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In November we reported that Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands nabbed the three highest scores in Colorado in the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition environmental report card rankings, with Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk taking two of the top three spots out of all U.S. resorts (just behind Squaw Valley).
This week Auden Schendler, Aspen Skiing Company's Executive Director of Sustainability, is featured in the Earth Day-themed April issue of TransWorld Business, and while he doesn't get much into the specifics of the greening of Aspen, he does talk about the challenges every company can and should face in the interest of greening its business practices, working for policy change in Washington, and avoiding the greenwashing tendencies that he refers to as "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
My sense is that in these difficult economic times, businesses are suddenly very interested in projects with a return on investment, no matter how small that return. Sustainability efforts typically offer these types of returns-so I think businesses are, if anything, more focused on sustainability. Now is the time that businesses running most efficiently-not wasting materials or energy, for example-will survive the great weeding out, and the sloppy, fat businesses will fail. This especially applies to resorts which have huge capital and operational costs.