The Alta Badia Cable Car Consortium, founded in 1984, includes all 10 cable car associations in the valley. During the winter season, it counts a total of 53 lift facilities with an hourly rate of 94.900 passengers and covering 130 km of slopes (subdivided into: 74 km easy/blue, 47 km medium/red and 9 km difficult/black).
During the summer season, 18 lift facilities are open for over 110 days (this year, from 10 June to 1 October 2023), which can be used by presenting the Alta Badia Summer Card ticket.
When we speak of environmental protection, it is fundamental to consider the emissions generated by vehicular traffic; in this regard, above all in the summer months, the cable cars provide an exceptionally valuable alternative means of transport as they enable passengers to travel the area and enjoy the beautiful scenery in a sustainable manner.
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ALTA BADIA, THE 4th TOURISM DESTINATION IN ITALY TO RECEIVE GSTC ACCREDITATION, INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEE OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Alta Badia received GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) accreditation on Tuesday 9th August 2022 following an exhaustive audit carried out over the preceding months. The tourist destination in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites now boasts a tangible demonstration of its commitment to sustainable tourism through an internationally recognised standard.
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This is the most prestigious of all achievements for destinations that focus on sustainability as a key feature of their tourism offer. Nevertheless, we are mindful of the fact that this marks only the beginning of a wider project encompassing environmental protection, territorial responsibility and hospitality; these are all fundamental aims which the tourist resort plans to cultivate transversally in order to promote and develop responsible tourism in every area.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) was established in 2007 by UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and by UNWTO, the United Nation World Tourism Organization, to promote sustainability and social responsibility in the tourism sector.
The GSTC criteria are globally recognised, and are organised around four main themes: Sustainable management (Governance) Socio-economic sustainability Cultural sustainability Environmental sustainability
The GSTC label is obtained through the Vireo verification process, the only GSTC-accredited certification organisation in Italy. This means that the certification service is conducted and managed in accordance with the accreditation standard, which defines the methods, procedures and timing for verification audits, ensuring the independence and credibility of the entire system.
The associations within the Consortium have placed a decisive focus on reducing their environmental impact through the use of clean, efficient energy.
In line with this resolve, they now fulfil 95% of their energy requirements with renewable energy, obtained as a result of direct investments in renewable energy plants and certified green energy contracts. Hydroelectric, photovoltaic and biomass plants enable the Consortium to reduce its environmental impact and run its plants with minimum recourse to fossil fuels.
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The Consortium does not end its commitment to sustainability here, however: In addition to clean energy, it also implements a variety of virtuous energy-efficient methods in order to contain energy consumption. The first energy audit has already been launched, and employees have been provided with a good-practice guide to energy-saving practices. The main systems have been fitted with CCTV-monitoring systems which detect the number of passengers and regulate the speed of cable cars accordingly.
95% of energy requirements are supplied from renewable sources Calculated as the percentage of renewable energy (self-produced and purchased) as a proportion of the total energy consumed.
13,889,140 kWh production of electrical energy from renewable sources Renewable energy produced by the Consortium companies through participation with other companies or direct investment in renewable energy plants.
Opting to use cable cars to get to the slopes or other tourist destinations makes it possible to reduce the use of cars and motorised transportation, thus reducing pollutant emissions and road traffic. This alternative provides the public with the opportunity to experience Alta Badia all year round, while simultaneously limiting the impact on the climate and the land.
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Did you know that travelling from the Passo Gardena to the village of Colfosco on foot and with the ski lifts emits 62% less CO2 than making the same journey by car?
We have worked out that travelling between the various destinations of the area by ski lift enables an average saving of 26%* of CO2 in comparison to travelling by car.
* This indicator was calculated as the average saving of CO2 emissions per person by drawing a comparison between using cable cars in summer as opposed to travelling the same journey by car on a number of standard routes (Colfosco - Passo Gardena, La Villa - San Cassiano). The impact (CO2) per person of cable-car usage was calculated by dividing the total carbon footprint of the lifts (Protocol, G. G. (2011). Greenhouse gas protocol) by the number of summer journeys, while the impact of car travel was calculated by examining the distance which would be covered in typical journeys, and based on the emission rate of an average car (Defra 2022).
