Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in the world, and is fun for beginners and experts alike. When looking for the best ski resorts in the world, it’s important to consider the ecological impact of this favourite pastime. The phrase ‘keep it green to keep it white’ has become a well-known slogan with those who wish to enjoy the serene beauty of snow-covered mountains whilst minimising their footprint.
Next time you choose to holiday in a winter wonderland, consider adding a sustainable ski resort to your itinerary. Here are three of the world’s most famous ski resorts that have taken a turn for a greener future.
Les Arcs, France
One of the first alpine resorts to undertake a comprehensive climate and sustainable energy plan, Les Arcs is a world leader in sustainable skiing. This French Alps leisure centre launched an environmentally-conscious programme in 2010 to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, and achieved their goal eight months early due to their aggressive commitment to a cleaner future.
As well as renovating heating systems in buildings, Les Arcs created a dedicated public transport system and pedestrianised much of the resort, reducing the reliance on private motor vehicles and snow mobiles to get around.
Not only can visitors enjoy one of the best ski resorts in the world, they can do so without a guilty conscience. Les Arcs is one of only three alpine resorts worldwide to hold the Green Snowflake certification, and has been heralded for their sustainable approach to the world’s favourite winter sport.
Norway is one of the most sustainably-run nations in the world, and their ski resorts are no different. Known as one of the best places to ski, Geilo Resort has also held the title of Sustainable Travel Destination since 2016, and is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
This beautiful resort is 100% hydro-electric powered and completely accessible by one of Europe’s lowest CO2 emitting railway lines. Visitors can enjoy everything from skiing to tobogganing to horse-drawn carriage rides through the snow, and embrace the natural beauty of the Norwegian landscape.
In 2021, Geilo was granted Eco-Lighthouse Environmental certification, and has continued to live up to their reputation as a leader in sustainable winter tourism.
Jackson Hole, USA
Voted ‘Best Overall Ski Resort in North America’ by SKI Magazine in 2018-19, Jackson Hole is also one of the most sustainable. Located in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, this 2,500-acre powder field draws skiers from all over the world looking for the thrill of a freshly coated slope. Jackson Hole is not only one of the world’s most famous ski resorts, but is one of only two US ski resorts to be listed in Green Destinations Top 100 Sustainable Destinations list.
Focusing on minimising carbon output, this beautiful ski resort has upgraded all of its buildings with energy-efficient heating systems and thorough recycling programs. Some of the newer structures, like Hotel Terra, are fully constructed using recycled materials and are setting the standard when it comes to sustainable skiing.
Jackson Hole holds an NSAA Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence, and continues to dedicate its resources into newer and more environmentally-conscious skiing experiences.
Choose a sustainable ski resort for your winter wonderland escape
Just because you are looking for a sustainable skiing experience doesn’t mean that you need to pass on the best ski resorts in the world! More and more skiers are chasing responsible options for their next winter holiday – these three famous ski resorts barely scratch the surface when it comes to eco-friendly getaways! While there is still a long way to go, environmentally-conscious travellers looking for the best places to ski are flush with choice, and can be sure to find a location to suit their needs.
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