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

Aspen Skiing Company 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 produces 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 creating carbon offsets. Waste methane, and therefore electricity, will continue to be produced for at least 10 years. This project is the only one of its scale in the United States.

Making Our Voices Heard

Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Skiing Company
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)
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.

Learn more

Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC)

Pyramid Peak Clean Air
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
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
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
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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