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Audit AwardFormer laureates  

Former laureates

AWARDEES 2011

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Näscher, Gamper, Berlakovich, Karlsböck, Präauer, Brunhart                    Award Kitzsteinhorn (A)

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Müssner, Gamper, Karlsböck, Präauer, Pavliha                                        Award Schnalstal (I)

Photos: A. Götz/CIPRA, A. Jiricka/pro natura-pro ski

In the context of the XI Alpine Conference, which took place from 7th to 9th March 2011 in Brdo pri Kranju in Slovenia, the foundation pro natura-pro ski awarded – for the second time after 2009 – an appreciation prize for skiing areas which consequently seek to improve their environmental standards. After a preliminary examination of the applications received by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, five skiing areas were nominated. The decision about the awarding of the prize and the money was made by an interdisciplinary represented jury of experts with members from all Alpine countries. In the selection of the invited experts an emphasis was put on ensuring an assessment of various partial aspects, from meteorology and climatology, via tourism and ropeway industry, engineering biology, to ski area management and spatial planning.

The award should encourage ski area operators to implement an environmental audit as well as innovations in the field of precautionary environmental and landscape planning.

Enterprises are selected by the jury, which have decided to regard the concerns of nature, landscape and environment at a long-term strategy and demonstrate their aims in front of the skiers in a recognisable way. The award shall serve as a trendsetting recognition for skiers and organisers.

The award was announced and made public alp-wide in autumn 2010. The evaluation of the applications specially considers the scope of the environmental management, the  consideration of climate change, a long-term strategy of continuation of environmental performances as well as the transparent presentation of the results for the public.

DECISION OF THE JURY

From the five skiing areas nominated two were specially highlighted to receive the award.

The two resorts are

-          The skiing area “Kitzsteinhorn” in Austria

-          The skiing area “Schnalstal” in Italy

Both skiing areas could convince with long term concepts, implemented measures, and clear responsibilities for an improvement of environmental compatibility as well as a high transparency with regard to the public. Nevertheless there were critical aspects mentioned e.g. regarding traffic and energy. The decision to award a prize to two glacial areas, led to a fundamental examination of the topic of glacier ski resorts; a possible signal effect from the award is intended

For that reason the jury decided to appreciate the achievements of both skiing areas with an amount of € 15.000,- in each case. Furthermore an interdisciplinary conference will be organized, which deals with special tasks linked to the glacier ski resorts in the future. The aim is to guide the public interest to this topic and contribute to a well-balanced discussion. The Jury highlights the contribution of glacier areas to the actual offers in the Alps. Therefore they will have to contribute to a sustainable operation also in the future.

In appreciation of their efforts three more skiing areas were honoured for their innovative concepts by the jury:

  • The ski resort of “Hauser Kaibling” (Austria) for a sustainable maintenance in summer with sheep grazing,
  • The ski resort of “See” (Austria) for energy generation in combination with the snow cannons/production of artificial snow and
  • The ski resort of “Serfaus” (Austria) for innovative traffic concepts and energyefficient building technology.

APPRECIATION OF THE AWARDEES

A. Kitzsteinhorn (A)

The skiing area Kitzsteinhorn is one of the large glacier areas in the Alps. It is situated at an altitude of 2.000 to 3.000 m. The glacier cable cars Kaprun AG implemented an integrated management system in an exemplary way following an external examination. Since 2007 they are certified by ISO 14001 as one of the first ropeway companies in Austria. Through the implementation of an environmental management system the ropeway association commits itself to a regular external examination and a constant improvement of the defined environmental objectives.

The jury emphasizes the support by qualified experts such as the Ökologie Institut Salzburg, who support the Kitzsteinhorn in greening of high altitudes und sustainable slope preparation/construction. Furthermore the cooperation with the House of Nature, Salzburg and the National Park Hohe Tauern was appreciated. Both supply and waste disposal are also solved in an exemplary manner. The measures/objectives of the environmental program are made visible for skiers on the web site.

Measurable improvements are suggested in the field of traffic and renewable energies additional to the first attempts undertaken for a renewable energy production. In this field other regions which are more advanced – in the jury’s opinion – could serve as inspiration.

Regarding the consideration of climate change, which was required within the application documents, the Kitzsteinhorn can refer to scientific cooperation. The projects “permalp” and “G01 Morexpert” observe dangerous rock walls. Both deal with the decline of glacial ice and permafrost. In this context the jury appreciated the abandonment of summer skiing as necessary adaptation measure and highlights the function of glacier areas at the border seasons. Improvements are suggested regarding the long-term consequences of glacier retreat, as the Kitzsteinhorn glacier is supposed to vanish completely within the 21.st century. 

The introduction of attractive summer offers based on the pure “snow-experience”, apart from skiing, are highlighted by the jury, as well as the professional environmental management. So is the greening of the slopes and conservation in cooperation with the national park and research institutions. These aspects especially merit the award under consideration of the international jury.

B. Schnalstal (I)

The Schnalstaler glacier ropeways are – similar to Kitzsteinhorn – one of the big glacier areas. The skiing area is situated at an altitude of 2000 up to 3250m. The area is characterized by an integrated environmental management system, which is regularly certified by external judgement. Results and improvements of the EMAS process are visible on the company’s homepage and transparent for the sportive guests.

