Boreal's Green Initiative

Snow is our livelihood. It's our responsibility to protect our natural resources and make sure that we can enjoy winter sports for years and years to come. Boreal, along with its parent company Powdr Corp, is committed to reducing carbon emissions produced through our operations. 

In a step to honor this commitment, POWDR Corp has purchased energy credits through Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100% of the grid supplied electricity consumed at its eight winter resorts including Boreal Mountain and Soda Springs Mountain Resort.  The renewable energy credits total nearly 325 million kWh, which is equivalent to removing over 34,686 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.  The renewable energy credits (RECs) will be used at Boreal to power snowmaking, lodge electricity, plus all chairlifts and night lights.

Powdr Corp is committed to being an industry leader in environmental stewardship. In addition to the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy, Powdr Corp resorts are actively involved in environmental initiatives including energy reduction, the use of alternative fuels and recycling. These initiatives have offset Powdr Corp’s carbon footprint by 50 percent. (more info)  Thanks to the hard-work and commitments of Boreal was able to reduce carbon output by 537 tons (15%) during fiscal 2015.  Additionally Boreal Mountain Resort along with the other POWDR Corp Resorts has joined NSAA's Climate Challenge.  The NSAA Climate Challenge is engaging ski areas across the country to take action and fight climate change. The Challenge will not only result in measurable, quantifiable results and benefits, it will also help participating ski areas make tangible progress each year to fight climate change while reducing utility bills, and convey results for the benefit of skiers and riders, ski areas, resort communities, and our planet.  Thru the Challenge, Boreal will continually set goals and measure the success of the goals each season to ensure we are honoring our commitments we have made.  (NSAA Climate Challenge)

California Ski Industry Association 2016 Sustainability Report

The mountains and winter are the ski industry’s livelihood and passion. The mountain environments in which California and Nevada ski resorts operate are essential to both our business and outdoor recreation. Ski resorts provide guests access to the mountains that many people would not otherwise experience. As an industry, our resorts are committed to supporting and investing in environmentally progressive practices in all aspects of operations in order to sustain enjoyment by future generations. The ski industry’s commitment to the environment is neither about politics nor simply about climate change, but rather about raising awareness and fostering change. California and Nevada resorts are devoted to being environmentally conscious because it is the right thing to do. We cannot be certain what our world will look like 50 or 100 years from now, but we do know that making sound decisions that balance recreation for winter enthusiasts and care for our environment will greatly increase the chances that we can enjoy winter sports for generations to come.

View the Report from CSIA Here

Soda Springs Resort Receives Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence

The Golden Eagle Awards, overseen in a partnership between SKI Magazine and the National Ski Areas Association, are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental programs and projects.

Soda Springs Resort won the Golden Eagle Award in the small ski area category for its Recycled Water Initiative launched in November, 2015. The ski area is leading by example as the first resort in California to make snow using recycled water. The use of recycled water will preserve potable, surface, and groundwater supplies, while providing an alternate and sustainable source for snowmaking. Utilization of recycled water enabled the installation of an energy efficient snowmaking system at the resort. In addition, 100 percent of the energy used for the new snowmaking system is offset through the purchase of renewable energy credits.

“We are very honored to be recognized for Soda Springs’ Recycled Water Initiative,” said Amy Ohran, President and General Manager of Soda Springs Resort. Using 100 percent recycled water for snowmaking is unique and first of its kind in California. “Our new snowmaking system and water supply enabled Soda Springs to add three weeks of operations to the season, furthering our commitment to introducing families to snowsports in the Sierras. And, it made for a really great mountain product.”

Soda Springs Resort partnered with Donner Summit Public Utility District to develop this innovative solution to a lack of available water for snowmaking. The project presented an opportunity to fulfill two key benefits; securing a consistent season while leading the use of recycled water into new space. “Recycled water is widely accessible even in low water and low snow years, its availability is relatively drought proof,” adds Ohran. Though the 15-16 season brought above average snowfall, “California has and will continue to be faced with water challenges. This solution demonstrates that recreation and industry can grow alongside advancing sustainability efforts in the landscapes in which we work and play.”

What is Boreal doing to reduce carbon emissions?

