vail resorts zero impact 2030, vail resorts epic promise
Vail’s Back Bowls. | Photo: Jack Affleck/Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts just announced its new, aggressive environmental initiative, which targets “zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat,” all in the span of 13 years. They’re call it “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint.”

“Everything we do at Vail Resorts is driven by the spectacular natural surroundings where our employees, guests and communities live, work and play. The environment is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it,” Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, said in the Zero Footprint announcement. “As a growing global company so deeply connected to the outdoors, we are making a commitment to address our most pressing global environmental challenge and protect our local communities and natural resources.”

Inspired by Whistler Blackcomb’s environmental commitment, Vail Resorts “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” is comprised of three pillars:

  • emissions
  • waste
  • forests and habitats

How they plan on doing it

Zero net emissions by 2030

  • Reducing the Company’s electricity and natural gas use by 15% (adding to the 19% already achieved), via:
    • energy-saving projects
    • low-energy snow-making equipment
    • green building design and construction
    • more efficient grooming practices and equipment
  • Purchasing 100% renewable energy equivalent to the Company’s total electrical use
  • Investing in tree-planting to offset carbon emissions
  • Engaging vendors and suppliers to reduce their emissions and environmental impact
  • Providing guests with opportunities to reduce or offset their carbon footprint

Zero waste to landfill by 2030

The Company aims to achieve this goal by diverting 100% of operational wastes to more sustainable pathways. Currently 40% of waste is diverted. They will accomplish this goal via:

  • Improving its recycling and composting program
  • Engaging with vendors to reduce packaging and source recyclable and compostable products
  • Working with local resort communities to increase options for resuse and diversion
  • Increasing awareness and engagement with employees and guests through signage, labeling and training

Zero net operating impact to forests and wildlife habitat

To protect the mountain landscapes and natural environment that the Company depends on, efforts will be made by:

  • Minimizing or eliminating the impact of any future resort development
  • Planing or restoring an acre of forest for every acre of forest displaced by the Company’s operations, with the goal of achieving improved species and age diversity.
  • Continuing and expanding the Company’s existing commitments to partner with and fund local organizations focused on the health of forests, habitat and wildlife.