Ski Areas Leading the Way for Sustainability

Mountain communities and resorts are vibrant places that drive local economies and are heavily dependent on environmental conditions, such as snowpack and forest health. Their abundance of natural resources, desirable weather, and access to outdoor amenities make them ideal places to live, work, and visit, but also put them at risk as the climate changes.

In 2001, Brendle Group partnered with the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) to develop a program to support ski areas in their sustainability efforts. Launched in 2011, the Climate Challenge is a voluntary program dedicated to helping participating ski areas reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reap other benefits in their operations, such as reducing costs for energy use. As the program has grown, the tools and offerings have evolved as well. In addition to a greenhouse gas accounting tool and reporting structure, other offerings now include training seminars, support for advocacy activities, and an optional resiliency toolkit.

Of the more than 30 resorts participating, there has been a 18.6% decrease in average greenhouse gas emissions per resort since 2011.