Stowe Mountain Resort remains the only mountain resort in North America to be certified as a Sustainable Destination under Audubon International’s Sustainable Destination program. To achieve this recognition the resort has been required to undergo multiyear independent verification of all environmental programs and activities ongoing at the resort. “Stowe Mountain Resort’s Master Plan (which was awarded the National Ski Area Association’s highest environmental award, the Golden Eagle, in 2000) and its ongoing implementation including Spruce Peak at Stowe, is the result of many years of collaborative planning and coordination with many varied interests, including all of Vermont’s major environmental organizations,” said Robert Apple, the resort’s Planning Manager. “As the vision turns into reality we are proud to both have earned as well as maintained our certification from Audubon International and look forward to a continued focus on sustainable development principles throughout the resort.”
Stowe Mountain Resort’s environmental accomplishments include:
- Through conservation easements donated to the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, over 2,000 acres of wildlife habitat has been permanently protected. These protected lands include summit ski terrain on Spruce Peak that has been restored to its natural state, providing habitat for the Bicknell’s Thrush, and forest that protects nesting sites for Peregrine falcons, travel corridors for black bear as well as habitat for other important Vermont wildlife.
- With input from Efficiency Vermont, the state’s private energy utility, all of the resort’s new construction has been designed and built to achieve significant energy efficiencies. Since 2001 the resort has reduced its annual electrical consumption by over six million kilowatt hours.
- Two electrical vehicle re-charging stations have been installed at Spruce Peak.
- 55% of the resort’s electrical supply is purchased from renewable sources.
- Storm water runoff from all of the Spruce Peak base area and much of the Mansfield base area is now collected and re-used for both snow making water and golf course irrigation.
- A green street vegetated storm water treatment system and rain gardens have been installed along Hourglass Drive at Spruce Peak.
- The resorts’ main hotel, the Stowe Mountain Lodge has been designated as a Four Star Audubon Green leaf Hotel as well as a Vermont Green Hotel.
- The resort provides the largest private contribution for the operation of the Stowe Mountain Road Shuttle which offers free public transportation from Stowe Village to the resort during the winter months and reduces both traffic congestion as well as vehicle emissions. In addition, the resort has eliminated its use of all diesel fueled snow making air compressors resulting in an annual reduction of over 4,973,183 lbs of carbon emissions. The Over Easy Gondola between the Mansfield and Spruce base areas has eliminated the need for a fleet of diesel buses to shuttle skiers between the two locations.
- The resort has expanded its organic composting program to now include all of its food outlets which is reducing its annual waste stream by over 300,000 lbs. and still growing. The Resort also participates in the Vermont Food Fresh network as well as the State’s Farm to Table initiative. Stowe Mountain Club’s golf course has earned, and maintained, an Audubon Signature Sanctuary Certification which recognizes that the course was designed, constructed, and is managed with a comprehensive approach to environmental protection. Stowe Mountain Club continues to be the only golf course in Vermont to achieve this recognition. It has also been designated as a “Green Links” from the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership.
- The resort’s new Children’s Adventure Center, currently under construction at Spruce Peak and scheduled for completion in 2016, will be heated and cooled by the largest closed-loop geo-thermal system installed, to date, in Vermont.
About Audubon International:
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 environmental education organization dedicated to educating, assisting and inspiring millions of people from all walks of life to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife and natural resources around them. Web site www.auduboninternational.org