Principle #1: Planning, Design and Construction

In planning and designing trails, base areas and associated facilities, we have the opportunity to explore ways of integrating our operations into natural systems and addressing short and long-term environmental impacts to natural resources. There may also be opportunities to address past disturbances from historical uses that have occurred in the area and mitigate the unavoidable impacts from future ones.

Principles:

  • Engage local communities, environmental groups, government agencies and other stakeholders in up front and continuing dialogue on development plans and their implementation.
  • Assess environmental concerns and potential restoration opportunities.
  • Plan, site and design trails, on-mountain facilities and base area developments in a manner that respects the natural setting and avoids, to the extent practical, outstanding natural resources.
  • Emphasize nature in the built environment of the resort.
  • Make water, energy, and materials efficiency and clean energy use priorities in the design of new facilities and the upgrading of existing facilities.
  • Use high-density development or clustering to reduce sprawl, provide a sense of place, reduce the need for cars and enhance the pedestrian environment.
  • Meet or exceed requirements to minimize impacts associated with construction.

Options for getting there:

  • Engaging stakeholders collaboratively on the siting of improvements and the analysis of alternatives complementing local architectural styles, scale, and existing infrastructure to enhance the visual environment and create a more authentic experience for guests respecting outstanding natural resources and physical "carrying capacity" of the local ecology in planning new projects.
  • Using simulation or computer modeling in planning to assist with analyzing the effects of proposals on key natural resources and viewsheds such as visual modeling or GIS.
  • Designing trails with less tree removal and vegetation disturbance where feasible.
  • Incorporating green building principles, such as using energy, water and material efficiency techniques and sustainable building practices using long-life, low maintenance materials in building including parks, open space and native landscaping in base area developments.
  • Seeking opportunities for environmental enhancement and restoration maximizing alternate transportation modes in and around the base area minimizing road building where practical.
  • Selecting best management practices (BMPs) for construction sites applying sound on-mountain construction practices such as over-snow transport techniques, stormwater control or phasing of activities to minimize disturbances to natural habitats

Principle #2: Water Management & Resources

Mount Washington Alpine Resort and its staff are committed to responsible environmental management practices. These practices are to achieve balance between the operation and development of our resort and the sustainability of our natural environment. To fulfill this commitment with respect to our natural surroundings, we will ensure that proper consideration is given to the care and protection of our flora, land, water, air, wildlife, heritage and our aesthetic architecture and landscape by:

CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

  • Increase our knowledge of environmental best practices
  • Restore and enhance native vegetation
  • Set objectives and targets and work to fulfill a program for implementation

ESTABLISHMENT OF SUPERIOR STANDARDS

  • Meet all regulations with a goal to exceed these regulations
  • Initiate risk management procedures and response capacity
  • Promote environmental awareness amongst resort staff and our contractors

MINIMIZE IMPACTS

  • Reduce waste by actively encouraging Recycling, Reuse and Reduce philosophies
  • Incorporate environmental provisions into all of our planning and standard operating procedures

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Consult and involve the community
  • Publish our objectives and targets and report on our environmental performance
  • Mount Washington Alpine Resort Environmental Committee

Principle #3: Energy Conservation and Use

The resort can be leaders in implementing energy efficiency techniques and increasing the use of renewable energy sources within our operations to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases and reduce the potential impacts of climate change.

Energy Use for Facilities

Principles:

  • Reduce overall energy use.
  • Use a cleaner or renewable energy where possible.
  • Meet or exceed energy standards in new or retrofit projects.

