Ski resorts fighting an uphill battle on climate change
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Mt. Bachelor's resort operators are among the nation's skiing purveyors who are concerned about climate change.
Operators of six Oregon ski areas are among the 108 resorts calling for American lawmakers to "seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change."
The six resorts — Anthony Lakes, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, Mt. Ashland Ski Area, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort and Timberline Lodge & Ski Area — signed onto the Ceres group's Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy. Ceres has issued a "Climate Declaration" that's backed by Nike Inc. General Motors Co. and Levi Strauss & Co., among others. The Declaration holds that "a bold response to the climate challenge is “one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.”
“It is obvious that the success of ski business operations depends greatly on climate, which is why we are so invested in programs that keep our slopes sustainable. But our actions alone won’t be enough without strong policies,” said Brent Giles, chief sustainability officer for Powdr Corp of Utah, in a statement.
The country's ski areas employ some 160,000 people and generate approximately $12.2 billion in annual revenue. The resorts generate 56.6 million visits each season.
"This is an industry that cannot be off-shored, and they are calling for climate action here at home,” said Anne Kelly, director of BICEP, in a release. “Policymakers must realize that the old political paradigm of ‘It’s the environment or the economy; pick one’ is a false choice. American businesses are ready to combat climate change, and policymakers should join them in leading the way.”
Ceres is the coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups that espouses sustainable business practices. The group oversees the Investor Network on Climate Risk, the 100-plus institutional investor network that holds collective assets of more than $11 trillion.
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