The company reports progress in its climate goals, as well as its work to support local communities and increase equitable access to snow sports and recreation.
This week, as the 2022/23 ski and ride season gets underway in the northern hemisphere — and with climate change in sharp focus at COP27 and around the world — Vail Resorts releases its fifth annual Progress Report, outlining the progress the company has made towards its goal of reaching a net-zero operating footprint by 2030. The outdoor recreation giant reports it has surpassed its 2025 interim goal of 50 percent progress toward net zero three years early and has achieved 100 percent renewable energy in North America.
The Vail Resorts network includes Vail Mountain and Breckenridge (Colorado), Park City Mountain (Utah), Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia), Stowe (Vermont) and 32 additional resorts across North America; as well as Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland; and Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek resorts in Australia. The new report details how the company actively works to mitigate climate change and preserve the environment, promotes the health and sustainability of resort communities, supports its dedicated and passionate employees, and ensures equitable access to its resorts for the sustainable growth of the industry. Among its achievements, Vail Resorts has:
reached 100 percent renewable electricity across its North American mountain resorts, and 96 percent worldwide.
donated $22.9 million to over 250 local organizations working to address the various needs of their communities — from food and housing assistance and childcare to inclusive access programs and forest health.
Vail Resorts provided $1.3 million in emergency relief grants and scholarships — including financial support to team members directly impacted by the Marshall Fire in Colorado.
During the 2021/22 winter season, hosted more than 8,000 youth from cities including New York, Chicago and Boston who otherwise might not have had access to winter sports, and provided more than $8 million in donated goods and services.
"It is because of the passionate work of our team that we are able to share these results," said CEO Kirsten Lynch. "Climate change requires all of us working together to mitigate the challenges facing not just our industry, but our planet — and we remain dedicated to doing our part as responsible stewards of the great outdoors and committed partners to our communities. I am so proud of our team for staying focused and on track as we continue to make progress towards a net-zero operating footprint.”
Responsible and active stewards of the environment
The company and its employees understand that no company can solve the climate crisis alone, and collaboration is vital to progress. To mitigate its impact on the climate, and maintain its leading position, Vail Resorts remains committed to working with like-minded partners and making strategic investments, including:
In 2022, it made its most significant single-year capital investment in energy-efficiency projects, totaling $3.6 million.
Continuing to drive climate advocacy efforts through participation in groups including Ceres and RE100; and its leadership in the Mountain Collaborative for Climate Action, now in its third year.
Empowering committed Vail Resorts team members who are working on projects such as upcycling retired lift towers into terrain features at Northstar, recycling chair pads in Park City, and more.
In addition to community support, Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise Employee Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves the company’s employees through emergency relief grants and educational scholarships. The Foundation provided $1.3 million in emergency relief grants and scholarships to team members and their dependents in 2021/22.
Investing in equitable access for all
Ensuring equitable access is a priority for the company. Adaptive access for those with physical and mental barriers, and youth access — both in its legacy communities and in urban centers near resorts — are Vail Resorts’ two priorities for ensuring equitable access for all, which is critical to the future of winter sports. The company says it is especially proud of its Epic for Everyone youth access program, which during the 2021/22 season served 8,000 youth from across many of its mountain communities — as well as from major cities surrounding its regional ski areas — to increase access to the facilities.
The company also provided over $8 million of goods and services to youth participants including ski and ride school, meals, and equipment rentals, plus two additional free lift tickets to continue practicing with a guardian. These services are combined with mentorship — including an introduction to career opportunities including snowmaking, operations, and ski and snowboard instruction.
For the upcoming 2022/23 winter season, Vail Resorts says it will add more than a dozen partnerships with nonprofit and youth development organizations working to support youth of color — with a goal to host 9,000 youth across 29 resorts and provide $9 million in product contributions.