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Environmental Awards

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Environmental Awards
at Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

Through our many environmental initiatives, Smugglers' is the proud recipient of these awards:

Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence - Green Up Program (2015)
The Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence were launched by the Vermont Ski Areas Association (VSAA) in 2013, with judging by representatives of VSAA, Efficiency Vermont and Green Up Vermont. In 2015, Smugglers' again was recognized for its longstanding Green Up Day efforts.

Smugglers' holds its own Green Up Day just prior to Vermont's official effort in early May, which gives employees the opportunity to participate in their hometown's program in addition to greening up at work. Employee clean-up teams organize and fan out over the resort property, with coverage of the upper mountain parking lots in addition to the Village and Base Lodge areas. Typically 2 to 3 one-ton truckloads of trash are collected during this yearly effort, which has been in place for at least 12 years.

Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence - Green Up Program (2013)

The Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence were launched by the Vermont Ski Areas Association (VSAA) in 2013, with judging by representatives of VSAA, Efficiency Vermont and Green Up Vermont. In 2013, Smugglers' was recognized for its longstanding Green Up Day efforts (please see description under the 2015 award).

The Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention (2006-2007)

Smugglers' receives recognition for carbon footprint reduction

In April 2008 Smugglers’ received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention for the Resort’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In these annual awards, the Vermont governor recognizes businesses, non-profits and individuals whose efforts have shown a level of commitment to and leadership in waste reduction and pollution prevention, incorporating health and safety benefits, innovative approaches and economic efficiency. Smugglers’ was previously recognized in 1998 and 2003.

Smugglers’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint include the following programs:

  • Energy efficient construction: Building 5-star energy rated homes since 1996 has prevented the generation of 131 tons of carbon dioxide. Our recently completed Tamaracks building in the North Hill neighborhood incorporates the use of solar panels for hot water; this technology is expected to eliminate approximately six tons of carbon dioxide annually. The building also uses setback thermostats for maximum efficiency.

  • Snowmaking: For Winter 2006-2007, Smugglers’ installed an electric compressor for snowmaking that took the place of three leased diesel compressors. Last year alone snowmaking had a net reduction of 390 tons of carbon dioxide.

  • Utility and shuttle vehicles: In the Summer, our village service and maintenance departments park a portion of their vehicle fleet and travel around the Resort in utility carts. This reduces the amount of carbon dioxide their regular vehicles would emit by 41 tons. Biodiesel (B20) is used in our off-road equipment such as tractors and lawn equipment.

  • No idling policy: This policy was initiated in 2007 to eliminate fumes from stationary vehicles.

Research is ongoing into the feasibility of solar applications as well as wind and co-generation opportunities with the Vermont Electric Cooperative, our electricity supplier.

Vermont Business Environmental Leader (2006)
Smugglers' Receives Recognition for Environmental Efforts

Smugglers' is very proud to be the first resort in Vermont to receive the designation of Environmental Leader, and the second business overall in the state. This recognition was awarded by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Small Business Development Center, recognizing Smugglers' continuing efforts as part of the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership program.

The Environmental Leader designation recognizes an exemplary environmental management program focused on compliance and minimization of environmental impacts.

"Smugglers' Notch Resort, a four season family resort, was chosen because it has methodically examined its operations to identify its environmental impacts, and then developed initiatives to minimize those impacts," said Chad Cliburn, of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

For example, Smugglers' Notch Resort has introduced the Ski Cool program to offer skiing guests a climate neutral ski experience. To further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Resort is enforcing a No Idling Policy for Resort vehicles and contractors; has begun to use biodiesel; builds all new residential condominiums since 1996 with a 5-star energy rating; and practices water conservation.

Smugglers' Notch Resort offers its guests opportunities to recycle with a 15% diversion rate. It also recycles and composts many of the solid wastes it generates. In 2004 the Resort was able to recycle 20 tons of sheetrock scrap from construction projects. In addition to recycling, the Resort closes the loop by intentionally purchasing items made from recycled material and recently adopted a policy that favors the purchase of environmentally preferable products like non-toxic, "green" cleaning supplies.

Smugglers' Notch Resort has reduced the amount of hazardous waste it creates, and has banned herbicide use. The Resort is also focused on ongoing tracking of both the Bicknell's thrush, a high altitude song bird, and the black bear, including identifying ways to protect and enhance their habitat during ski trail maintenance and in new construction.

The Resort seeks to raise the environmental awareness of guests and employees, and to broaden their knowledge and appreciation through educational programs along with its active and passive use of the land for year-round recreation. According to Bill Stritzler, owner and managing director of Smugglers' Notch Resort, "At Smugglers' Notch we believe that respect for the environment is more than just a business commitment, it should be a way of life for our employees and our guests."

