Aspen Skiing Co. meeting Environmental goals

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 22, 2011 10:03 am

Aspen/Snowmass, CO – Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) proudly announces that the company is on track to achieve target greenhouse gas emissions goals this year as well as unveil new energy saving projects including a ban on incandescent light bulbs (an industry first), installation of a new solar array at The Sundeck, the energy efficient remodel of the Merry-Go-Round restaurant on Aspen Highlands and proactive retrofit of boilers at The Little Nell hotel.

“This year, the company has launched the most ambitious energy efficiency projects in its history,” says Mike Kaplan, CEO, Aspen Skiing Company. “I’m proud of our staff for initiating these projects and continuing to find new ways to reduce energy use.”

Lighting Ban
ASC will be phasing out the use of incandescent light bulbs by the end of 2011. The company has already made significant strides in reaching that goal by retrofitting lights throughout the company – from The Sundeck on Aspen Mountain to the parking lot at Aspen Highlands. This summer ASC will spend more than $100,000 to upgrade lighting at The Little Nell, The Snowmass Club, The Limelight Lodge, D&E Ski & Snowboard Shop and Four-Mountain Sports stores and many other buildings.

ASC’s incandescent bulb ban reads as follows: “Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of energy use in ASC hotels and office buildings, and 34 percent of total electricity use in the U.S. In the last twenty years, new technology means replacing incandescent bulbs with efficient and aesthetically acceptable fluorescent or LED bulbs is possible. High return on investment from energy savings and increased bulb life means retrofits have become fiscally prudent as well. In addition, lighting retrofits help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For these reasons, and in keeping with our guiding principles that emphasize financial success and environmental stewardship, Aspen Skiing Company has made the commitment to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs in all facilities by December 31, 2011.”

Meeting Carbon Goals
ASC has a goal of reducing total C02 emissions by 10 percent by 2012, on a 2000 baseline, even as the company grows. From 2000-2010, ASC was able to reduce C02 emissions from electricity use by 6.5 percent. The company is currently on target to achieve a 5 percent reduction of total C02 emissions in 2011.

“These savings were achieved by increasing automation of snowmaking and using the most efficient snowmaking guns we have available,” says Matt Hamilton, ASC’s Sustainability Manager. “We also made significant progress at the Snowmass Club through the installation of a building automation system allowing greater heating control. At Aspen Highlands we replaced metal halide lighting in the parking garage, installed a building automation system and utilized a revolving door to reduce energy consumption. Lastly we worked with staff throughout the company to identify energy waste and address the causes.”
New Solar Array at The Sundeck
ASC recently installed its sixth solar array at The Sundeck restaurant on the top of Aspen Mountain. The 2kW array, using super high efficiency Sunpower panels is accompanied by an educational display.

“Our goal was to reach the hundreds of thousands of people who pass by that view every year on the way to The Sundeck,” says Auden Schendler, ASC’s Vice President of Sustainability. “It’s just as much of an educational and demonstration project as it is a clean energy generator.”

The educational display includes information on the ASC partner nonprofit Protect Our Winters, a group of snowsports enthusiasts dedicated to mobilizing the snowsports industry on climate action.

Merry-Go-Round Remodel
The mid-mountain Merry-Go-Round restaurant at Aspen Highlands is currently being remodeled with a goal of cutting energy use by 30 percent. ASC aims to reach this goal by installing window retrofits, efficient wall and roof insulation, efficient kitchen equipment and the use of additional green materials. The $6 million remodel of the Merry-Go-Round will be complete by the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.

Cutting Natural Gas Use
ASC will cut company natural gas consumption by an estimated 25-30 percent by proactively retrofitting boilers at The Little Nell Hotel.

“This project has a great return on investment and on the environment,” says Aspen Skiing Company Project Manager, Gert Van Moorsel.

This estimated savings will keep 305-365 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and will also improve the guest experience. The project is currently underway and will continue this spring.

Additional Projects
In addition, ASC will begin construction this summer on the new Elk Camp Restaurant (replacing Café Suzanne at Snowmass in 2012-2013), which is scheduled to be LEED Certified and to implement advanced heating systems with other green materials to beat local energy codes by an estimated 30 percent. A new IT Data Center at ASC will feature the latest hot aisle/cold aisle and in-row chiller technology and other green features to reduce energy consumption company-wide.