Vail Resorts announces ‘zero footprint’ commitment by 2030 | SummitDaily.com

Vail Resorts announces ‘zero footprint’ commitment by 2030

Vail Resorts, Inc., announced a commitment Tuesday to a comprehensive sustainability plan targeting a zero net operating footprint by the year 2030.

Inspired by British Columbia's Whistler Blackcomb ski area, which the Broomfield, Colorado-based resort company bought in August 2016 for $1.06 billion, Vail Resorts said it wanted to go beyond a partial emissions reduction goal as part of the environmental pledge. So, the "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint" design comprises the trifecta of emissions, waste and forests and wildlife habitat objectives.

The plan puts forward pursuing zero net emissions by cutting electricity and natural gas use and investing $25 million in energy-saving projects, as well as zero waste to landfills by improving recycling and composting programs and encouraging vendors to limit packaging — both by 2030. As a strategy for protecting the mountain landscapes in which the resort company operates, it is also committing to measures such as minimizing or eliminating the impact of future resort development and planting or restoring an acre of forest for every one displaced by operations.

"The environment is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it," Rob Katz, Vail Resorts' chairman and CEO, said in a new release about the 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."

The proposal was quickly lauded by state leadership.

"Colorado businesses continue to lead the fight against climate change because they know how important clean energy and conservation efforts are to growing our economy and protecting the planet for our children," U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, said in a statement. "We applaud Vail Resorts on this impressive commitment to tackle climate change from multiple angles — from reducing emissions and waste to protecting our forests. It is because of leadership like this throughout our state that Colorado is the epicenter of outdoor recreation."

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For more information about Vail's zero footprint plan, visit: epicpromise.com/zerofootprint

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