Options for getting there:

  • Audit current usage levels and target areas for improvement.
  • Develop an energy management plan that addresses short and long-term energy goals, staffing, and schedules for new and retrofit projects.
  • Orienting buildings and their windows to maximize natural light penetration to reduce the need for artificial lighting and facilitate solar heating.
  • Using solar heating or geothermal heat pumps for heating air and water.
  • Using timing systems, light management systems and occupancy sensors.
  • Performing lighting retrofits to provide more energy efficient lamps, retrofitting exit signs to use low watt bulbs, calibrating thermostats, and fine-tuning heating systems.
  • Using peak demand mitigation, distributed, on-site power generation and storage, and real-time monitoring of electricity use.
  • Working with utilities to manage demand and take advantage of cost sharing plans to implement energy savings.
  • Entering into load sharing agreements with utilities for peak demand times.
  • Partnering with the BC Hydro to assist with energy savings programs.
  • Educating employees, guests and other stakeholders about energy efficient practices.
  • Installing high-efficiency windows, ensuring that all windows and doorways are properly sealed and using insulation to prevent heating and cooling loss.
  • Minimizing energy used to heat water by using low-flow showerheads, efficient laundry equipment, and linen and towel re-use programs.
  • Investing in cleaner or more efficient technologies for power generation, including wind, geothermal, and solar power generation, fuel cells and natural gas turbines and generation from biomass residues and wastes.
  • Purchasing green power, such as wind-generated power, from energy providers

Energy Use for Lifts

Principles:

  • Reduce energy use in lift operations.
  • Use cleaner energy in lift operations where possible.

Options for getting there:

  • Using high-efficiency motors.
  • Upgrading diesel motors or converting them to alternative clean energy sources, such as fuel cells or microturbines.
  • Using renewable energy sources.
  • Purchasing green power from energy providers.

Energy Use for Vehicle Fleets

Principles:

  • Reduce fuel use in vehicles.
  • Use cleaner fuel where possible.

Options for getting there:

  • Providing shuttles or transportation for guests and employees.
  • Using energy efficient vehicles.
  • Using alternative fuel or hybrid electric engines in fleet vehicles including shuttles, trucks, snowcats and snowmobiles.
  • Conducting regular maintenance on fleet vehicles

Principle #4: Conservation and Waste Management

The Principles below incorporate the "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE" philosophy of waste management to help ensure materials are being used efficiently and disposed of only after consideration is given to reusing or recycling them. Reducing waste helps protect natural resources, reduce pollution, greenhouse gases and energy use by decreasing the need to produce new materials, and minimizes disposal costs.

Waste Reduction

Principle:

  • Reduce waste produced at our resort

Options for getting there:

  • Conducting an audit of waste production to establish a baseline and track progress toward reduction
  • Purchasing recycled products
  • Purchasing products in bulk to minimize unnecessary packaging
  • Encouraging vendors to offer "take-backs" for used products
  • Educating guests and employees about reducing wastes generated at the area and following the Leave No Trace™ Principles such as "pack it in, pack it out"

Product Reuse

Principle:

  • Reuse products and materials where possible

Options for getting there:

  • Using washable or compostable tableware/silverware in cafeterias and lodges
  • Encouraging guests to reuse trail maps
  • Composting food wastes, grass clippings, and woody debris for use in landscaping and revegetation areas
  • Exploring opportunities for reusing products (e.g., building materials, lift parts and equipment, and office supplies)

Recycling

Principle:

  • Increase the amount of materials recycled where possible

Options for getting there:

  • Making recycling easy for guests by offering containers and displaying signage in facilities and lodges
  • Recycling office paper, cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, glass, plastic and food service waste
  • Recycling building materials as an alternative to landfill
  • Encouraging vendors to offer recycled products for purchase
  • Educating guests and training employees on recycling practices
  • Setting purchasing specifications to favor recycled content and specifying a portion of new construction to require recycled content

Potentially Hazardous Wastes

Principle:

  • Minimize the use of potentially hazardous materials, the generation of potentially hazardous wastes
    and the risk of them entering the environment

Options for getting there:

  • Safely storing and disposing of potentially hazardous materials such as solvents, cleaning materials, pesticides and paints
  • Recycling waste products such as used motor oil, electric batteries, tires and unused solvents
  • Reshelving and reusing partially used containers of paint, solvents, and other materials
  • Purchasing non-hazardous products for use when effective
  • Properly managing fuel storage and handling
  • Maintaining or upgrading equipment to prevent leaks
  • Initiating programs to reduce the occurrence of accidental spills or releases
  • Installing sedimentation traps in parking lots
  • Educating employees on the requirements for properly handling hazardous wastes
  • Reclaiming spent solvents

