Ischgl is the largest climate-neutral ski resort in the Alps

Last updated on 04.12.2019

While everyone talks about climate change, Ischgl is doing something about it. The alpine village known for its glamorous lifestyle starts the winter season 2019/20 as the largest climate-neutral ski resort in the Alps. Ischgl has implemented a number of environmental measures to reduce CO2 emissions throughout its ski area, including in the many alpine huts and taverns. The Silvrettaseilbahn AG is equally committed to offsetting all unavoidable carbon emissions through an internationally recognised climate protection project and a reforestation programme in the local valley.

Think globally, act locally – Ischgl is the first major ski resort in the Alps to become climate-neutral. It has launched an initiative to minimise its CO2 emissions. How will it be implemented in practical terms? From this season onwards, all ski lifts in the Ischgl ski area will be powered almost entirely by renewable energy, mainly from hydropower stations in the Paznaun. In addition, solar and heat recovery systems in the region will save an estimated 80,000 litres of heating oil – the equivalent of 244 tonnes of CO2 per year. The recently opened Ischgl Slope Food restaurant and the Gampenbahn valley station are heated by geothermal energy. The Silvrettaseilbahn AG have even extended the sustainable resort concept to include its snowmaking and grooming equipment: all its snow groomers are equipped with GPS technology to determine accurate snow depth measurement, ensuring snow cannons only generate snow where it is needed. This saves electricity and water required for snow production, as well as snow groomer hours, saving a further 150 tonnes of CO2 per year. The region has also made a significant investment in the ski bus network to reduce passenger car traffic in Paznaun – further reducing CO2 emissions. Last but not least, more than 10,000 trees were planted around Ischgl in recent years.
On 07.11.2019, the Silvrettaseilbahn AG was awarded the climate-neutral certificate for the Ischgl ski region by ClimatePartner, a leading expert for climate protection solutions.

No Plan(et) B: Ischgl sets the benchmark with local climate protection programmes
“We aim to offset those emissions that are unavoidable through a recognised climate protection project and a reforestation programme in the Paznaun. This will allow us to compensate for the CO2 emissions generated by our ski operation,” says Günther Zangerl, CEO of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG. Ischgl has consciously decided to offset its CO2 emissions by supporting a certified reforestation project in Peru as well as a regional programme in Paznaun and Ischgl. “We feel it is important that our alpine homeland, in particular our forests, which are vital to protecting our environment and provide a habitat for numerous fauna and flora, also benefit from our commitment. The local forestation programme is the perfect complement to the certified reforestation project in Peru”, adds Zangerl.

Future initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions
Ischgl is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions in the future. The new Silvretta Spa, scheduled to be opened in winter 2022/2023, will be largely heated by geothermal energy. This measure alone will reduce the region’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 1,300 tonnes per year. The ski resort also plans to purchase hybrid snow groomers, which have a 20 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to conventional machines.

Further information: https://www.ischgl.com/en/More/Silvrettaseilbahn-AG-the-company/climate-neutral-skiresort.

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