Self-Audit of Carbon Footprint

Boreal along with all other POWDR Corp resorts conducts a yearly self-audit to gauge carbon emissions due to operations.  The self-audit clearly defines "major-offenders" that are producing high levels of carbon emissions.  Once identified the "offenders" can be isolated and steps may be taken to improve carbon efficiency.  Below you will find several projects Boreal has completed based on the carbon audit.

In the 2014-15 season, we:

• Installed water cooling system in our snowmaking pond, resulting in a 15% improvement in water to snow conversion and a 15% savings in water and electricity use to produce the same amount of snow, saving 26 tons of CO2 output.

• Installed high-efficiency Heating/Ventilation system in the Maintenance Building, saving 16% energy use compared to current building code requirements, reducing CO2 output by 7.5 tons!

• Added washable dishes to our Summer Camp and Bar parts of our Food and Beverage Operations, saving 80,000 units of trash for the year!

• Added airlock doors in Main Lodge to reduce heating energy use by 3%.

Installed energy efficient LED lighting during build-out of Woodward Tahoe

During construction and whenever possible the team at Boreal chooses the energy efficient option such as the decision between LED lights vs. Metal Halides.Replaced windows in the Boreal Lodge and Boreal Inn

• Recently replaced old single-pane windows with efficient double-pane glass windows, reducing the carbon foot print by 50%, sparing the environment over 63,000 lbs of carbon per year

• New Snowmaking Fan Guns

 Converted the old diesel powered compressors for the snowmaking system to SMI Fan Guns is saving 250 tons of carbon emissions each year.

• Replaced two lifts with NEW Castle Peak Quad

Recently Boreal replaced two old lifts which were operated by inefficient motors, with the NEW Castle Peak Quad, saving over 7,000 kWh per year.

• Changed lighting in lodge for energy efficient lights.

Recently replaced old lights and ballasts with a F42-ILL system reducing our kilowatt hours (kWh) by 50% per year, a savings of 84,000 kWh per year.  This is an ongoing effort to improve all the lighting at Boreal.

• Upgraded Freeway Sign to LED

The new freeway sign saves the output of over 40 tons of carbon each year, reducing kWH by 86%.

• Replaced windows in the Boreal Lodge and Boreal Inn

Recently replaced old single-pane windows with efficient double-pane glass windows, reducing the carbon foot print by 50%, sparing the environment over 63,000 lbs of carbon per year

Other Projects and Initiatives:

  • Usage of recycled paper for printing and marketing collateral with possible
  • "No Idle Policy" for company and customer vehicles
  • Recycling plan for special events
  • Lift-line recycling and awareness program
  • Find avenues to eliminate unsolicited junk faxes

Future Energy-Saving Initiatives

  • Convert the heating system in the Boreal Inn from electric to hydronic
  • On-mountain night lighting conversion

 Facts about Climate Change

  • The average global temperature increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the 20th century.
  • The United State contains only 5% of the world's population, but contributes 22% of the world's carbon emissions.
  • Personal cars and trucks in the United States emit 20% of the United States' carbon emissions.
  • Between 20% and 25% of carbon emissions come from deforestation and land use change.
What can you do about Climate Change?
    • Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with a compact fluorescent light bulb.
      - Uses 60% less energy than a regular bulb.
  • Replace parts as needed to keep toilet from running.
  • Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible.
    - You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for six months out of the year.
  • Unplug electronics from the wall when you are not using them.
    - Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for five percent of total domestic energy consumption and releases 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Recycle at home.
    - Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.
  • Ride a bike to school or work.
  • Carpool when driving to go skiing or snowboarding.
Resource Websites:

Click on any of the websites below to learn more about what you can do to help prevent Climate Change.

Keep Winter Cool: Fight Climate Change

Save Our Snow Foundation

NSAA: The Green Room

The Snowrider Foundation: by the Surfrider Foundation

The Green Guide: by the National Geographic Society

Grist: Environmental News and Humor

CarbonSense: Making Sense of Climate Change

Natural Defense Resource Council: The Earth's Best Defense 

Boreal's Green Initiative

Boreal works off 100% Green Power. Help save the planet, recycle, reduce, reuse.