By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Boyne Resorts will soon run all North American operations on 100 percent renewable electric energy.
On Feb. 2, Boyne retroactively announced a renewable energy purchase commitment with CMS Enterprises, a subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation that invests in renewable energy projects, a move that will offset all North American energy consumption, effective Jan. 1, 2021.
The purchase of renewable energy credits is one part of Boynes larger sustainability plan called the “ForeverProject.”
The goal of the long-term project is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across North American operations by 2030, according to a Feb. 2 statement. Working with CMS Enterprises has accelerated Boyne’s sustainability effort by eliminating approximately 70 percent of the company’s carbon footprint driven by its electrical usage.
“Human-driven climate change is an urgent issue for the world and most certainly for the snowsports industry,” said Stephen Kircher, Boyne Resorts president and chief executive officer, in the statement. “Though we have been a thoughtful steward of our resort properties over the last eight decades, it was clear to our team that we were not doing enough and fast enough if we are to truly help reverse the effects our carbon footprint has on the planet’s climate.”
The push for Boyne Resorts to meet sustainability goals gained urgency in October of 2019, spurred by the Mountain Towns 2030 Net Zero Summit. The summit was sponsored by Boyne and featured collaborative discussions between the largest players in the ski industry concerning sustainability efforts.
Early this year, Boyne plans to install a solar array at its Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan. The installation will serve as a pilot for more potential installations across the network of Boyne’s 13 resorts.
Closer to home, Boyne is also taking measures to offset carbon emissions at Big Sky Resort.
“In March 2020, Big Sky Resort began offsetting our electrical consumption from lift operations,” said Stacie Mesuda, manager of public relations at Big Sky Resort in an email. “We’ve recently expanded this commitment with the ForeverProject. All of Boyne Resorts’ electrical consumption, including Big Sky Resort, is now carbon-free through a bulk renewable energy credit purchase.”
As part of its sustainability efforts and commitment to the ForeverProject, Big Sky Resort has partnered with Chicago-based Tradewater, a company dedicated to preventing greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership allows guests to calculate the impact of their trip and purchase credits to offset it.
Big Sky Resort is also a part of a Climate Challenge led by the National Ski Areas Association. The challenge is a voluntary program dedicated to helping ski areas reduce greenhouse gas emissions, engage in climate advocacy and reduce costs for energy use.
Visit boyneresorts.com/press-releases/20210202-foreverproject-sustainability to read the full press release and bigskyresort.com/sustainability to learn more about the ForeverProject and additional sustainability measures.