GREAT FOR THE CLIMATE: THE ISCHGL PROJECT IS EXPANDING

As of this season, Ischgl is a climate neutral ski area, meaning that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced where possible, and when emissions can’t be avoided, they are offset. The initiative not only makes ecological sense, it’s also increasingly being copied. Climate neutral ski area. That means that no additional carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through all the activities of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG (SSAG) cable car company – and in times of climate crisis, that’s a significant contribution to sustainable economic activities. In order to make it work, the SSAG has firstly attempted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as far as possible (read more about it here), and secondly, invested in projects which offset any unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions. Thanks to this initiative, Ischgl has been able to call itself the biggest climate neutral ski area in the Alps since the start of this season. And even more importantly, this makes Ischgl a pioneer of a new movement. “Winter sports enthusiasts in particular are very aware of this initiative – we’re getting a great amount of positive reaction from them, but also from the sector itself,” says Günther Zangerl, managing director of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG.

More and more ski areas are interested, in fact, in following Ischgl’s sustainability path, and are considering similar endeavours. “Today more than ever it’s about life and economic activities being in harmony with Alpine nature,” says Josef Margreiter, managing director of the Lebensraum Tirol Holding. “In order to secure the attractiveness of our living space for future generations as well, Tyrol also has to be right at the top of climate neutrality as the leading winter sports region.” But now Ischgl is going one step further. Until now, the reforestation and other such carbon dioxide emissions offset projects provided by Ischgl have taken place mostly in developing countries. It is time for this to change, according to Hannes Parth, who as the chairman of Vitalpin is the patron of this project: “With Vitalpin, we want to initiate additional, concrete offset options in the Alpine area – so that money for important nature projects will also flow back into our region. And then the circle is closed, ensuring that we are acting for the future in the interests of our next generations and our children.”  The planned Alpine climate protection fund is designed to support initiatives for efficient mobility solutions and intelligent energy supplies in particular.