SATA Group – the company that manages the lifts in Alpe d’Huez – has been working on practical ways to reduce their emissions as part of their goal to achieve Net Zero by 2037.
This is a quick look at some of the policies they have put in place already, with other measures lined up to come in over the next few seasons.
Taking care of the slopes generates up to 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions of most ski resorts. Compagnie des Alpes has already taken measures to convert their snow groomers from diesel to HVO. SATA have chosen to buy five hydrogen-powered snow groomers, to join their fleet next winter.
These zero CO2 emissions snow groomers have an eight-hour battery life (compared to four to five for pure electric machines) and have similar climbing and acceleration capabilities to regular piste bashers.
More efficient driving
Across Alpe d’Huez and Les 2 Alpes, the SATA Group saves 80,000 litres of fuel by training their drivers to use their machines more efficiently, a 6% reduction on their annual total consumption.
The resort’s first hydrogen-powered buses is being tested this winter, with a view to commissioning three more vehicles in early 2024.
Photovoltaic panels have already been installed on the Marmottes 1 and Chalvet lifts. SATA’s goal is aiming to generated 100% of the electricity required for their buildings on the slopes.
Other measures the resort has introduced include the collection of old ski lift protection mattresses, so that the foam can be recycled
Less visual pollution
Although not reducing emissions as such, Alpe d’Huez is taking steps to improve biodiversity. Since 2005, 158 pylons, four ski lift stations and 52 km of cables have been removed and replaced by more efficient lifts (e.g. the Signal is now served by a gondola/chairlift hybrid lift, instead of one chairlift and three drag lifts).