The SEW Committee: Who We Are and What We Do

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The Sugarbush SEW Committee (Safety, Environment, and Wellness) was created in 2014 in order to ensure employee involvement, ownership and participation in the process of achieving SEW excellence. The Committee serves as a forum for discussion and resolution of SEW issues, as well as to promote preventative practices for future issues. The Committee is made up of a rotating group of 15 or so Sugarbush employees, who come from many departments and various backgrounds, with the goal of providing a diverse range of experience and insight when solving problems.

There are many ways that we promote these goals, including educational opportunities and an annual “SEW Day”, which celebrates and furthers the goals. Perhaps the most exciting part of improving these goals for us as members of the SEW Committee are the implementation of the “Challenges” that come about each winter. This winter, challenges for employees include: Sun, Sleep, and Bus. What does this mean, and how are these challenges being implemented?

Sun: At first glance, the sun may not seem like a big issue during the winter. In fact, we celebrate the bluebird days and much appreciated warmth of the sun during these short days and long nights. However that is exactly where the danger lies. Many people don’t think about the threat that the sun can pose during the winter months. Prolonged exposure (like a day on the slope) coupled with the reflective nature of snow makes it a prime environment for sunburn. Even if your skin doesn’t “burn”, you can be at risk of doing long lasting damage if you aren’t properly protected. That is why Sugarbush is challenging its employees to use sunscreen, or a combination of things like hats and “buffs” when they are outside on sunny days. This season, all employees have been provided with buffs, which help to protect their neck and face from the sun as well as the cold, and can be worn in many different configurations depending on the weather. Sunscreen dispensers were installed in multiple locations around the resort for both employees and guests to take advantage of.  We are also using this opportunity to educate employees on the changes in UV rays throughout the season and what sort of protection is required for the given UV rating each day.  

Sleep: Who doesn’t want to get more sleep??? Getting enough sleep allows you to be more focused and energized throughout the day. It helps to keep your immune system functioning properly, and can even help you lose weight. For these reasons and more, the SEW Committee has challenged Sugarbush employees to get 60 nights of 7 or more hours of consecutive sleep over the course of this winter. Participants even earn some great prizes!

Bus: The environment is exactly what makes Sugarbush so great. We need to be good stewards of our environment, and protect it for many years to come. Because of this, we are challenging employees to make a pledge to commute with alternative methods as much as they can this winter in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Whether that means taking the bus where available, carpooling with a coworker, walking, biking, skiing- whatever it takes to make a difference! To help make this goal a reality, Sugarbush hosted a number of “carpool cafés” where employees interested in carpooling could get together and meet other people who may share their commute. For many employees these venues provide a way to connect with people who they may not regularly interact with at work, which creates more opportunities for carpooling than would otherwise be available.

In future posts, we’ll discuss specific issues we are taking on around the resort in the coming months!