With mountain experiences, a pristine landscape counts for everything. In creating pistes and trails and servicing our funiculars and cableways, we must always treat our environment with respect. Find out about the eco-friendly measures we take to deal responsibly with our most precious resource.
With its flower-filled alpine meadows, fragrant forests and impressive rock formations, the Corviglia is one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes of the Engadin. As a venue for all kinds of holiday experiences, it promises visitors not just action and adventure but also superb service – thanks to the reliable funiculars and cable cars, for example, and the snowsure pistes. How do we carry out the necessary jobs in nature gently enough to protect our magnificent flora and fauna? Here are a few pioneering measures we have taken:
It’s a world first: an alpine holiday destination implementing a virtually revolutionary master plan that consistently promotes the use of renewable energy. The “Clean Energy” project targets the gradual replacement of fossil fuels (heating oil, petrol and diesel) and conventional electricity with locally sourced renewable energy – such as hydropower, solar energy, geothermal and biomass energy. As a result of St. Moritz’s commitment to energy efficiency and the environment, the municipality became the 101st in Switzerland to be awarded the “Energiestadt” (“Energy town”) label.
Over time, green energy has become a key player up on the mountain. The 164 solar panels that line the track of the Corviglia funicular, for example, produce enough energy for one-sixth of all ascents; the base and summit stations on the Piz Nair are also clad with solar panels. High up, a wind turbine generates electricity at an altitude of 2,666 m, while at the foot of the mountain, Switzerland’s oldest hydroelectric power station produces electricity using water from the lake.
“PistenBully 600 E+” is the impressive-sounding name of the world’s first snow grooming machine with a diesel-electric drive. This powerful, energy-efficient equipment saw action for the first time worldwide in 2012 thanks to Engadin St. Moritz Mountains. It delivers a clear reduction in emissions and offers big fuel savings: a winner all round.
Already 20 years ago, Engadin St. Moritz Mountains took on a pioneering role in terms of sustainability when the hydraulics of all piste-grooming machines were switched to biodegradable oil. Diesel was replaced by a low-sulphur variant and already in 2006, Engadin St. Moritz Mountains equipped its large piste-grooming machines with diesel particulate filters.
Even when winter arrives a little late for the start of the season, snow sports enthusiasts from all over the world need not worry: many of the pistes on the Corviglia are guaranteed to open. This is thanks to our cutting-edge snowmaking facilities, for which organic compressor oil is used: a world first! Of course we also avoid using any additives that might help the crystallisation process, nor is any water consumed through operating the machinery. The water that is transformed into ice crystals trickles away again in spring after the snowmelt, and so remains in the natural water cycle.
The snowmaking facilities are more eco-friendly still thanks to the Lej Alv, a natural reservoir at an altitude of about 2,500 m which holds about 4,500,000 cubic metres of water. By using water from the reservoir instead of pumping it up from the valley, the snowmaking system saves a great deal of energy.