Tiroleans say “Tschüss” to CO2

Previously in Suston, we’ve highlighted how ski resorts in the U.S., Switzerland and Finland are increasingly profiling themselves as green resorts – in the positive sense. Is it time for Austria to take the lead?

Located in western Tirol, Ischgl’s reputation for reliable snow and immense terrain is closely followed by its infamously indulgent après ski scene and glamorous lifestyle off the slopes. This season, the resort now gains the repute of becoming the largest certified climate neutral ski resort in the Alps.

Together with the German climate protection solutions provider Climate Partner, Ischgl began measuring the carbon footprint of its vast network of ski lifts, restaurants, snowmaking and snow grooming equipment and more. With a better idea of what they were up against, the next step was to begin cutting down on these emissions. With fully electric facilities already operating on an energy mix derived primarily from hydro, Ischgl expanded its use of energy-efficient heat recovery systems and alternative energy sources like solar and geothermal heating. Where electrification was not yet a viable solution, they were able to apply digital solutions that provided additional emissions reductions – such as GPS-enhanced grooming and precise snow-depth measurements for its arsenal of snowmakers.

To limit the number of vehicles driving to the resort, the resort also provided a boost to its public ski bus service. Following efforts to reduce emissions, all remaining emissions are then annually offset through an internationally- recognized and certified climate protection project – most recently in the Peruvian rainforest as well as through an afforestation project in the nearby woodlands surrounding Paznaun – resulting in 10,465,600 kg CO2 being offset for 2019.

Jonathan Fraenkel-Eidse
jonathan.eidse@norragency.com