Principle #5: Fish and Wildlife

We operate within a larger ecosystem and should strive to be stewards of fish and wildlife habitats. We need the cooperation of other landowners, managers, local communities and other stakeholders for an effective ecosystem management approach. There are measures we can take to better understand, minimize, and mitigate impacts to fish and wildlife, and in some cases, enhance habitat, particularly for species of concern. The benefits of these measures include promoting biodiversity and the natural systems that attract guests to the mountain landscape.

Principle:

  • Minimize impacts to fish and wildlife and their habitat and maintain or improve habitat where possible

Options for getting there:

  • Supporting and participating in research of fish and wildlife populations and their interactions with the resort
  • Taking Inventory and monitoring fish and wildlife and their habitat, particularly protected species
  • Using storage ponds or reservoirs to store water for use during times of low stream flows to help protect aquatic habitat
  • Conducting activities and construction with sensitivity to seasonal wildlife patterns and behavior
  • Siting and designing trails and facilities to include gladed skiing areas, linkage of ungladed areas to maintain blocks of forested corridors and inter-trail islands to reduce fragmentation where appropriate
  • Limiting access to, or setting aside, certain wildlife habitat areas
  • Using wildlife-proof dumpsters or trash containers
  • Creating or restoring habitat where appropriate, either on- or off-site
  • Using land conservation techniques such as land exchanges and conservation easements as vehicles for consolidating or protecting important wildlife habitat
  • Participating in ecosystem-wide approaches to wildlife management
  • Providing wildlife education programs for employees, guests, and the local community such as the Leave No Trace™ Principles of respecting wildlife.

Principle #6: Forest and Vegetative Management

We recognize the importance of stewardship in managing the forests and vegetation that support ecosystems and allow for public recreation opportunities. Sound forest and vegetative management can benefit fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and views and reduce erosion, pollution, and greenhouse gases.

Principle:

  • Manage effects on forests and vegetation to allow for healthy forests and other mountain Environments.

Options for getting there:

  • Inventorying and monitoring forest and vegetative resources.
  • Adopting vegetative management plans.
  • Minimizing the removal of trees through the careful siting and design of trails.
  • Using over-snow skidding to remove logs for new runs during times of sufficient snow cover.
  • Using aerial logging where economically feasible.
  • Removing dead and diseased trees, with consideration to habitat value, to promote healthy forests and public safety.
  • Revegetating roads that are no longer used.
  • Revegetating disturbed areas with native plant species and grasses, recognizing that faster growing, non-native species may be needed to address erosion.
  • Revegetating disturbed areas as quickly as possible following disturbance.
  • Limiting disturbance to vegetation during summer activities.
  • Assessing the role of forest stands in reducing greenhouse gases.
  • Providing signage informing guests of sensitive vegetation areas.
  • Using traffic control measures, such as rope fences, on areas with limited snow coverage to protect sensitive vegetation.
  • Reducing or eliminating snowcat and snowmobile access to sensitive areas with limited snow coverage.
  • Planting at appropriate times to minimize water use while optimizing growth.
  • Employing practices to control invasive or noxious weeds.

Principle #7: Wetlands and Riparian Areas

We recognize that wetlands and riparian areas are crucial components of the alpine ecosystems in which we operate.

Principle:

  • Avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands and riparian areas, and offset unavoidable impacts with restoration, creation or other mitigation techniques.

