Killington Resort continues to implement innovative energy conservation measures and environmental management practices to reduce energy consumption and the effects of climate change. Killington has environmental partnerships with Efficiency Vermont, The Marble Valley Regional Transportation District and Green Mountain College. In addition, Killington Resort endorses the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter for Ski Areas and the Keep Winter Cool Campaign.
In addition, our company mission statement reflects our environmental commitment:
"Our mission is to exceed customer expectations, be innovative, profitable and environmentally responsible."
The following summary provides details of new and ongoing efforts to expand our environmental initiatives.
100 percent offset of electric use through RECs
Killington Resort purchases 26,199,909 kWh of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) annually, which will eliminate more than 17,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere - an amount equivalent to emissions produced by the annual electricity consumption of approximately 2,079 average homes.
Killington, through it's parent company Powdr Corp., works with Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as its renewable energy provider. Renewable Choice is an award-winning renewable energy and carbon offset provider of Green-e certified sources such as wind, biomass and small hydro. The EPA estimates that the overall Powdr Corp. REC purchase for all it's resorts avoids more than 85 million pounds of C02 emissions annually, which is equal to removing 8,539 passenger vehicles from the road or powering 6,175 average American homes for a year. Killington’s commitment of RECs is the largest of any resort in the east.
Killington Resort’s parent company, Powdr Corp. was recognized as one of nine organizations to receive the 2008 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contribution to advancing the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.
This award identifies EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy credit (REC) supplier. Powdr Corp. currently purchases nearly 50 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization’s purchased electricity.
Snowmaking: Less energy and improved snowmaking firepower
Killington Resort’s snowmaking system, the most extensive in the world, consumes more power than all other resort operations combined. Over the past five years, more than $6.5 million have been poured into snowmaking improvements to increase the efficiency of the overall system and eliminated energy waste of both compressed air and water.
Killington continues to improve snowmaking operations and lower its overall carbon footprint by increasing its Low Energy snow gun arsenal another 22 percent for the upcoming 2009-10 season. Additional electric outlets have also been installed on-mountain for increased use of energy-efficient fan guns throughout base and hi-traffic areas. The increased use of Low Energy snow guns has reduced Killington’s diesel consumption by more than 30 percent and electricity by 25 percent over the past three years.
Additional, Low Energy snow guns are utilized on the upper sections of Killington Peak, where these technologically-advanced guns offer the most operational efficiency - especially during the early season - by producing the same amount of snow as conventional guns while utilizing up to 75 percent less energy. Additional snowmaking upgrades include rebuilt pump houses, hydrants, pipe replacement and computer hardware and software upgrades to snowmaking control to improve overall system efficiency.
In partnership with Efficiency Vermont, Killington recently completed a seven-year program to replace older diesel-powered snowmaking compressors with new state of the art “Tier III” low emissions machines. This upgrade reduced our total emissions by 50% or 100 tons of green house gas annually. In addition, 15 of Killington’s 18 snowcats are also powered by Tear III diesel engines.
The addition of HKD Ranger tower-mount Low Energy snow guns have complemented our power generation plant upgrades, further reducing Killington’s energy consumption. Low energy snow guns are configured in the nozzle to use the same amount of water as conventional guns with less compressed air. The one drawback is their versatility as the optimal temperature range for their use is a wet bulb temperature (a combination of air temperature and humidity) below 26 degrees with light wind. However, the added advantage for the Low Energy snow guns is that by using less compressed air, Killington can run more guns at one time! In addition, the increased efficiency of tower-mount technology allows more rapid resurface capability with not only reduced air consumption and less energy, but manpower, which means fewer gas-powered snowmobiles on the mountain.
Freeaire Refrigeration Energy Project
A Freeaire refrigeration energy saving project is effective on 6 of the resort’s 10 walk-in coolers, which will save an estimated 86,389 kilowatt hours and 58 tons of C02 per year. Freeaire is a Vermont company out of Warren. The project was captured by a production crew from Discovery Network’s Science Channel and aired on January 14, 2008 as part of the “Invention Nation” series.
Killington Resort and Pico Mountain have implemented a full Co-mingle recycling program throughout all our facilities, including all six lodges. This project is estimated to reduce the resort’s overall waste by 113 tons annually.
Additional recycling within maintenance operations include:
- All anti-freeze (350 gallons per year)
- Waste oil for energy recovery (5,000 gallons per year)
- Laundered rag recycle for shop use
- Battery and tire recycling
- Nearly exclusive use of latex paint to reduce hazardous wastes
- Use of sorbents and wringer to recover waste oil
- Use of recycled parts washer to eliminate spent solvents
- White paper and cardboard recycling
- Gas water recycling
- Use of air vacuum to recover waste oil
Mercury bulb waste stream reduction
Water Conservation Measures
The source of snowmaking water has been supplemented by the use of the Woodward Reservoir. This conservation measure has allowed the historical flows in local streams to be maintained, and in some cases increased, to insure protection for aquatic species. At the same time the snowmaking water supply can now support future growth without impacts to natural resources. In addition, the cold water pulled from the depths of Woodward Reservoir reduces the need to power cooling plants at the resort prior to pumping water through the snowmaking system.
Additional water conservation measures have been achieved through an innovative design to use recycled waste water systems throughout restroom facilities at our six base lodges, which saves up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water a day during peak usage and will be expanded in the future.
Support of the Regional Transit Provider
Killington Resort is the largest private contributor to “The Bus” - The Marble Valley Regional Transportation District. The Killington Region Transit Expansion Plan was a proactive response to the Village Master Plan proposed in 1998 to reduce traffic impacts to the region. Current ridership for the region exceeds 800,000 one way trips, with resort related trips exceeding 375,000, of which 75,000 are commuter and employee related - which continues to increase each year.
The combined efforts of the state, the resort and regional business supports the nearly a $1 million operating budget. The objective is to reduce the dependence on the automobile, drastically reducing emissions in the region and to creating a pedestrian friendly village that is contiguous to the surrounding community.
Green Mountain College Partnership
Green Mountain College provides resort industry career training, educational outreach and consultants to develop operating strategies to manage overall energy consumption. Killington Resort contributes to these programs by providing hands-on classroom experience, instructors and internships for students.
Killington Resort supports the highest social and environmental standards in the market for paper printed collateral. For the past two years, both the Killington and Pico Mountain trail maps and all resort collateral have been printed on FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) paper.
Alternative Energy Sources and Conservation Measures
We continue to research alternative energy sources for participation in the future development of: wind energy, cow power (methane gas production) through Central Vermont Public Service, wood chip power generation and natural and cryogenic gas plants.
We continue to work with energy conservation consultants to find new ways to economize and reduce energy consumption, including kitchen equipment, motor controllers and rebuilds, cooler economizers, lighting upgrades and green building design.
Additional programs and goals
- Organic fertilizer used at the Killington Golf Course
- All limbs, branches and stumps on our on mountain projects are chipped and spread on the slopes rather than burned
- Pursue energy conservation measures through Demand Side Management
- Keep abreast of energy reduction and efficiency opportunities
- Full implementation of CFLs
- No-idle policy implemented in December of 2007 for all company vehicles, including snowmobiles and snowcats