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ISCHGL EARNS CLIMATE AWARD

The resort in the Austrian Tirol has been recognised as the largest climate-neutral ski area in the Alps.

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Ischgl’s efforts to cut carbon emissions have been rewarded with a Climate-Neutral Certificate from experts in the field, ClimatePartner.

“The message is Think Globally, Act Locally,” said Paznaun-Ischgl Tourist Director Andreas Steibl.

“And while everyone talks about climate change, Ischgl is doing something about it.

“Ischgl has implemented environmental measures to reduce CO2 emissions throughout its ski area, including at the many alpine huts and taverns.”

PlanetSKI will be in Ischgl next week so look out for our reports from the slopes.

Climate neutral GampenAlpe restaurant, Ischgl, Austria - credit TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

Climate neutral GampenAlpe restaurant – photo TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

Skiing is not the most environmentally-friendly of pursuits but more and more resorts are now doing their bit to reduce the damage and avoid practices that contribute to global warming.

So what is Ischgl doing?

The Paznaun-Ischgl lift company Silvrettaseilbahn AG says it will offset all unavoidable carbon emissions  through an internationally recognised climate protection project.

It’s involved in a reforestation programme in the local valley.

From this season all ski lifts are being powered almost entirely by renewable energy, mainly from hydropower stations.

Solar and heat recovery systems in the region will save an estimated 80,000 litres of heating oil – the equivalent of 244 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The recently opened Ischgl Slope Food restaurant and the Gampenbahn bottom lift station are heated by geothermal energy.

Ischgl is also targeting two of the most energy-intensive ski operations: snowmaking and piste grooming.

All its groomers are equipped with GPS technology to determine accurate snow depth measurement, ensuring snows cannon generate snow only where it is needed.

GPS controlled piste groomer in Ischgl, Austria

Snow groomer with GPS technology – photo TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

This reduces the electricity and water required for snow production, as well as snow groomer hours.

The resort says this saves a further 150 tonnes of CO2 per year.

It is planning to buy hybrid grooming machines, which have a 20 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to conventional machines.

The region has invested in the ski bus network to reduce car traffic in Paznaun, and has planted more than 10,000 trees around Ischgl in recent years.

The lift company also contributes to a reforestation programme in Peru.

“We feel it is important that our alpine homeland, in particular our forests, which are vital to protecting our environment and provide a habitat for numerous fauna and flora, also benefit from our commitment,” CEO Günther Zangerl said.

“This local programme is the perfect complement to the certified reforestation project in Peru.”

Ischgl, Austria - credit TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

Ischgl, Austrian Tirol – photo TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

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