Aspen Skiing Company has a long history of leading the way on sustainable practices, policy, and individuals taking action. Below, we share stories about that work.

Capturing Coal Methane To Power Operations

In 2012 Aspen Skiing Company partnered with Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine, Holy Cross Energy, and Vessels Carbon Solutions to convert waste methane from a coal plant in Somerset, Colorado into usable electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating financial return along the way. To demonstrate the success of this project, ASC released a report telling the story of how this came about, and what the results have been. The mine produces 3 megawatts of baseload power, which is as much energy as ASC uses annually at all four of its resorts, including hotels and restaurants. The electricity generated and the carbon offsets flow into the utility grid, not to ASC directly, greening the entire regional grid. Since this project started, it has prevented the emission of 250 billion cubic feet of methane annually into the atmosphere – mitigating a huge problem when it comes to global warming. This is equivalent to removing 517,000 passenger vehicles from the road for a year. On the financial front, this methane-to-electricity project produces between $100,000 and $150,000 in revenue per month from electricity and carbon credit sales to Holy Cross Energy. After nearly ten years, ASC has only about $750,000 remaining to pay off it’s initial investment of $5.34 million.

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Making Our Voices Heard

Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Skiing Company
Taking a stand against an existential threat to your business is something any good CEO would do. That's why Mike Kaplan has frequently put pen to paper to voice his concerns in major publications around America. Below are some of his op-eds on behalf of Aspen Skiing Company and the values we embody:
Aspen Needs Mexican Tourists
They've Been Staying Away, and 'Trump is the No. 1 Reason.'
Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2017


We're Still Here
The Aspen Times, December 27, 2016

Protect Our Winters (Pow)

Protect Our Winters (POW)
Aspen Skiing Company has been a longtime supporter of Protect Our Winters. Senior Vice President of Sustainability Auden Schendler serves on the board. We have helped create a movement to weaponize the outdoor community as a political force, like the NRA. Every Aspen Skiing Company uniform features the POW logo, in an effort to raise awareness with our guests and demonstrate and force conversation and education.

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Funding the Future

The Environment Foundation, Aspen

The Environment Foundation, Aspen

Over half of our employees are members of the Environment Foundation. They donate a dollar (or more) per week from their paycheck, which is matched by Aspen Skiing Company, the Aspen Community Foundation and Lavazza. All funds — more than $3.5 million in 21 years — support environmental projects in the community. The employee board of directors of this independent nonprofit learns about philanthropy and the nonprofit world.

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Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC)

Pyramid Peak Clean Air
In the last few years, we've gone from knocking on doors to being at the table. In 2018, Governor John Hickenlooper selected our Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Auden Schendler, to serve on the Air Quality Control Commission, which makes climate and energy policy for the state, and a group to whom we’d often testified. He served for two and a half years, and in that time the commission further ratcheted down the strictest methane-leak rules in the country, adopted California's low-emissions vehicle standard and then their zero-emissions vehicle standard, and enacted new regulations on hydro-flourocarbons, a super-greenhouse gas.

Solar Power

Solar Power Resource
On July 1, 2008, Aspen Skiing Company celebrated the installation of a 147 kW solar array at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) in Carbondale. At the time it was the largest solar installation in western Colorado. It powers the school's science building and feeds excess energy into the power grid. It produces 200,000 kWh annually (enough power for 20 average American homes) and keep 400,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the air. The project cost Aspen Skiing Company $1.1 million. After 20 years, we'll donate the still-operational array to CRMS.

Aspen Skiing Company operates many on-site solar projects:

• 10.6 kW at Thunder River Lodge employee housing;
• 5.0 kW at The Little Nell providing electricity to the 2,500-square-foot Paepke Suite; and
• 2.3 kW at Aspen Highlands Patrol Headquarters that was the first (and remains the prettiest!) array in the ski industry.

Leed Certification

Limelight hotel snowmass
Aspen Skiing Company helped create the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership Energy and Environmental Design Program, known as LEED. As a LEED "Pioneer," we built one of the first 11 LEED-certified buildings in the world — the Sundeck Restaurant atop Aspen Mountain, and provided feedback that was incorporated into the first iteration of the program.

Then, we built a second, the Golf Clubhouse at the Snowmass Club, which received a ranking of LEED Silver. (One of our best buildings, although, unfortunately we sold it.) We later added LEED Gold certified Sam's, LEED Platinum certified Holiday House Employee Housing, LEED Silver certified Elk Camp Restaurant, LEED silver-certified Limelight Snowmass, and the LEED Silver certified Limelight Hotel Ketchum.

Our next building, Willits Block 9 Employee Housing, will be entirely electric, a key climate solution. And our remodeled skier services building at Buttermilk will be net-zero.

Uniform Donations

Aspen Skiing Company uniform donations in Serbia
After the war in Kosovo, Aspen Skiing Company sent 25,000 uniform pieces to Kosovo. Auden Schendler and Chris Lane spent a week in-country setting up the distribution and meeting with Albanians and Serbs, as well as connecting with NATO peacekeepers who would hand out uniforms. Since then, we've donated other uniforms to communities in need across the globe working with the National Ski Area Association's SWAG program and with a friend from the Hungarian Consulate. Shipments are typically 40 pallets and tens of thousands of pieces. Pictured is a group of high school students in our uniforms.

Corporate Volunteer Policy

Corporate volunteer policy
Full-time, year-round employees receive 16 hours of paid volunteer time in the community. This program has the potential to generate 15,500 hours of service and more than $330,000 in wages donated to support the community.

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