Rob Katz guest column: Vail Resort’s commitment to ‘zero footprint’
On July 25, Vail Resorts proudly announced our “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” that outlines our company’s environmental commitment to achieve a net zero operating footprint.
Specifically, we pledged to achieve zero net emissions, zero waste to landfills and zero net operating impact to forests — all by 2030. Everything we do at Vail Resorts is driven by the spectacular natural environments where our employees, guests and communities live, work and play.
The environment — and our stakeholders’ passion for it — is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it. We know that so many in our local communities share this passion, and we hope you’ll make your own pledge to reduce your personal environmental footprint.
We’re also proud that our promise to the environment earned our acceptance as the first travel and tourism company into RE100, a collaborative initiative uniting 102 global, influential businesses all committed to 100 percent renewable electricity.
RE100’s membership is a who’s who of the most respected companies in the world, including sustainability and energy champions like Apple, IKEA, Google, Facebook, Nike, and Starbucks. Collectively, we are working to vastly increase the demand for and availability of renewable energy. And so are you.
Many of our partner resort communities believe climate change is an issue both locally and globally. Eagle County, Summit County, the Municipality of Whistler, the town of Park City, the town of Breckenridge and South Lake Tahoe are all advancing significant climate or energy objectives. We believe our environmental commitment is aligned with and supports our communities, and we look forward to working with you to address these challenges. We can help each other reach our important goals.
While our “Zero Footprint” commitment is good for the planet, it’s also smart for our business. Working to reduce waste by being more efficient with all the resources we use, especially becoming more energy efficient, creates lasting reductions in operating costs. Managing the health and resilience of our forests is sound, long-term planning for our mountain environments, and critically important watersheds that we all rely upon.
By thinking globally and acting locally, we can reduce our waste, limit what goes to landfills, and become influential ambassadors for environmental stewardship that guests to our resort and community will model when they return home.
We’re proud to make our commitment to the environment, and know it will require the efforts of more than the 30,000 Vail Resorts employees to achieve it. We invite everyone in our mountain resort communities to work with us and our guests in championing this worthy pursuit.
As we can maximize our positive impact for the planet by working together, we encourage you to learn more about our Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint online at http://www.epicpromise.com/footprint, and then make your own pledge to do all you can to protect and preserve the remarkably unique natural settings that many of us call home.
Rob Katz is CEO of Vail Resorts, Inc.