Responsible Stewardship

CWSAA’s Commitment to Responsible Stewardship

Click image above to download a copy of the guide (CWSAA login required).

As stewards of the land, CWSAA is committed to generating awareness and initiating actions to better manage environmental challenges. Together with our members, we are on a journey to reduce the collective environmental footprint of our industry.

Our mission is simple: to shape the future of the ski industry.

A playbook has been developed to help members integrate responsible stewardship practices and become more sustainable ski areas. Ski areas will be able to use the tools to create a quantifiable and measurable action plan that aligns with the responsible use and protection of natural environments.

The decisions, actions, and technologies adopted in this process will build resilience for our organizations, communities, and the greater industry.

Common examples of how ski areas are responding to climate change:

Increased investment in snow-making and other measures to ensure snow and product reliability.

  • The majority of major ski areas in BC & Alberta and most of those on the Prairies currently have snow-making systems in place.
  • Enhanced summer grooming is being conducted to allow for safe & enjoyable skiing with less snowfall.

Ski areas are diversifying into summer businesses.

  • This includes activities such as sight seeing, mountain biking, adventure parks and golf.

Ski areas have invested in water conservation and sewage disposal methods, and energy conservation such as geothermal, solar, and energy efficient fixtures.

Resort design considerations are complex and have shifted in priority.

  • Higher lift elevations may be given value over lower elevation options
  • Northern aspects can allow for greater snow retention
  • Trails can be shaped to provide greater shade and snow capture

CWSAA has partnered with the scientific community and other subject matter experts to enhance understanding of the impact that climate change will have on the industry.

Suppliers to industry are also embracing this challenge and using technology to increase energy efficiency (eg: snowmaking) and reduce emissions (eg; snowmobiles, snowcats).