Options for getting there:

  • Taking Inventory and monitoring wetland and riparian areas.
  • Limiting snowmaking and grooming equipment access to wetlands and riparian areas if snow cover is inadequate to protect them.
  • Limiting guest access to wetlands and riparian areas and vernal pools if snow cover is inadequate to protect them.
  • Engaging in restoration, remediation and protection projects.
  • Establishing buffers and setbacks from wetland and riparian areas in summer.
  • Managing snow removal and storage to avoid impacting wetlands and riparian areas as feasible.
  • Supporting or participating in research on functions of wetland habitats and riparian areas.
  • Using trench boxes to minimize impacts to forested wetlands from construction of utility lines

Principle #8: Transportation

Travel to, from and within our resort areas have unavoidable impacts. Through transportation initiatives, we can do their part to help ease congestion and impacts to air quality and improve the visitor experience. (See related topic of vehicle fleets under Energy Principles.)

Principle:

  • Ease congestion and transportation concerns.

Options for getting there:

  • Providing employee transportation benefits, including shuttles, bus passes or discounts, van pools, and ride-share incentives.
  • Providing and promoting ski area guest transportation through shuttles or buses.
  • Offering and promoting carpooling or HOV incentives for guests such as discounts or preferred parking in proximity to lodges.
  • Offering and promoting non-peak travel incentives for guests.
  • Increasing density in base area development when appropriate to reduce the need for vehicle use.
  • Supporting and participating in transit initiatives in the community and region.
  • Working with travel agents to market and promote "car free" vacation packages.

Principle #9: Education and Outreach

Because of our setting in an outdoor, natural environment and the clear connection between that natural environment and the guest experience, we have an excellent opportunity to take a leadership role in environmental education and in enhancing the environmental awareness of their guests, surrounding communities, and employees.

Principles:

  • Use the natural surroundings as a forum for promoting environmental education and increasing environmental sensitivity and awareness
  • Develop outreach that enhances the relationship between the ski area and stakeholders and ultimately benefits the environment

Options for getting there:

  • Training employees and informing guests of all ages about the surrounding environment
  • Educating stakeholders about these Principles
  • Providing leadership on environmental concerns with particular importance to the alpine or mountain environment, such as climate change
  • Dedicating personnel to environmental concerns and incorporating environmental performance measures and expectations into departmental goals
  • Dedicating a portion of the ski area's website to environmental excellence
  • Offering environmental education and awareness programs that provide on-mountain instruction and offer classroom information for use in schools
  • Partnering with local school systems, businesses and the public on initiatives and opportunities for protecting and enhancing the environment
  • Displaying interpretive signs on forest resources, vegetative management and fish and wildlife
  • Publicly demonstrating a commitment to operating in an environmentally sensitive manner by promoting our Principles or addressing environmental considerations in company policies
  • Creating funding mechanisms for environmental outreach projects
  • Promoting the ski area's environmental success stories or specific measures taken to address water, energy, waste, habitat, vegetation, air quality, visual quality or transportation concerns
  • Encouraging employees to participate in community environmental initiatives
  • Supporting initiatives to reduce snowmobile noise and emissions
  • Asking guests their opinions about our environmental programs and initiatives and using their feedback to improve programs and the guests' experiences

Principle #10: Air Quality

Guests and operators value fresh air as an integral part of the skiing experience. Although there are many sources in and around the community that, combined, may compromise air quality, we can do our share to help minimize impacts. Some of the many benefits of cleaner air and reduced air pollution include enhanced visibility and lessening human influences on climate change, which is of particular concern to ski areas given their location.

Principles:

  • Minimize ski area impacts on air quality
  • Reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as feasible

Options for getting there:

  • Reducing air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, facilities and vehicles through clean energy and transportation-related measures
  • Using dust abatement methods for dirt roads during summer operations and construction
  • Revegetating as appropriate to control dust
  • Reducing the sanding and cindering of ski area roads by using alternative deicing materials
  • Sweeping paved parking lots periodically
  • Reducing the burning of slash through chipping or other beneficial uses
  • Limiting wood-burning fireplaces or using cleaner-burning woodstoves and fireplaces and installing gas fireplaces
  • Working with local and regional communities to reduce potential air quality impacts

Our Partners

Contact Us

Copyright © 2019 Mount Washington. All Rights Reserved.Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Winter Weather

Alpine Live Cam

Tube Live Cam