Our priority is to cut our carbon footprint, and we have led the industry in doing so since 1997. To us, “going green” is about more than just our corporate conscious. It makes excellent business sense too.

We have fine-tuned our operations at Aspen Skiing Company in several key areas.

Green Energy

Capturing Coal Methane to Power Operations

Aspen Skiing Company recently partnered with the Elk Creek coal mine, Holy Cross Energy, and Vessels Coal Gas on a $5.5 million investment to capture waste methane vented from a coal mine in neighboring Somerset, Colorado to generate carbon negative electricity. The three megawatts of power generated from this project will produce as much energy as Aspen Skiing Company uses annually — approximately 24 million kilowatt hours.

In addition, by destroying methane, a potent greenhouse gas, this project eliminates three times the carbon pollution created by the resort each year as well as garnering carbon offset benefits. Waste methane, and therefore electricity, will continue to be produced for at least 15 years, and possibly much longer. This project is the only one of its scale in the United States.
Solar panels
Solar panels

Solar Power

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, Colo. The 147kW system sits on one half acre of ranchland owned by the high school and is the largest solar electric installation in western Colorado. The array is currently powering the school's science building and feeds excess energy into the town of Carbondale's power grid. Annually, it will produce 200,000 kWh (enough power for 20 average American homes) and keep 400,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the air.

In addition to this array Aspen Skiing Company operates:
  • 10.6 kW array at Thunder River Lodge, an employee housing complex;
  • 5.0 kW array at The Little Nell providing electricity for the 2,500 square foot Paepke Suite; and
  • 2.3 kW array at Aspen Highlands Patrol Headquarters.

Green Buildings

Sam's LEED certified
Sam's LEED certified

LEED CERTIFICATION

Aspen Skiing Company developed the first set of green buildings in the ski industry. We participated in the creation of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership Energy and Environmental Design Program, known as LEED.

As a result, we built one of the first 11 LEED-certified buildings in the world — the Sundeck Restaurant atop Aspen Mountain. (View an additional fact sheet on this building).

We've now added the LEED Gold-certified Sam's (pictured), LEED Platinum-certified Holiday House Employee Housing Project, LEED Silver-certified Elk Camp Restaurant and the LEED Silver-certified Limelight Hotel Ketchum and Limelight Hotel Snowmass.

Sustainable Food and Beverage

The Little Nell fine dining
The Little Nell fine dining

Fine Dining That's Good for the Earth

Sustainability comes to the plate every night at Ajax Tavern and element 47, through service items and at catered Little Nell events.

Beef is primarily supplied by Brandt Beef (all-natural, family owned and operated since 1945) from Brawley CA, and Lone Mountain Wagyu raised by the Estrin family in Golden, New Mexico. Chickens are supplied by Boulder Natural Meats. Eggs are from Dayspring in Olathe and Razors Roost in Austin. Our fish is selected based on the Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch approved Best Choice sources. Seventy-five percent of the produce served comes from Colorado.

You may even see culinary staff picking ingredients directly from The Little Nell's organic garden each day. In 2016, we established The Little Nell Gardens at Emma Farms in Basalt, CO where we produce arugula, kale, chard, cucumbers, beets, scallions, radishes, baby leeks, broccoli, pickling cucumbers, and herbs. These items and many others are featured on element 47's constantly-changing indulgence menu. Additional produce is supplied by Rain Crow Farms in Paonia, Thistle Whistle in Hotchkiss, and Rendezvous Farms in Crawford. The Little Nell spends over $200,000 on local food each year. These purchasing decisions are major contributions to the local economy.

GOOD USE TO FOOD WASTE

In addition to efforts to buy local we’ve made significant strides to expand the number of locations composting food waste. What started out as a trial run spear-headed by Henrietta Oliver at Bumps has expanded to encompass the vast majority of our on-mountain restaurants and now also includes our offices at 117 Aspen Airport Business Center. These efforts mean only 1/5 of our trash goes to the landfill at these facilities.

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