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Scandinavia’s Largest Ski Areas Operator Steps Up Sustainability Initiatives

The SkiStar group which runs several of Norway and Sweden’s largest ski areas has stepped up in efforts to reduce the impact its operations have on climate change.

One big change in Norway is that renewable diesel (HVO) is being introduced in all of the company’s piste grooming machines, which has already been introduced in Sweden. This will reduce emissions from the day-to-day running of these-machines and maintenance of the slopes by 45%.

Thanks to SkiStar’s new partnership agreement with Jämtkraft, all facilities in Sweden (which include Sälen, Vemdalen and Åre) and Norway (which include Hemsedal and Trysil) are operated with renewable energy from solar, wind and hydro power. In Norway the supply comes from Scandem AS which is a part of Jamtkraft. In Sweden the electricity is labelled “Bra Miljöval” (“Good for the environment”).

There will also be an increased number of charging stations for electric cars at all destinations and better information to guests about recycling through the SkiStar app, and new recycling bags are developed. These can be picked up at check-in stations and will also be on site in SkiStar’s own and partner accommodations

Shortly before the pandemic began the Scandinavian Mountains Airport opened in late 2019, the first new airport in Sweden for 20 years, partially owned and funded by SkiStar.  This may seem incongruous with a desire to cut CO2 emissions, but SkiStar disagree.

“There are several travel options to reach our destinations and actually 90% of our guest travel to our ski areas by car and/or train. For some of our guests however, especially those travelling from Denmark and the UK, going by air is the most efficient and convenient way of travel. Taking all things into consideration, going by air on a full airplane contributes about the same amount of emissions per person as if two persons go by a fossil fuel car,” a SkiStar spokesperson explained, adding, “Our main focus and the one for the Scandinavian Mountains Airport is to provide the most climate friendly and sustainable travel by air, and they aim to find the most emission-free planes and air travel companies, like BRA, that already use renewable aviation fuel.”

There’s more info on Scandinavian Mountain Airport sustainability initiatives here.

1 Comment
  1. Baz

    13th October 2021 2:57 pm

    While these initiatives are to be celebrated, you’d have to think it is not going to amount to a significant effort in the grand scheme of things. The current projections in China are for another 250 coal fired power stations to come online over the next decade. For example, the UK contributes in total less than 1% of the total CO2 emissions, china is over 25% currently and that is going to rise significantly with their new coal stations… Another factor in the global warming arena which absolutely nobody wants to talk about is the massive overpopulation of the world with people. At least China tried with its albeit very badly implemented one child policy. The UK for instance has currently twice as many people as the size of the island’s landmass can maintain if it were required to be self sufficient, and therefor more environmentally friendly. Add to this the fact that the global population is forecast to rise from 7 billion consumers currently to 11 billion plus by the end of this century, and the efforts of CO2 reduction are going to amount to nothing other than a very expensive accelerated change to different tech over the next 8 or 9 years. And of course there has just been the news of the long awaited Malaria vaccine, which is not accounted for in the 11 billion breeders totals….

    Realistically we needed to do all this stuff 30+ years ago (including limiting breeding) when I first heard about wind turbines etc as the way forward for energy, and not just in the UK and Europe. Another major problem we are going to hit soon is the release of massive levels of methane as the tundra melts. Methane being approx 30 times more of a problem from a greenhouse effect perspective compared to CO2. Methane arising from food production similarly is actually more of a problem than CO2 released from fossil fuels based on current figures, and is also forecast to increase over the next decade, and imagine how bad that will be by the time there are another 4 billion people!! These factors do make me wonder, what’s the point? People ultimately will not sacrifice enough of their own desires to protect the distant future of the planet. And I’m no different than the next man, I’ll still go skiing every chance I get. Consuming fuel to get there and food etc that has to come from somewhere…. but I had no children deliberately so I feel I’ve made enough of a contribution to net zero… That is the only solution to the “problem”, its just nobody wants to talk about it. But sure, we can all get an electric car and feel better about ourselves in the meantime.

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