces 2014 Green Mountain Award Winners
Sarah Wojcik, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vermont Ski Areas Association is excited to announce the winners of the second annual Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence at Vermont Ski Resorts. Judged by Melinda Vieux, President of Green Up Vermont, Alan Hebert of Efficiency 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 and combined environmental efforts.
Winners of the 2014 Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence include:
Greenest Overall Resort in Vermont
Most Improved Resort Overall
Mount Snow Resort
Most Improved Carbon Footprint
Stratton Mountain Resort
Most Improved Water Consumption
Mount Snow Resort
Most Improved Waste Reduction
Stowe Mountain Resort
Greenest Overall Resort in Vermont: Killington Resort
Killington Resort is firmly committed to environmental leadership and improves sustainability every season. This year, Killington’s parent company Powdr Resorts launched the Protect Your Playground initiative to solicit sustainable ideas from the community. As a result, electric vehicle charging stations, eco-friendly hotel soap dispensers and terrain park features built from recycled materials will receive close to $9,000 in funding.
Since 2008, Killington has offset 100% of our power with Renewable Energy Credits, the largest 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 efficiency components incorporated into the new construction, we saved an estimated 44,000 kWh of electricity, 2,400 gallons of propane and 82,000 pounds of carbon emissions per year.
Cow Power supports 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. 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.
Most Improved Resort Overall: Mount Snow Resort
Over the past year, Mount Snow has worked with Efficiency Vermont to complete a number of significant projects that have dramatically improved the efficiency of the snowmaking system and the operations of the Grand Summit Resort Hotel (GSRH). These projects represent a large financial investment by the resort. In total, efficiency measures undertaken in 2013 will save 1,063,797 kWh annually, or about 6.4% of Mount Snow’s 2012 electric use. Since completing the projects less than a year ago, the GSRH alone has saved 336,810 kWh, 35,630 gallons of propane and 1,237,190 gallons of water. Mount Snow also completed a 2,500 lighting fixture upgrade around the resort at the end of December, which Efficiency Vermont’s Chuck Clerici said, “To date, this is one of the most comprehensive lighting upgrades ever undertaken at a ski area in Vermont and once again shows us Mount Snow is very serious about managing energy use and cost at their resort.”
Most Improved Carbon Footprint: Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton has undertaken a multi-faceted environmental program in an effort to reduce their overall carbon footprint. In the past year a major focus has been a reduction in fossil fuel dependence. Stratton’s platform consists of four major components:
1. Replacement of our Diesel Air Compressor with High Efficiency Snowmaking Guns: Due to a fire in 2012 Stratton lost a diesel Centac 1500 HP compressor used to produce air for snowmaking. Stratton Management decided to use the money allotted to replace the diesel compressor to upgrade 300 high efficiency guns vs. replacing the generation source.
2. The second 1500 HP Centac compressor, reaching the end of its functioning life, was replaced with the equivalent size electric compressor. This effort reduced Stratton’s dependence on fossil fuels, reduced the potential for spills and leaks, and reduced on-site generated emissions .
3. Stratton has made choices to reduce the need for snow by creating features out of earth, where significant snow was previously required. The tubing hill and other small trouble spots around the mountain were addressed in the most recent construction season to further reduce our need to make snow to meet customer and safety standards. The tubing hill alone utilized 9900 cubic yards of fill to substitute the snow previously required.
4. Continuous Energy Improvement: Lastly Stratton has implemented a complex data tracking system and signed on to Efficiency Vermont’s Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI) Program. Through these efforts we will continue down the road of becoming more efficient, less energy intensive, snowmakers and business operators. Through CEI Stratton will create additional long term goals to address internal policy, leadership support, capital investment, education and outreach and best practices. All supporting Stratton’s goal of being diesel-free for snowmaking by 2017.
The results of this program are vast. From calculations provided by Efficiency Vermont Stratton anticipates a diesel savings from both compressor substitutes, snow gun upgrades, and earthen features to total 251,670 gallons of diesel fuel and 625,859 kWhs annually. Utilizing the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Calculator the electric savings are equivalent to 441 metric tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere or the same as 11,307 saplings growing for ten years. The anticipated diesel savings is equivalent to 2,231 metric tons of carbon dioxide or removing 465 passenger cars from the roads.
Most Improved Water Consumption: Mount Snow Resort
Projects completed in conjunction with Efficiency Vermont to upgrade Mount Snow’s Grand Summit Resort Hotel’s water-using facilities include the installation of a new ENERGY STAR commercial dishwasher and a new ozone laundry system. The ozone laundry system is a cutting-edge machine that combines electricity with oxygen to produce ozone, which is dissolved into the wash water, attaches itself to dirt particles, and so replaces many of the chemicals used in a typical process and significantly reduces wash water temperature requirements. As a result, the GSRH has saved 1,237,190 gallons of water. Also, Mount Snow replaced nearly four miles of aging snowmaking water pipe which significantly reduced the amount of water leakage, and in-turn reduced the amount of water needed to pump to the snow guns. Finally, the resort purchased a fleet of HKD Impulse Tower Guns which are some of the most efficient snow guns on the market.
Most Improved Waste Reduction: Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Lodge continues to divert all organics generated on site through F&B operations from the landfill. In conjunction with the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District the lodge has refined a source separation & collection program that has defined standards for large generators of organics. Vermont Act 148 requires all institutions or businesses that generate over 104 tons of organics to divert the materials; this comes into effect July 1, 2014. Stowe Mountain Lodge has proudly served as a resource to the community, sharing best practices & educating those faced with compliance deadlines.
In 2013 Stowe Mountain Lodge generated 101.4 tons of organics through our various F&B outlets, all of which were sent to GROW Compost of Vermont & processed into high quality organic compost. All Grow Compost products are approved for use in organic production by the Vermont Organic Farmers LLC, the USDA accredited organic certification program of NOFA-VT. The Lodge is proud to partner with GROW Compost & utilize their finished compost on all of the gardens & turf areas at Stowe Mountain Lodge.
2014 has already been an exciting year for progress! The Lodge has refined its processes and now offers compost receptacles in select guestrooms where meals can be prepared, and are about to roll out a back of house program, where the team can compost that banana peel they had for a snack.
Ski Vermont (Vermont Ski Areas Association) is a proud ambassador of the thriving winter tourism industry in Vermont, where the legislature has designated skiing and snowboarding as the official state sports. Vermont is not only the #1 ski state in the east and third in the US, but also reigns supreme in snowmaking quality and coverage, variety of terrain and historical impact on the sports of skiing and snowboarding - making it one of the most significant ski and ride destinations in the world. Ski Vermont’s mission is to help create a legislative, economic and social environment in which the state's ski areas can grow and prosper. It serves its 18 Alpine and 31 Nordic member resorts in three major areas: Governmental Affairs, Marketing and Public Affairs.
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.
We want to be your tour guide! Ski Vermont offers individual media tours of our member resorts.
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