Our Commitment to Net Zero Emissions and Building a Sustainable Tomorrow
Boyne Resorts recognizes human-driven climate change as an urgent issue for the world, as well as for the SnowSports industry. In early 2021, we formalized commitments to climate action and announced our ForeverProject.
ForeverProject is an initiative to attain a sustainable tomorrow through collaboration, by positively affecting the lasting impact our resorts, team members, and guests have on the planet.
- Power all operations with 100% clean electricity
- Reduce dependence on carbon-based fuels in existing buildings through energy efficiency upgrades and electrification
- Develop and implement high-efficiency green building standards for design and construction of new facility and real estate projects
- Upgrade our lift networks, installing the most technologically advanced lifts, and enhancing the energy efficiency of lift houses
- Install low-energy equipment while expanding snowmaking
- Add on-site renewable energy generation projects
- Monitor emerging technologies to identify opportunities to maximize efficiency and electrification of fleet vehicles and equipment
- Seek partnerships with local and/or meaningful programs to sequester carbon
- Expand composting
- Enhance recycling
- Partner with local and non-profit organizations to donate/repurpose items, from uniforms to equipment
- Participate in community environmental clean-ups
- Protect and limit disturbances to wildlife habitats, forests, and wetland ecosystems
- Conserve water through efficiency upgrades and utilizing recycled water where possible
- Educate team members on the purpose of specific plans and encourage their input and ideas
- Be a leader in the community, educating guests about sustainability and welcoming their participation in initiatives
- Advocate at local, regional, and national levels for policies that promote climate solutions
- Invest in Team Member housing to address local housing shortages
- Encourage and provide options to team members to utilize sustainable modes of transportation
- Develop great people.
- Promote carpooling and sustainable transportation options to and from our properties
- Collaborate with local and regional non-profits, government agencies, and community organizations
Human driven climate change is an urgent issue for the world and most certainly for the snowsports industry. Though we have been a thoughtful steward of our resort properties over the last eight decades, it was clear to our team that we were not doing enough and fast enough if we are to truly help reverse the effects our carbon footprint has on the planet's climate.
Our commitments guiding ForeverProject, starting with moving to 100 percent renewable electric energy, reduce a significant portion of our carbon footprint and give us a huge head start on our efforts to become completely carbon neutral by 2030. We have always tried to take the long-term perspective on our business and this environmental sustainability initiative steps up our efforts to positively affect the lasting implications our resorts, team members and guests have on the planet.
Stephen Kircher, Boyne Resorts President and CEO
Create and maintain a culture of reduction: energy use, waste output, water impact; balanced with maximized utilization of our human, technological, natural, and financial resources.
Protect the natural environment unwaveringly, ensuring proper use for purposes related to outdoor recreation, and preserving or rehabilitating the land over which we are stewards.
Support and reward outreach and partnerships that extend beyond all traditional boundaries, providing deeply valuable impact among our team members, and in our communities, industry, and environment for the long term.
NET ZERO EMISSIONS
COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL/REGIONAL UTILITIES SUPPLIERS TO IDENTIFY AND ACT UPON OPPORTUNITIES OF EVERY SCALE TO REDUCE ENERGY AND FUEL USE
ENGAGE EXPERTS AND INDUSTRY PARTNERS TO HELP CHART A PATH TOWARD A FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS
FULLY IMMERSE NET ZERO INTENTIONS, TACTICS, AND TARGETS INTO THE COMPANY’S CULTURE
THOROUGHLY AND CONTINUOUSLY EDUCATE TEAM MEMBERS ON THE PURPOSE AND SPECIFIC PLANS, THE NECESSITY OF THEIR SUPPORT INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE WORKPLACE, AND THE VALUE OF THEIR INPUT AND IDEAS
PURCHASE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY WHERE AVAILABLE AND PARTICIPATION WITH LOCAL/REGIONAL GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE IN EACH RESORT COMMUNITY
FURTHER REDUCE ELECTRICITY USE THROUGH FOCUSED AND ONGOING REVISION OF RESORT OPERATIONS PRACTICES IN AREAS SUCH AS SNOWMAKING, SNOW GROOMING, AND TURF MAINTENANCE
CONTINUED ENHANCEMENT OF LOW-ENERGY AND PROPRIETARY SNOWMAKING EQUIPMENT
PURCHASE OF ONLY THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT EQUIPMENT, SYSTEMS, AND TECHNOLOGY AT ALL LEVELS OF THE OPERATION; UPGRADING AS POSSIBLE
UTILIZE GREEN BUILDING GUIDELINES FOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITY AND REAL ESTATE PROJECTS
REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON NATURAL GAS
FORMALIZE THE COMPANY’S HISTORICAL COMMITMENT TO PLANTING TREES AS A MEANS OF OFFSETTING ENERGY USE
NET ZERO EMISSIONS
Boyne Resorts’ operations throughout North America will achieve 100% renewable energy for the 2020/21 Winter season and will maintain a commitment to clean power into the future.