All measures regarding environment, landscape conservation and care are communicated in an understandable way, responsibilities are clearly set. The environmental program is updated at an annual basis. The protection of the glacier areas is enhanced by a sound sewage system.

The jury recommends improvements regarding traffic planning, as the current traffic connections to Kurzras do not allow efficient arrival by public transport. Traffic should be kept out of the sensitive valley areas at higher altitude. The started initiatives at local level need a combination with a regional concept in order to be more efficient. Furthermore the jury encourages the use of renewable energies, a process which was already started. 

Regarding the consideration of climate change concepts and alternative scenarios are available, which need to be extended though. The jury strongly recommends to stop summer skiing and in contrary strengthen the border seasons (prolonging of the skiing season or even better the earlier start as a “teaser”). With regards to the climate sensitive skier this would correspond to a pro-active behaviour and signalize necessary changes in perception of climate adaptation and preventative planning. In parallel efforts to preserve the glacier are favoured, this is particularly important as changing conditions lead to variations in the relief which again might hinder the skiing capability of the area.Furthermore the jury would favour an enhanced cooperation of Kurzras and Schnalstal Gletscherbahnen with the entire destination “Schnalstal”. Altogether this cable car also merits the award in the opinion of the international expert jury because of its certified environmental management, the transparent public relations work and the varied objectives and measures of the environmental programme. 

 

AWARDEES 2009 

  •  

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    Prize Ceremony, Evian March 09, Awardees Skilifte Lech (A) and Pelvoux/ Les Écrins (F)

     

    After extensive discussion the jury decided not to select one prize winner, but to announce two second prizes, since the presented documents of both territories could not convince in all points. Nevertheless the jury wants to encourage the two enterprises to continue the on-going process towards a transparent and sustainable development.

    Both enterprises have taken an active approach examining the potential area of conflict between “Ski-sports” and “Environment”. The award should encourage the skiing sector to proceed with the action of auditing and with a critical reflection on climate change and its consequences.

    By awarding two second prizes the jury expresses their vision for further improvements in both areas.

    The selection also shows that the size of the areas and their status within the Alpine winter destinations does not play a significant role for the election.

     

    A second prize consisting of € 20.000,- each was awarded to

     

     

    -          Pelvoux/ Les Écrins (France)

     

    -          Skilifte Lech/ a. Arlberg (Austria)

     

     

    Laureates 2006

    were the three „Pilot-areas “

     

     

    • Adelboden (CH),

     

    • Schladming (A) and
    • Oberstdorf (D).

    The award ceremony took place on 9 November 2006, at the meeting of the Alpine Convention in Alpbach (A) led by the Austrian Minister of the Environment, DI Josef Pröll, and was the occasion, to present the award "pro natura – pro ski" to the public.

    With this first award, the pioneering performance and courage to innovation in the field of environmental protection should be honoured.

    •  

    In the context of the XI Alpine Conference in Slovenia the foundation pro natura pro ski awards – for the second time after 2009 – an appreciation prize for skiing areas which consequently seek to improve their environmental standards. After a preliminary examination of the applications received by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, five skiing areas were nominated. The decision about the awarding of the prize and the money was made by an interdisciplinary represented jury of experts with members from all Alpine countries. In the selection of the invited experts an emphasis was put on ensuring an assessment of various partial aspects, from meteorology and climatology, via tourism and ropeway industry, engineering biology, to ski area management and spatial planning.

    The award should encourage ski area operators to implement an environmental audit as well as innovations in the field of precautionary environmental and landscape planning. Enterprises are selected by the jury, which have decided to regard the concerns of nature, landscape and environment at a long-term strategy and demonstrate their aims in front of the skiers in a recognisable way. The award shall serve as a trendsetting recognition for skiers and organisers.

    The award was announced and made public alp-wide in autumn 2010. The evaluation of the applications specially considers the scope of the environmental management, the consideration of climate change, a long-term strategy of continuation of environmental performances as well as the transparent presentation of the results for the public.

     

     

     

    The decision to award a prize to two glacial areas, led to a fundamental examination of the topic of glacier ski resorts; a possible signal effect from the award is intended. For that reason the jury decided to appreciate the achievements of both skiing areas with an amount of € 15.000,- in each case. Furthermore an interdisciplinary conference will be organized, which deals with special tasks linked to the glacier ski resorts in the future. The aim is to guide the public interest to this topic and contribute to a well-balanced discussion. The Jury highlights the contribution of glacier areas to the actual offers in the Alps. Therefore they will have to contribute to a sustainable operation also in the future.

Both skiing areas could convince with long term concepts, implemented measures, and clear responsibilities for an improvement of environmental compatibility as well as a high transparency with regard to the public. Nevertheless there were critical aspects mentioned e.g. regarding traffic and energy.

 

From the five skiing areas nominated two were specially highlighted to receive the award.

Topical

Conference September 2015

More information will be announced soon!

bergumwelt.boku.ac.at

Former activities:

Conference September 2014
Alpbach/Tyrol

bergumwelt.boku.ac.at

Conference on glaciers - "topless in the future-? glacier areas in times of change"

Salzburg, September 28th, 2011

for further information please see

conference will be held in german with presentations available in english!

AWARD 2011 -Announcement of the winners -  on march 9th 2011!

at the XI. Alpine Conference in SLO

March 7-9.th 2011, at Brdo pri Kranju/Slovenia

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