The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership is a voluntary, environmental assistance and business recognition program that is open to any Vermont business that proactively incorporates sound environmental management practices into their operations.
Mountain Sports Media's
Ski Magazine Silver Eagle Award (2003)

Excellence in Water Conservation

Conservation of our water resources at Smugglers' Notch Resort ranks high on our list of environmental priorities for a number of reasons. Daily operations at the Resort rely heavily on water resources; therefore, we try to limit usage so that we do not impose any adverse impacts on the surrounding environment. Water conservation also has an added component of energy conservation, which is apparent in the low-flow appliances we use in our commercial and residential buildings. These appliances use less energy annually than other appliances that have been used in the past. Our snowmaking infrastructure has been designed to relieve stresses on aquatic biota during the Winter months when there is less water in the streams.

Vermont EnergyStar Homes "Best of the Best" Award (2002)
First Place for multi-family homes

On February 14, 2002 Smugglers' Notch Resort received the "Best of the Best" award for multi-family construction at the Building Solutions Annual conference held at the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, VT. The award highlights a building that is an exceptional example of quality design, construction, and energy efficiency.

Smugglers' new Falcons building incorporates eighteen two and three bedroom condominiums with an exercise facility and outdoor hot tub. This building was chosen for the award because it represents the durability and value that an energy efficient design can yield when executed with quality construction.

This award is presented by Efficiency Vermont, Vermont's own energy efficiency utility. Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help Vermonters save energy, reduce energy costs, and protect the environment. It is operated by an independent, non-profit organization under contract to the Public Service Board.

"We are constantly trying to improve our energy effectiveness by exceeding industry standards," said Mark Delaney, Vice President of Corporate Development. "We have been working closely with Efficiency Vermont for over six years to achieve the Vermont Energy Five Star Rating on all new homes constructed on site." Smugglers' Notch Resort currently has over one hundred Energy Five Star homes. Environmentally friendly features of the Falcons include: energy efficient fluorescent lighting, LED exit lights, high efficiency HVAC plants, water conservation fixtures, high insulation values, appliances that save up to 35% on operation costs, water conservation appliances such as front-loading clothes washers that save as much as 50% on water consumption, and the highest rated sound attenuation possibilities.

The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership (2001)
Designation highlights Resort's sound environmental practices

The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership is a voluntary, environmental assistance and business recognition program offered by the Environmental Assistance Division of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the Vermont Small Business Development Center. The Partnership joins efforts of the public and private sectors to achieve environmental and economic goals simultaneously. The goals of the Partnership are to achieve greater environmental and economic performance and to promote public recognition of environmental excellence.

The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership allows participants to be recognized as an Environmental Partner when they achieve a set of core environmental standards and a total of six elective standards.

"Environmentally sound practices have been a priority at Smugglers' for many years," commented Bill Stritzler, the Resort's owner and managing director. "Our environmental policy statement, which is printed on our ski and hiking trail maps, outlines the Resort's commitment to serving as a responsible steward of Vermont's natural resources."

Some of the programs undertaken by Smugglers' include composting of pre-consumer food waste and yard waste, diversion of 10-12 percent of new construction scrap to a reuse outlet, and recycling of sheetrock scrap, vehicle tires, and obsolete computers. In Fall 1999, the Resort began using the Living Machine, a greenhouse system that employs plants to purify wastewater. Herbicides are banned and organic fertilizer is used on all gardens and flowerbeds in the Resort.

Smugglers' utilizes energy efficient construction materials and practices in all of its new construction. The Resort has repeatedly received a "5 Star" energy efficiency rating from the Vermont Star Homes program. The Resort supports the National Ski Areas Association's (NSAA) Environmental Charter, which serves as a guide for sound environmental management for participating resorts. On February 24, NSAA will kick off its Sustainable Slopes campaign to increase public awareness of environmental issues. The campaign encourages Winter sports enthusiasts to take responsibility for the environment by disposing of waste, respecting wildlife, ridesharing, and participating in environmental programs.

Vermont Ski Areas Association
Environmental Resort of the Month (November 2001)

Each month, Ski Vermont highlights environmental initiatives from resorts throughout the state. Smugglers' was recognized in November 2001 for its habitat protection initiatives to help preserve black bears, as well as its preservation of wetlands and planting of native species in its landscaping.

The Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence
in Pollution Prevention (1998 & 2003)

The annual Vermont Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence recognizes innovative individuals, organizations, institutions, public agencies, businesses and industrial facilities whose efforts have contributed to the protection of Vermont's environment, the safety of its citizens, and the health of its economy.

Smugglers' Notch Resort has many on-going pollution prevention, environmental protection and resource conservation initiatives that include leasing state-of-the-art snowmaking air compressors in order to keep abreast of current emission control technologies, a construction scrap reuse program that is the first in the resort industry and a construction program that builds to Energy Rated Homes of Vermont 5 star specifications since 1996.

Smugglers' received the 1998 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence
for innovations such as:

  • Using the most efficient compressors for snowmaking available
  • Recycling construction scrap material (for example, 5.8 tons of sheet rock in 1998)
  • Building to Energy Rated Homes of Vermont Five Star specifications
  • Using bullhead catfish as part of the sewage treatment process.

Smugglers' received the 2003 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence
for innovations such as:

  • Using water conservation devices and appliances in all new construction
  • Conducting yearly water audits to ensure low flow fixtures are in place in all homes
  • Updating older model appliances with newer water saving models
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