Aspen Skiing Company has established an environmental consulting practice as part of its Environmental Affairs Department. The newly formed Aspen Sustainability Associates will assist other businesses, governments, and individuals in greening their operations, providing assistance in green development and building design, corporate climate change strategies, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, improving community communication, renewable energy procurement and generation, and a host of other environmental issues.Aspen, Colorado -December 10, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “What makes us unique is that we’ve done what we’re talking about,” said Auden Schendler, who will direct the consulting practice. “That differentiates us from many consulting firms, because we’ve hit every barrier and land mine in the book. We’re offering to help other businesses do what we’ve done, minus the pitfalls and obstacles.” Many of the programs Aspen Skiing Company offers are designed to save money, like the lighting retrofits and energy management program undertaken at the The Little Nell hotel. Others cost money but address major corporate environmental impacts, such as using renewable energy to offset fuel combustion or electricity use. The announcement comes at a time when mounting evidence on climate change suggests that the skiing industry, which is so dependent on stable weather patterns, is under increasing pressure from global pollution trends. “First, we’re not going to solve the world’s environmental problems alone; we need others on board,” said Aspen Skiing Company President and CEO Pat O’Donnell. “Second, from the volume of phone calls we get requesting advice; we simply don’t have the resources to provide it for free. And finally, we’ve developed a huge reserve of experience and credibility in the past few years.” Since creating the industry’s first Environmental Affairs Department in 1997, Aspen Skiing Company has established a track record of environmental innovation. The company established a green building policy. It constructed one LEED certified building and is working on a second. It promoted the use of biodiesel in snowcats, which was soon copied by half a dozen resorts nationally. Aspen Skiing Company boasts that it established the concept and practice of sustainability reporting in the ski industry, and created a foundation to support local environmental causes.