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Winter X Games Shrink Carbon Footprint

The Winter X Games in Aspen produces a big carbon footprint, the Aspen Times reports, but Aspen Skiing Company (Skico), which produces the games that ended Sunday, is taking measures to make the annual event more sustainable.

Skico vice president of sustainability Auden Schendler tells the newspaper that the company doesn’t have specific data on the X Games’ carbon footprint but says it is “a big impact.”

Snowmaking is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter. Schendler estimates this accounts for 5 percent of Skico’s overall annual GHG emissions. But by replacing older snowmaking guns with more efficient models, Skico is shrinking the event’s carbon footprint, the paper reports.

The old guns are more energy-intensive, operating at 96 kw. The newer ones use 4 kw. The company’s four ski areas have about 200 snow guns; about 95 percent of them have been replaced with high-efficiency models and the other 5 percent are rarely used, Skico officials say.

Skico also lobbies for federal GHG emissions regulations. It was among the 20 major companies that, one year after Superstorm Sandy, called on President Obama and the White House to follow through on climate change preparedness efforts outlined in the president’s Climate Action Plan.

The other winter games, which begin next month, are also taking steps to mitigate their carbon footprint. Sochi 2014 will be the first Olympic Games to offset 100 percent of the estimated travel footprint associated with spectators and media, amounting to 160,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, according to Olympic partner Dow Chemical, which is implementing energy efficient and low-carbon technologies to mitigate the event’s carbon footprint.



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