LAAX aims to be the world’s first self-sufficient ski resort
The Swiss skiing and snowboarding region of Laax is paving the way for ecotourism in winter sports destinations, taking extraordinary measures to protect the environment and benefit generations to come.
Sustainability is a key issue for the tourism industry in our changing World, and the LAAX ski destination is no exception. Laax’s environmental and energy concept – called ‘Greenstyle’ – has been in existence since 2010 and has implemented a number of measures for the protection of nature and the environment throughout the resort. Two years ago, LAAX revealed its vision to become the world’s first self-sufficient ski resort. An ambitious feat that is already bearing fruit today – over the last seven years, the winter destination in Graubünden has reduced its energy consumption by 15 per cent, and it already sourced 100% of its electricity from CO2 neutral hydropower.
The Greenstyle concept at LAAX
LAAX is deeply committed to offering guests a sustainable holiday experience, and as has been implementing sustainable solutions within the Weisse Arena Gruppe throughout the destination. The concept ensures the careful treatment and protection of nature and the environment both in winter and summer.
While LAAX is currently leaps and bounds ahead of any other resort in the World when it comes to ecotourism, there is still work to do for it to become the world’s first self-sufficient ski resort. The destination is ready to face the necessary challenges in order to become a role model for other Alpine destinations, and to inspire a rethink for the love of nature and the environment.
How has ‘Greenstyle’ been implemented in LAAX?
The Greenstyle concept is based on the principle of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, which is firmly anchored in the corporate strategy of the Weisse Arena Gruppe. Under this principle, a series of significant measures have already been introduced in the areas of nature, energy, mobility, gastronomy, purchasing and waste. Energy initiatives have proved particularly successful, with 100% of Laax’s energy needs now covered by CO2-neutral sources. Photovoltaic systems at rail stations and the conversion from oil to pellet heating systems and heat pumps allow for further CO2 savings. At the same time, the Weisse Arena Gruppe is paying close attention to the efficient use of energy. Engine data systems help snow groomers to travel within the most efficient speed range to reduce fuel consumption. Even waste heat from the engines of the rail systems is used for the heating needs of surrounding buildings. In addition, renewable mobility is consolidated through the expansion of the charging station network for e-bikes and electric cars.
Guests also contribute by making conscious consumption decisions. Those who enjoy the indigenous herbal tea at the Travelling Bar automatically contribute 10% of the price to the Greenstyle Foundation. Other restaurants in the skiing and snowboarding region have also opted for regionalit,y and procure products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt directly from the destination’s own alpine pasture. Eight drinking water fountains located throughout the destination encourage guests to drink the fresh mountain water directly from the fountain, thus reducing plastic bottle usage with long transport routes. Similarly, the Keep Cups for take-away coffee also aim to minimise the use of disposable cups. Numerous recycling stations on the mountain and in the valley help to keep the mountain clean and separate waste, too.
The protection of animals is also a key concern for LAAX, who provide a comprehensive range of information on the indigenous wildlife for guests at the Freeride Base in Nagens. They endeavour to protect the wildlife through a number of measures, such as protective measures on glass façades to prevent birds from flying into them.
Read more about Laax’s Greenstyle initiative at the following link: www.laax.com/en/info/greenstyle