Posted on 24 September 2021
In a world where your eco-friendly credentials are increasingly important, we take a look at which ski resorts are going green. As Europe begins to make a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions, which resorts are going that extra mile?
While many ski resorts are going out of their way to get a little more green for the skiing public, a great public transport service isn’t necessarily enough. It’s useful to have a functional bus service, however, if driving is easier many skiers will still choose that option. That does dampen the effect of a reliable shuttle bus. Meanwhile, car-free resorts were already starting from a more eco-friendly place; to see them going even greener proves real commitment.
So, which ski resorts are going green? Where should an environmentally conscious skier buy a chalet? We’re here to help.
Chatel and Avoriaz
So, you’ve been asking yourself which ski resorts are going green in the Portes du Soleil? Well, Chatel and Avoriaz have both been making an effort to be more eco-friendly. From recycling points on the mountain to the STASH eco snowpark, eco-friendly ideas are everywhere in these resorts. Chatel uses sympathetic agricultural techniques, and groups of farmers have been brought together to help protect the natural environment.
Avoriaz looks and operates like a hyper-modern, eco-friendly ski haven. The resort runs on biofuel, the buildings are designed to hold snow on the roofs for insulation, and the streets use long-life lighting. Even the snowcats are electric here! While Chatel has gone out of its way to maintain a level of conservation, Avoriaz is a lean mean green machine!
If you’re interested in buying a property in the Portes du Soleil, Chatel and Avoriaz have the best green credentials in the ski area!
Les Carroz and Flaine
If you’re worried about reaching the Alps in a relatively eco-friendly way, you’ll be pleased to know that Les Carroz has one of the shortest drives from the UK. Les Carroz is a part of the Grand Massif ski area, along with Flaine. Flaine, sitting at a higher altitude, is an environmentally friendly, car-free resort with a handy electric car charging point that visitors to the resort can use. When it comes to which ski resorts are going green, the Grand Massif are up there.
This means that if you’re interested in buying property in Les Carroz and Flaine, you’ll be able to charge your electric car in the resort. Buying a ski apartment here is a great way to reduce your travel carbon footprint while still driving to and from the Alps.
The Grand Massif ski area runs entirely on renewable energy, and it’s the first ski area to receive Green Globe certification. The area has an Environmental Observatory monitoring local biodiversity, and there’s a push to replant and support local species of plant and animal life. You’ll also find a nature reserve near Sixt.
The Three Valley’s premiere car-free resort is also the greenest of the excellent Three Valleys resorts. Unfortunately, it’s also the hardest of the Three Valleys resorts to buy a property in. That said, a lower resort like St Martin de Belleville is a great place to buy a ski property! Both of these resorts benefit from the green measures put into place in Val Thorens.
Val Thorens has been working with Mountain Riders, who are a team of eco-warriors, to get that little bit greener. The resort uses low energy street lamps, plus the snow cannons and ski lifts use hydroelectric power. The eco-friendly snow cannons alone make a huge difference to the green credentials of the resort.
The resort has planted 200,000 trees in the last 20 years, ensuring that the Val Thorens carbon footprint is nice and small. The Eurostar stop in Moutiers, close to the resort, means that environmentally friendly train travel to Val Thorens should soon be possible!
Laax and Flims
This ski area set up the Greenstyle Foundation, which intends to see the Flims/Laax/Falera ski area become entirely self-sufficient. This makes this area a great choice for any eco-friendly skier. While their goal hasn’t quite been met yet, they’ve made great strides. This ski area is near the top of any list of which ski resorts are going green!
All the energy provided in Laax is renewable, with solar panels on ski lifts and pellet heating systems that redirect any extra heat produced towards the resort buildings. There’s recycling on and off the mountain, and materials used are upcycled wherever possible. This includes event banners being turned into rucksacks afterwards!
If you buy a ski property in Flims, you’ll be delighted to find that there are water refill stations aplenty. Skiers in the area will find that even the restaurants in Laax have switched to using local produce! Some places even tell you the carbon footprint of each dish they serve. It’s a long road to reaching complete self-sufficiency, but strides have been made.
Tignes and Val d’Isere
Between Tignes and Val d’Isere, the resorts of the Espace Killy have committed to getting green. Val d’Isere plants five trees for every one cut down. In Tignes the snow groomers are powered by biofuel, snowmaking is fully chemical-free, and piste maps are made from recycled paper. In fact, if you’re really environmentally conscious, you can download the digital version of the piste map and avoid paper entirely.
Drivers with electric cars will be delighted to hear that Tignes is placing charging points in all of its car parks. This means you’ll drive to and from the resort with as small a footprint as you can manage. Tignes and Val d’Isere both have free shuttle bus services that are efficient and easy. With the Eurostar stop in Bourg-st-Maurice, environmentally conscious skiers will hopefully be able to hop onto the train in London and go straight to the Alps soon too!
As ski lifts and Alpine architecture become more efficient, the carbon footprints of every ski resort will get smaller. As we try to protect our Alps and look towards a more sustainable future though, it’s good to see which ski resorts are going green ahead of the curve.