SNOWMAKING AND SLOPE MANAGEMENT
We have adopted avant-garde solutions to ensure efficient snow management on the slopes. The SnowMan (Snow Management) software enables us to conduct efficient snow management on the slopes, and is used in conjunction with the “Snowsat” satellite system integrated into the snowcats. This technology provides us with the possibility to monitor snow depth at all times and optimise the usage of snow cannons.
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Depending on the size and typology of the ski area, this system can create savings of up to 15% in the creation of artificial snow, and, through the optimisation of vehicle routes, up to 8% in fuel savings for snowcats.
FUN FACTS - WHERE DOES SNOW COME FROM?
Snow forms in the clouds of the upper atmosphere where miniscule particles of water at extremely low temperatures begin to stick together, forming the classic crystals that make up snow. As these crystallised microparticles get heavier, they fall to the ground. As they fall, depending on the atmospheric temperature, crystals bind together to form larger snowflakes. The same principle applies to creating artificial snow: Water is pumped into the snow cannons at a certain pressure, and then atomised by jets of air. At temperatures starting from -2°C, the tiny water droplets transform into snow crystals during their journey from cannon to ground.
In conducting their operations, the societies within the Consortium conduct operations follow the fundamental principles of respect for their workforce and environmental protection. An integrated corporate policy has been drawn up to define a reference framework which constitutes the base policy for operations and identifies environmental and occupational safety objectives.
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This expresses the formal commitment of top management towards continuous improvement, suitability, and communication of environmental management and occupational safety systems:
ISO 14001 specifies the requirements for an environmental management standard (EMS) within any organisation.
ISO 45001 specifies the requirements for an occupational health and safety management system in order to enable organisations to provide safe, healthy workplaces by preventing occupational accidents and health problems, via a continual improvement approach.
The Consortium has also obtained the ISO9001 certification for quality management systems.
Non-certified organisational models for management and control.
INAIL - simplified procedures for occupational health and safety management systems (Italian Ministerial Decree (D.M. 13/02/2014). Italian Ministerial Decree of 13 February 2014 established simplified procedures for occupational health and safety management systems within Italy in order to streamline occupational safety management procedures for small to midsize enterprises (SMEs). In specific terms, the decree has defined a set of guidelines and simplified models which SMEs can apply in order to adopt an occupational safety management system compliant with Italian legislation on occupational safety and health. Simplified procedures allow SMEs to adopt a flexible approach which is proportionate to their needs, and aims to reduce the bureaucratic burden on these companies and rationalise occupational safety management. The main areas covered by these simplified procedures include risk assessment, the defining of prevention and protection measures, staff training and information, document management and evaluation of the management system performance. Adopting simplified procedures signifies a substantial support in simplifying the management of occupational safety, and ensures compliance with legislation.
MOG – Organisation and control models in compliance with Legislative Decree 231/2001 through the establishment of a Supervisory Body (OdV - Organismo di Vigilanza). Legislative Decree 231/2001-compliant organisational and control models are instruments which companies can adopt in order to prevent employees committing criminal acts, and to avoid incurring administrative or criminal liability in the event of such acts. Legislative Decree 231/2001 introduced the administrative liability of legal entities (e.g., joint stock companies) for crimes committed in the interest or to the advantage of the company, such as, for instance, corruption, tax fraud, money laundering, violation of workplace safety regulations and similar. In order to prevent this eventuality, companies can adopt a management and control organisational model which outlines, amongst others, a code of ethics, the appointment of a Supervisory Body (SB), a compliance officer, employee training regarding the risks associated with the crimes identified by Legislative Decree 231/2001, the establishment of defined procedures for the management of contracts, documents and sensitive information, and the adoption of internal control and whistleblowing procedures (internal reporting of unlawful conduct). The adoption of an organisation model for management and control in compliance with Legislative Decree 231/2001 vastly reduces the risk of crimes within the workplace. It is also a clear reflection of good corporate governance practice which can enhance the company’s reputation and strengthen the trust of both its customers and business partners.
The impact analysis was conducted with the technical assistance of Etifor S.r.l. Benefit Corporation, a spin-off of the University of Padova which provides consultancy services to organisations and companies with the aim of helping them to enhance their services and nature-based products. Etifor supports companies in improving the economic, environmental and social benefits of policies, projects and investments. Together with the Alta Badia Cable Car Consortium, they helped to identify and quantify the environmental indicators which best describe the virtuous choices made by the Consortium in the field of sustainability, subdividing them into 5 macro areas: Responsible tourism (GSTC), clean energy, alternative mobility, snow and slope management, and responsible management.