Ecology

Ecology

For the future of the Schmitten

Living in tune with nature – that’s an important topic for the Schmittenhöhebahnen. After all, the region’s beautiful landscape is what our everyday work is based on. And we will only be able to preserve what we love for future generations if we treat nature with respect. That’s why we want to be pioneers. Not just in terms of cable car technology, but also in terms of environmental protection! And that’s why we have chosen to subject ourselves to the high demands of the EU’s EMAS guidelines – as the only cable car company in Europe so far.

In keeping with these guidelines, we always strive to improve our environmental protection measures – by making use of photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles and by setting new standards in terms of energy and resource efficiency.

Keeping an eye on our environment! Read the current ecology report

Environment policies of Schmittenhöhebahn AG

In order to ensure energy-efficient economizing inside our company, Schmitten pursues rigourous environmental policies, sticks consequentially to its targets and checks them regularly. Here are the enviroment policies of the company. 

The new study "Ökologisches Pistenmanagement" (ecological pist management) can be downloaded here.

Photovoltaic systems: the power of the sun

Schmittenhöhebahn AG has been setting new standards in the field of photovoltaic systems since 2013. Back then, the company implemented the biggest building-integrated photovoltaic system. From 2,450 square metres, the solar panel surface was gradually extended to a remarkable 2,750 square metres.

In the 2016/17 business year, this resulted in an annual yield of 280,000 kWh. Quite an impressive achievement considering that this roughly equates to the electric power consumption of 85 households! 

Resource efficiency

Efficient artificial snowmaking not only requires state-of-the-art equipment but also plenty of experience and knowledge. Our seasoned team of snowmaking experts know exactly where and when to use a certain system for best results. 

For instance, the team on the Schmitten has been working with precise snow-depth measurement since 2009. Basically, this means that snow is only produced for those areas where (and when) it is actually needed. With less resources and environmental pollution, this leads to more snow reliability and better slope quality. In addition, this allows for the correction of slope flaws before they are even visible.

At the moment, this system is used in six of our snow-grooming machines. In addition, we make use of an intelligent snowmaking system. This software displays temperatures across the entire ski resort, making it easier to identify the slopes currently suitable for artificial snowmaking.

To increase efficiency even more, we also replaced 55 “old” snow lances with new ones over the past years. The new lances produce the same amount of snow using only a tenth of the energy required by the old ones.

The principle “from old to new” also applies to other areas like the Schmitten’s recycling management. For instance, the Areitbahn cable car enjoys a second life in an amusement park near Bogotá, Colombia after 29 years of operation on the Schmitten. Instead of disposing of the cable car, it was dismantled and shipped across the ocean, once again increasing the Schmitten’s resource efficiency.