Diminishing Pollution On The Slopes

Taos Ski Valley

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

The main goal for Taos Ski Valley is to protect the environment at all costs when it comes to pollution as well as making sure that during the wildfire season in New Mexico that many trees are not in the way of causing huge forest fires. Taos is also extremely focused on making sure that the community around them as well as their staff are treated equally.

Author

Ross Simpson

Ross Simpson

School

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

Professor

Emily Landry

Emily Landry

Innovation

Taos is a very remote area in New Mexico and being a ski resort, they realized that the amount of trash they produce they needed to find an effective way to reduce that while not harming the environment during the process. Due to their amount of waste, they were producing they knew that they were contributing to Global Warming as well as pollution and Michael did not like this. Global Warming is a big issue for ski companies as they need the snow stick for as long as possible and with the amount of waste, they produce they knew they needed to stop this or reduce it as much as possible. 2-3 years ago, Michael and his team started looking into this problem and realized that it was something that could be fixed fast. Michael and his team wanted to be able to reduce Taos's food waste without harming the environment in the process, so he began his research on how to achieve this.

After extensive research Michael and his team came across the idea of In-Vessel Composting which is a process where machines take food waste and reduce the mass by using heat was the most effective way to combat this issue. According to Michael this process can reduce the mass of their food waste by up to 80% before it gets transferred off to the waste sites. He then sent off his proposal to the company and they approved of it and Michael got the investment needed. Soon after the proposal 2 machines were purchased, and they started reducing their food waste immediately.

Diminishing Pollution On The Slopes

Inspiration

Michael was inspired to tackle this task for multiple reasons as it affects so many parts of their business right now as well as in the future. He was inspired to reduce the amount of food waste they produce as he realized it was a huge problem and that it affected global warming and he wanted to change this. As Michael said, "When food waste goes to the landfill it is just dumped there and it takes a while to breakdown and typically the byproduct of that breaking down is methane or other greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming and we have an invested interest in reducing global warming because we want to keep snow on the ground as that's what keeps us in business". Reducing global warming was the biggest focus for Michael as it has so many effects on their business as well as the environment. He knew that he could do his part in fighting this battle against global warming just by reducing the food waste which in turn helps his company in the long run. By reducing methane and other greenhouse gases the average temperature of the earth will reduce which will lead to longer periods of time for the snow to stay on the ground which leads to a higher profit for ski resorts as they can have skiers on the slopes for longer periods of time during the year. Reducing global warming is something that everyone can do and for companies as big as Taos it is a big deal as they can help themselves out right now with reducing the amount of waste they produce as well as the future when global warming has an even bigger impact on them.

Overall impact

The overall impact of using the In-Vessel Composting goes a very long way both in the short and long term as it reaches such a wide variety of things in the business right now and in the future. There are many short-term effects that come from using this method to reduce their food waste. The first positive effect they have is that they can transport a lot less waste to the landfill sites right now which becomes a cost productive aspect to the business. Due to them sending off less weight every time they do not need to do it as regularly as they can now stock up on more days of food waste before they need it taken off property. In the process of them doing this they now have more money to spend on other aspects of the business which will lead to a better more productive resort which ends up attracting more people to visit which leads to higher profits.

There is only really one major long-term effect in this innovation, but it is an extremely important effect that leads to many positives for the business and earth. The long-term effect that this innovation was used to target was global warming. Global warming is a huge problem that we face as a society in today's world but will only end up becoming an even bigger problem for future generations. By Taos reducing their amount of food waste they are reducing the total amount methane and other greenhouse gases that are given off in the decomposition process which are in fact the reasons that lead to a warmer earth. Having a warmer earth for Taos is a huge problem as they need earth's temperature to stay relatively low so that they can keep snow on their slopes for longer periods of time. Keeping snow on the ground leads to a longer skiing season which leads to higher profits for Taos as well as a much healthier earth for all humans to live. This is their biggest goal in the long-term as it has so many benefits not only for them but for the future generations to.

Business benefit

By using the In-Vessel Composting the company has created many benefits for themselves as a company in many ways. The first way that it has benefitted them is by reducing the total amount of waste they have to keep on site at one given time. Taos reducing the total mass of the waste they can now go through more days of waste and end up with the same total mass of waste over a longer period. By Taos doing this they can save themselves money in the short and long run as they do not have to be getting trucks to come take their waste away as often as they previously were. This is a huge benefit as they can now save that money and spend it on other important aspects of the company that can in turn lead them to becoming a better ski resort. While investing their saved money on their waste they can now get more traffic through their doors as they have upgraded many different aspects of their resort which leads to more people wanting to come ski on their slopes.

Another benefit of this innovation is that in the long run and in the future generations they can hopefully keep their business open during the winter season for longer periods of time due to them fighting the global warming. Them fighting the global warming crisis helps benefit them in the long run as the earth will hopefully not be as hot for such long periods of time which means they can keep their slopes open for longer which for a ski resort will generate more profit for the company.

Social and environmental benefit

There are many benefits towards society from this innovation as Taos's main workforce is from the pueblo people who live in the surrounding areas. They hire the pueblo people to work for them which creates a better community all together as they are hiring the native people. Taos reducing their impact on global warming will hopefully lead to longer periods of time when the ski resort can be open which in turn leads to the people of Taos city to be able to work for longer periods of time and earn more money to spend in their economy and live better lives. Using then In-Vessel Composting also benefits society outside of just Taos as it reduces global warming which is not just a problem in the USA but a huge problem around the globe.

In-Vessel Composting has a huge benefit towards the environment as it is creating a positive impact on global warming which is something the environment is really starting to struggle with. There are always so many ways to benefit the environment in today's world but I believe that by reducing global warming the environment can only become a better place for us to live in at this current moment but for all the future generations that are to come.

Interview

Michael Bower, Director of Facilities

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Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley

Taos, NM, US

Business Website: https://www.skitaos.com/

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 501 to 1000

Taos Ski Valley is a full ski resort based just outside the city of Taos, New Mexico. Taos Ski Valley has a fully functioning 80 bedroom hotel with 25 stand alone condos, including its fully functioning slopes during the winter with many summer activities as well.