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In carbon neutral effort, Big Sky Resort launches new program

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Travelers and skiers can use the new carbon calculator launched by Big Sky Resort to calculate the impact of their trip. PHOTO BY JONATHAN KNEPPER/UNSPLASH

Carbon offset program to help skiers reduce footprint

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – It’s now possible to take a carbon-neutral trip to Big Sky Resort with the help of a new carbon offset program.

On Dec. 10, the resort launched a carbon calculator on its website, in partnership with Tradewater, a Chicago-based company dedicated to preventing greenhouse gas emissions, which allows guests to calculate the impact of their trip and purchase credits to offset it.

Since the launch of the offset calculator, Big Sky Resort guests have destroyed and retired 41.85 tons of refrigerants.

“Providing skiers with an opportunity to offset their trip aligns with our sustainability goals at the resort,” said Troy Nedved, Big Sky Resort’s general manager. “This is an environmental action that reaches even beyond our operations. While resort-wide carbon neutrality remains the primary goal, the offset calculator is an additional tool that allows guests to join us in our pursuit of sustainability.” 

The calculator takes into account details such as method of travel, length of stay, lodging and number of travelers. Guests will then have the option to choose their offset level which could be 100 percent in order to be totally carbon-neutral or up to 200 percent to go above and beyond.

The credits purchased then empower Tradewater to eliminate greenhouse gases, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.

Tradewater destroys some of the most volatile greenhouse gases ever created, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, which are 10,900 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The company has destroyed over 1 million pounds of CFCs to date and has prevented the equivalent of 4.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

“Managing and destroying refrigerants is an essential strategy for fighting climate change,” said Tim Brown, CEO of Tradewater. “This partnership gives Big Sky skiers the opportunity to help collect and destroy some of the most potent greenhouse gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.” 

In addition to the carbon offset program, Big Sky Resort has several other initiatives in place as part of its sustainability initiative, “The Big Picture,” which is working toward the resort’s goal of operating with net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The resort aims to cut its atmospheric impact through rigorous efficiency measures and exploring clean energy, while investing in offset programs and statewide green tariff systems.

Since 2020, the resort’s entire chairlift operation runs on clean energy, and as part of the 2025 vision the resort has been replacing older lifts with newer technology. For the short-term, while the upgrades are underway, the resort has been purchasing Renewable Energy Credits equivalent to the annual energy consumption of running 38 lifts.

The resort’s variety of additional initiatives that it hopes will lead to its net-zero carbon emissions goal include the reduction of waste with recycling programs, reducing the use of natural resources, and the new Vista Hall building, which features new sustainability practices in dining environments.

Visit bigskyresort.com/sustainability for more information on Big Sky Resort’s sustainability initiatives.

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