Snow. Environment. Community.
Schweitzer Mountain acknowledges that the environment is one of our greatest resources and commits to being mindful of such. We aspire to be good stewards of the land and foster a sustainable future as we continue to grow our business. We operate in a precious environment that is potentially impacted by various threats including pollution, climate change, and development. We hereby commit to increase efforts to protect our mountain, our livelihood and the region we live in by exploring and implementing reasonable sustainable practices.
It Starts with a SEC
The health of our planet. The future of snow. The strength of our community.
We know change is hard. We know it takes time. We know it takes effort. But at the end of the day, we know it's important. Schweitzer is upping its game, doubling down and taking steps toward sustainability. Change won't happen overnight, but it starts with the first step, the first second.
- For the love of the Snow
- For the love of the Environment
- For the love of our Community
To make real change, we need help. So all we ask is, Do You Have a SEC?
- To pick up some trash?
- To recycle that can?
- To bring a coffee cup to work?
- To separate your compost?
- To take the shuttle?
- To start the change?
It starts with a SEC.
Schweitzer's Current Steps
Schweitzer is proud to have signed on with NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes program. This program provides an outline for both our company and our guests to help combat adverse impacts to our environment. Schweitzer is pleased to be an endorser of this program and we encourage our guests to take part as well.
In addition to endorsing NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes program, Schweitzer has also recently joined the Climate Challenge. Through this program, Schweitzer commits to taking actions that will target and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Schweitzer is excited to be partnered with a Spokane based consultant business, Resource Synergy. This team’s job is to assist Schweitzer in identifying and implementing opportunities to reduce energy consumption and waste generation, while following the Sustainable Slopes guidelines.
Our Steps ... So Far
Awarded NSAA Sustainable Slopes Grant
Schweitzer is scheduled to receive a sum of grant money towards replacing the distribution of single use shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap with bulk dispensers in our lodging. We have conservatively estimated that dispensers would eliminate 14,400 bottles annually ending up in landfill.
Implemented better recycling practices
Schweitzer teamed up with Coca Cola to tackle recycling. There is a lack of regional recycling facilities and Coca Cola stepped in to offer a backhaul program for recycling any of their products sold at Schweitzer. Recycling bins have been separated accordingly to make sure that the waste is actually recycled. Reports from the recyclers have been favorable with people actually sorting waste appropriately.
Conducted a waste audit
We collected a weekend’s worth of trash from the entire mountain and a few lucky employees sorted through all of it. From this, we have compiled loads of data and have identified areas of focus to reduce our waste.
Transitioned to LED
Schweitzer invested in a large capital plan to retrofit all lighting from three buildings with LED which was projected to result in a savings of over 83,000 kWh annually. The initial months have already seen savings exceeding this projection.
Other Steps Taken
While we have a long way to go, you may not have realized that Schweitzer already puts much effort into sustainable practices. Our first priority was to inventory practices we have already employed. As we forge ahead with new projects, Schweitzer intends to continue these systems and work to strengthen them.
- Schweitzer purchases power from Northern Lights which is supplied by Bonneville Power Administration. “BPA provides about 28 percent of the electric power used in the Northwest and its resources — primarily hydroelectric — make BPA power nearly carbon free.” BPA was recently found to be one of the cleanest sources of power in the nation according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- REC (renewable energy credits) purchased in partnership with Northern Lights
- Investment in Northern Lights “solar farm”
- Using many compostable items such as napkins and paper plates by Earthchoice
- Measure idle time on groomers and work within a set allowable time limit
- LED lighting on night skiing lights.
- Use recycled oil for heating the vehicle maintenance shop
- Cardboard recycling
- Tesla charging station
- Free transportation to 60,000 people who ride the buses each winter
- Cooperation with SPOT bus extends bus service and reduces use of cars
- Snow making using top of the line equipment - much of it gravity fed
- Wastewater is treated in an environmentally friendly system vs a point discharge
- Official endorser of Carbon Dividend Act (house bill 763)
- Endorsed the NSAA “Environmental Charter”
- Donate used uniforms
- Interpretive signs to foster an understanding and a connection to our place
- Upgrades to recycling program
- Created a sustainability committee to identify strategic actions
- Implemented sustainability challenge with staff
- Turned to using rechargeable batteries in all soap and paper towel dispensers to reduce waste
We recognize that Schweitzer needs to make further efforts to reduce the impact of environmental threats. Further, Schweitzer agrees to explore these areas in an effort to extend our reach:
- Installing additional water bottle filling stations & reusable water bottle program- As of winter 2021-22, guests will find 8 filling stations located all around the mountain. With that, guests will be able to purchase a refillable collapsible water bottle instead of single use plastics.Supporting the county with composting efforts- Schweitzer supports Bonner County as they chase a grant to begin a composting program. Schweitzer has volunteered to help launch the program if grant funds are received.Continue to explore ways to reduce our impact including:- Move to more electronic systems therefore reducing paper waste- Explore alternatives for products we cannot recycle- Explore ways to turn logging slash into biochar- Explore options for electrification of vehicles
Steps You Can Take
Sign on with Citizens Climate Lobby
There are five bills that include a form of carbon pricing currently circulating. Citizen’s Climate Lobby is a bipartisan non-profit aimed towards reducing our country’s carbon footprint through legislation and they need help. Click here to learn more.
Learn about what Ski Areas are doing
Visit the National Ski Areas Association Sustainability site by clicking here to learn more about what the ski industry is doing to be proactive in protecting our favorite resource, snow of course!
Take action with Protect Our Winters
This organization, founded by fellow snow lover Jeremy Jones, exists to educate and help you “turn your passion into purpose”. Click here to learn more about what POW does and how you can help.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." - The Lorax
Continue to check in with us as projects and plans take shape. If you need any more information about any of these projects, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.