- By sourcing a global purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs), all resorts and city facilities will reach 100% clean power
- Early 2021 installation of a large-scale solar array at Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan will serve as a pilot for installation projects to take place at multiple locations in the resort network
- Strengthening relationships with suppliers committed to renewable energy becomes a priority along with guiding the outlying suppliers to develop and execute timely plans for use of clean power
NSAA CLIMATE CHALLENGE
Led by National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), Climate Challenge is a voluntary program dedicated to helping participating ski areas target and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, engage in advocacy on climate change solutions, and reap other benefits in their operations, such as reducing costs for energy use. Each of our nine ski resorts is Benefits include access to formal training and tools to conduct a GHG inventory and identify opportunities for reductions and savings, and the ability to benchmark operations against others.
Participation requires endorsement of NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes program including a pledge to the following, as well as prioritized focus on areas such as water, waste, transportation, design and construction, forest health and habitat, and supply chain:
Incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our resorts
Lead by example, and educate employees and guests about sustainability
Place collaboration over competition when it comes to sustainability
- Advocate for climate protection
A LOOK BACK & AHEAD
Boyne Resorts has maintained a 73-year history of environmentally conscious and conservation-related actions. Snowsports, golf, mountain biking and more take place across the 30,000 acres the company proudly stewards, implementing creative innovations and initiatives to protect, preserve, and sustain. In the early 1970s, a tree planting project was launched, resulting in thousands of pines being planted that now tower at nearly fifty feet in height and substantially offset the acreage used to create its northern Michigan ski facilities.
The company first patented its highly energy efficient snowmaking equipment nearly 50 years ago and worked continuously to improve this technology and its efficiency. The technology and equipment used today reduces electric energy consumption by 96% from those technologies used in the early 1970s while delivering a superior snow product that has transformed the quality of the skiing surface. Another similar commitment came in the early 1980s when efforts were made to reactivate a company- owned hydro dam that has since supplied clean power for roughly ten percent of Boyne Mountain Resort's energy consumption over the past 45 years.
Additional historical and ongoing practices:
- Many cafeterias operate as disposable-free facilities with composting also being a mainstay practice at some locations
- Active focus on energy consumption at the company's three New England resorts enabled a combined decrease of 30 million kilowatts consumed for making snow between 2007 and 2020
- Resort-based green committees were formed 20+ years ago to activate sustainability practices locally, creating many programs such as recycling initiatives that significantly reduced the company's impact on the environment
- Early adopter of plant-based meat alternatives helping to reduce resources used in meat production
- A 1,000-acre preserve was created in 2010 and includes commitment of resources and effort necessary to nurture the area's forests, waterways and fisheries
- Boyne Resorts has purchased and continues to purchase thousands of acres of forests and undeveloped property for the purpose of protection from intense over development
- Golf operations in Maine, Michigan, and Montana eliminated the use of plastic water bottles, equating to approximately 100,000 fewer bottles for disposal
- Earth-friendly chemicals have been introduced to the company's golf operations where possible and water consumption was significantly reduced as part of the company's turf maintenance practices
- Early adopter of the new and highly efficient Doppelmayr direct drive technology developed for chairlift motors
- An aggressive effort was launched to convert all indoor and outdoor facilities throughout the company's operations to LED lighting with an early success being Cypress Mountain's night skiing lighting project resulting in a 60% savings
- Provided early supported and installation of electric vehicle charging stations through its resort network
Furthering Boyne Resorts' approach to achieving zero net emissions within nine years includes:
- Companywide participation in the National Ski Areas Association's Climate Challenge program to chart and track energy and fuel consumption during winter operations
- Collaboration with local/regional utilities suppliers to identify and act upon opportunities of every scale to reduce energy and fuel use
- Adding on-site solar power electricity generation on resort properties as appropriate
- Further reduction of electricity use through focused and ongoing revision of resort operations practices in areas such as snowmaking, snow grooming, and turf maintenance
- Collaborating with the company's equipment vendors to help facilitate a switch to electrification of vehicles
- Continuing commitments to purchase low energy snowmaking equipment
- Engaging experts and industry partners for added help along a path toward a future of fully sustainable operations
- Purchasing only the most energy efficient equipment, systems, and technology at all levels of the operation; upgrading as technology is available
- Utilizing green building guidelines for design and construction of facility and real estate projects
- Reducing dependence on carbon-based fuels by phasing out heating and cooling systems that use those fuels
- Continuing the company's historical commitment to planting and nurturing trees as a means of carbon sequestration
- Fully immersing net zero intentions, tactics, and targets into the company's culture
- Thoroughly and continuously educating team members on the purpose and specific plans, the necessity of their support inside and outside of the workplace, and the value of their input and ideas
- Leadership and active participation in collaboration, advocacy, education, and resource support within local communities, industry associations, and state and federal government
The company notes its pledge to environmental sustainability must be balanced with maintaining economical sustainability and regards the balance as foundational in all planning. Understanding the dire need to place greater focus on reducing its carbon footprint, Boyne Resorts’ plans and execution will continue to evolve and also include sustainable practices related to waste reduction, reuse of materials, and limiting impact to the treasured land, habitats, and natural resources at its resort playgrounds.