Middlebury to Go Beyond Green, to Carbon Neutral
SAM Magazine-Middlebury, Vt., Nov. 8, 2006-Middlebury College Snow Bowl is raising the bar on carbon dioxide offsets. According to Middlebury College assistant treasurer and director of business services Tom Corbin, "The Middlebury College Snow Bowl may well be the first ski area to take carbon neutrality to this level by offsetting electric, gas, propane, diesel and biodiesel usage, as well as skier transportation to and from the ski area."
To achieve carbon neutrality, the college has purchased carbon offsets for the ski area's 2006-2007 operations in the amount of $7,138 to compensate for a total of 679.9 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The college bought the offsets from Charlotte-based NativeEnergy, a privately held renewable energy company that helps reduce CO2 emissions by funding Native American owned and operated wind turbine farms and family-owned farm methane projects.
Also working with NativeEnergy, the Middlebury alpine and nordic ski teams have become carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets to compensate for the teams' CO2 emissions related to everything from travel to the electricity used to power the coaches' offices.
The project was initially the idea of a group of students in an environmental economics class at Middlebury College in the spring semester of 2006. The course examined the need for economic reasoning and environmental analysis in the design of environmental policies.
"Since its first trails were cut in 1934, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl has been an integral part of Middlebury College," said Snow Bowl manager Peter Mackey. "The Snow Bowl is home to our ski teams, and continues to attract students, faculty and staff skiers, as well as the greater Vermont community. The Snow Bowl management, supported by the college's administration, has taken the lead in becoming a carbon neutral ski facility. We hope our actions will encourage others to do the same." Mackey emphasized that none of the costs involved in achieving carbon neutrality at the Snow Bowl will be passed on to its customers.