On May 6th at the National Ski Area Association’s (NSAA) Annual Conference in Carlsbad California, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) received NSAA’s Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence for ‘Medium Size Ski Areas’ (200,000 – 500,000 visits). The award represents the highest honor of environmental achievement in the ski industry. The golden eagle award comes on the heels of JHMR’s 5 year anniversary of ISO 14001 registration (JHMR is one of 2 resorts in the US to reach this benchmark) and a very successful annual audit by KPMG which noted no non-conformities in terms of environmental performance.
JHMR President Jerry Blann states “We are honored to receive this recognition for our environmental work. We have invested strategically and labored intently to be the best possible stewards of our natural resources, and the Golden Eagle Award is welcome recognition of that work. Operating in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the most pristine natural environments in the world, is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. Measuring and minimizing our environmental impact is a duty that we owe to this spectacular region, as well as to our guests who come here to recreate in the midst of it. In collaboration with ISO 14001, the Brendle Group and the NSAA we have invested in the tools to significantly reduce our energy usage and greenhouse gas output, while we continue to grow our recycling initiatives, re-double our efforts to protect the threatened Whitebark Pines species, and underwrite public transportation in the region.”
NSAA President, Michael Berry comments: “Jackson Hole has been making tangible investments in the environmental sustainability of their operation. Their program represents the kind of real-world progress, year over year, which the National Ski Area Association is
proud to hold up as an example of how to run an environmentally responsible ski area in the modern era.”
In order to meet the 10×15 goals set in 2009, JHMR set itself on a course to reduce energy, waste, water and greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2015. The following are the highlights of various departments’ environmental work completed in 2011.
- Food and Beverage implemented the Vendor Assessment Scoring; an internally developed score chart that helps identify food providers whose processing and delivery represents the lowest environmental impacts.
- Vehicle maintenance modified a Ford Excursion to run on waste vegetable oil–sourced from the dining facilities. Plans are underway to convert further vehicles.
- Vehicle Maintenance recycled all motor oil, as well as batteries, antifreeze, and all snowmelt from grooming equipment.
- Mountain facilities succeeded in reducing propane use by 20% over last year, through the implementation of ‘automation controls’ and modifications to the heating systems across the resort.
- JHMR invested in the protection of the threatened Whitebark Pine trees with the purchase and application of 575 Verbenone Packets and the application of Carbaryl Spray to counteract pine beetle infestation.
- JHMR commissioned the Brendle Group to conduct a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and establish a subsequent Management Plan to assess and minimize energy usage and greenhouse gas output.
- JHMR joined 7 other ski areas in the ‘National Ski Area Association’s 2011 Climate Challenge’—a leadership initiative aimed at measuring and reducing ski areas’ carbon inventory.