We have a shared responsibility to take climate action seriously and protect the natural environment so that future generations can continue to cultivate a spirit of adventure and camaraderie for many winters to come.
Sugarbush is an endorser of the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes program and is an active participant in the NSAA Climate Challenge - a voluntary program dedicated to helping ski areas inventory, target and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sugarbush has been recognized and earned Sustainable Slopes Badges in these areas:
SOLAR Energy DEVELOPMENT
In partnership with Green Lantern Solar, Sugarbush developed a total of 2.75 megawatts of renewable solar energy across eight different solar arrays in Vermont. One solar array is located right here at Sugarbush in Parking Lot F. These solar systems produce approximately 4.75 million kWh of electricity or more than enough to power Mt Ellen’s snowmaking, lifts, and lodges.
Every year, we replace or upgrade components of our snowmaking system to make snow more efficiently while reducing the amount of compressed air and energy needed. The resort has seen a reduction in energy consumption supporting ski area operations of approximately 33% over the last decade without compromising either the quality or quantity of snow.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
Level 2 EV chargers are available for guests at Mt Ellen, Lincoln Peak, and in the Clay Brook Hotel parking garage. We plan on expanding the number of chargers around the resort so that more guests can travel on clean electricity.
Green Mountain Transit provides free winter public transportation between Sugarbush’s two mountains and throughout the Mad River Valley on the Mad Bus. This allows guests and employees to leave their cars at home and reduce traffic and emissions.
We are in the final stages of phasing in LED lighting in all our facilities. LEDs are energy efficient and do not contain mercury or other toxic chemicals like certain older style lamps.
Our groomers and heavy off-road machinery currently utilize a 20% biodiesel blend which is cleaner burning and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.
We strive to divert as much waste from the landfill as possible. Our recycling and composting programs now keep more than 33% of our total waste out of the landfill.
Our housekeeping team participates in Clean the World which collects and recycles discarded soap and plastic amenity bottles from our lodging and distributes soap worldwide to support communities vulnerable to hygiene-related illnesses.
FOREST AND VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLANS
Portions of Sugarbush Resort are located on leased National Forest System lands and are operated under a Special Use Permit issued by the Green Mountain National Forest. The rest of the resort lands are privately held by Sugarbush Mountain Resort and operated under State of Vermont land use and environmental permits. We have both Vegetation and Forest Management Plans to balance forest and plant health, wildlife diversity and habitat, water and air quality and ski area operations.
Stormwater and stream repair
Stormwater is precipitation (snowmelt and rainwater) that runs off impervious surfaces rather than infiltrating into the soil. Stormwater management techniques are employed throughout the resort to remove pollutants, and slow, spread and sink stormwater back into the ground before it enters the watershed. We have completed a multi-year water-quality remediation plan which has resulted in the clean-up of several important high-elevation streams at the resort including Rice and Gadd Brooks.
Our Mountain Water Company is committed to providing safe, clean drinking water to resort guests. Resort drinking water comes from the Clay Brook and fourteen bedrock wells, where water is pumped using energy-efficient pumping technology.
Wastewater (sewer) from the resort is separated and cleaned through a carefully controlled and monitored process that involves collection, filtration, aeration, and disinfection. Lincoln Peak Wastewater Treatment and Mountain Wastewater Treatment are our two large facilities that process waste back into clean water.
The SEW (Safety, Environment, and Wellness) Committee and an employee committee made up of members from all departments to make improvements to the safety and well-being of our employees and the resort’s environmental stewardship.rich-text, responsive-table
SEW introduced or supports the following initiatives:
- Annual “SEW Day”, an educational day for all staff to celebrate and further SEW focus areas
- Annual “Green-up day” when staff clean up litter around the resort community
- Water bottle filling stations at the Gate House Lodge, Mt Ellen Lodge, and the SHaRC
- Improvements to waste management
- Formalization of a resort-wide no-idling policy
- Replacement of Torchlight parade flares with reusable LED lights
- Pedestrian safety and outdoor lighting improvements
- Elimination of plastic straw use
- Promotion of “Know the Code”
Ways You Can Help
Join Team POW – Protect Our Winters (POW) helps passionate outdoor people protect the places we live and experiences we love from climate change. Your Ikon Pass gives you a one-year $20 membership to POW!
Ride the Mad Bus, Carpool, or drive an electric vehicle and charge it at our EV charging stations while you visit!
Recycle and Compost what you can. Sugarbush makes it easy to divert your waste from the landfill.
Grab a Reusable Water Bottle and fill it at one of our water bottle fill stations
Save Energy and Support Renewables– Consider renewable energy options for your home like solar power, efficient heat pumps, and wood heat.
Plant and Protect the Trees – One acre of healthy forest can mitigate annual carbon emissions from 62 cars!
To learn more and to discover different ways you can help fight climate change in Vermont, check out the State of Vermont’s Climate Change in Vermont.