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Vail Resorts Achieves Goals in Energy-Efficiency, Inclusive Access, and Community Impact

Vail Resorts is ahead of schedule to meet business goals in all pillars of its responsibility program by 2030

By Elizabeth Roubik

Vail Mountain
Vail Mountain || Courtesy of Vail Resorts

For the second consecutive year, Vail Resorts has reached 100% renewable electricity across its 37 North American resorts. Initiated in 2017, the company’s “Commitment to Zero” program has driven efforts toward achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030, including zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat. The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability is outlined in the 2022/23 Environmental & Social Responsibility Report, which reveals that Vail Resorts is not only ahead of schedule to meet its emissions targets but is also on track for broader 2030 goals.

The company has made progress across all pillars of its responsibility program, including sustainability, inclusive access, community support, and employee foundation. In terms of sustainability efforts, Vail Resorts’ commitment to environmental advocacy is demonstrated through its action and leadership on the Mountain Collaborative for Climate Action and the National Ski Areas Association. In addition to the successful attainment of 100% renewable electricity—driven by strategic investments in developments like the Plum Creek wind farm—Vail Resorts has also achieved its 15% energy efficiency savings goal ahead of the 2030 target.

Plumb Creek Wind Project || Courtesy of Vail Resorts

With a significant 36% reduction (6.1 million pounds) in landfill waste, the zero waste to landfill goal is also well underway. In alignment with the zero net operating impact on forests and habitat goal, Vail Resorts collaborated with the National Forest Foundation to reforest 95 acres outside the operating footprint on National Forest land in Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming.

By recognizing the importance of inclusivity in the snow sports industry, Vail Resorts has gone above and beyond to remove barriers to skiing and snowboarding. In fact, during the 2022/23 winter season, the company hosted nearly 11,300 underrepresented youth at 32 of its resorts—surpassing its youth access goal by 25%. With the largest youth program among North American ski operators, the resorts seek to welcome children from major metropolitan areas and foster their passions for winter sports. Additionally, Vail Resorts supports adaptive access programs for those with physical or mental barriers, partnering with 53 nonprofits across 30 resorts.

Although inclusive access remains a top priority for Vail Resorts, community support is valued as well. From affordable childcare and housing to disaster relief efforts, Vail Resorts actively engages with community leaders to understand and address unique needs in mountain resort communities. Through the Community Impact grant program, the company has donated $28.1 million to over 417 nonprofit partners across 31 communities.

Likewise, the EpicPromise Employee Foundation—a public charity designed to provide Vail Resorts’ team members with pathways to stability and access—plays a crucial role in the company’s social responsibility initiatives. Through the foundation, $1.1 million in grants have been given to employees and their dependents, helping bridge moments of personal hardship and pursue educational endeavors. Placing a high value on mental health resources for employees, the company has also doubled its investment in mental health since 2022, resulting in a 12% utilization rate of clinical resources company-wide.

“We care deeply about our people, the mountains that we have the privilege to live, work, and play within, and the future of our industry,” says Kirsten Lynch, CEO of Vail Resorts. “I am grateful for the 55,000 team members across Vail Resorts, and the partnership of hundreds of community organizations, who are passionate about working together to preserve the mountains and this sport for generations to come.”