The Swiss skiing and snowboarding region is taking these measures for the benefit of the environment and nature
Laax, 21 March 2018. Sustainability is also a key matter for tourist zones, and the LAAX winter destination is no exception. The Greenstyle environmental and energy concept has been in existence since 2010 and establishes various measures for the protection of nature and the environment. 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.
The Greenstyle concept from LAAX
The aim is to implement sustainable solutions within the Weisse Arena Gruppe on the mountain and in the valley, thus ensuring the careful treatment and protection of nature and the environment both in winter and summer. LAAX is deeply committed to offering guests sustainable holidays.
Successfully implemented measures
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 slogan, a series of significant measures has already been introduced in the areas of nature, energy, mobility, gastronomy, purchasing and waste. Projects in the field of energy have proved particularly successful. In cooperation with Flims Electric, 100 per cent of the energy needs are 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, through the additional expansion of the charging station network for e-bikes and electric cars, renewable mobility has been consolidated in the destination.
Guests also contribute by making conscious consumption decisions. Those who enjoy the indigenous herbal tea at the Travelling Bar, for instance, support the Greenstyle Foundation with 10 per cent of the retail price. Other restaurants in the skiing and snowboarding region have also opted for regionality and procure products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt directly from the destination’s own alpine pasture. A total of eight ‘Drink Water’ fountains located throughout the destination encourage guests to drink the fresh mountain water directly from the fountain, thus renouncing water in plastic bottles 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.
Concerning nature, the protection of animals is a key concern. For example, a comprehensive range of related information is available for guests at the Freeride Base in Nagens. The glass façades of the rail stations have also been fitted with protective measures to prevent birds from flying into them.
To make LAAX the world’s first self-sufficient ski resort, however, there is still much to do. LAAX is ready to face the challenges in order to become a role model for other Alpine destinations. The important thing is to bring about a rethink for the love of nature and the environment.
Energy efficiency & renewable energies
- One hundred per cent of the electricity required for the skiing and snowboarding region comes from CO2-neutral sources in collaboration with Flims Electric.
- All rail systems constructed since 2011 are equipped with photovoltaic systems (Alp Dado 6-person chairlift, Treis Palas 6-person chairlift, Lavadinas 6-person chairlift, Mutta-Rodunda 6-person chairlift, La Siala 10-person cable car).
- Oil heaters are gradually being removed from the destination. In the rocksresort design hotel, for instance, heat is generated through a pellet heating system.
- Waste heat from the engines of the rail systems is partially recovered and can thus be used to heat the rail station and surrounding buildings.
- All snow groomers in LAAX are equipped with an engine data system that indicates the optimum speed for minimal diesel consumption.
- The height and depth of the entire skiing and snowboarding region was measured using 3D technology. As a result of this, a 3D snow depth measurement system in the snow groomers shows where there is a lot of snow and thus facilitates slope preparation with maximum efficiency.
- Together with our partner Flims Electric, a network of charging stations for electric cars and e-bikes has been established throughout the entire destination.
- LAAX Inside app customers can take advantage of an on-demand e-shuttle service. The ‘contribution’ of CHF 24 is donated to the Greenstyle Foundation for charitable environmental projects in the region.
Food & shopping
- The Travelling Bar donates 10 per cent of its revenue to the Greenstyle Foundation. Incidentally, the herbs used in the different types of tea available are all harvested and dried at the destination.
- The restaurant La Stalla on Alp Nagens now exclusively offers regional products. Every day in summer, alpine cheese, yoghurt and butter are made using milk from the Alp. In addition to the alpine cheese, the restaurant produces its very own raclette cheese.
- There are currently eight ‘Drink Water’ fountains that offer guests free, fresh mountain spring water with glasses provided or for filling up their own bottle. These fountains are located in restaurants, cafés and cable car waiting rooms, and aim to encourage guests to drink the delicious and healthy mountain water instead of water in plastic bottles with long transport routes.
Waste & recycling
- Numerous recycling stations for separating waste are positioned on the mountain and in the valley.
- In the Piazza – cafedeli, take-away coffee is served in so-called Keep Cups, in order to reduce the consumption of disposable paper cups. Ordering coffee in a Keep Cup is rewarded with a discount of CHF 0.50.
- Banners for the LAAX OPEN snowboarding event are transformed into trendy and practical bags, rucksacks and laptop cases after the competition and are sold in Das Original shop.
- The KITRO Foodwaste Management System start-up company analyses which foods and how much of them end up in waste. The system was first introduced in the destination’s catering kitchens in winter 17/18 in order to reduce the amount of food waste.
- At various glazed rail stations, bird protection measures have been introduced to prevent birds from flying into the glass façades.
- The new Freeride Base LAAX in Nagens is stocked with a wide range of information on wildlife protection in order to raise awareness amongst guests.
- All new base and mountain stations in the rail network are constructed using Graubünden wood.
- The Greenstyle Foundation is a non-profit cooperative organisation between the Weisse Arena Gruppe and dedicated people and businesses from the holiday destination in the Flims, Laax and Falera region. It is committed to developing and protecting our environment.