Carinthia Cable Cars: Guidelines For Sustainability

For decades, the Carinthian cable car industry has been using eco-energy and working on energy efficiency. Now the path to sustainable winter tourism is to be pursued even more strategically. The basis for this is a guideline that shows the status quo, opportunities and potential in the areas of energy, biodiversity and mobility.

100 percent green electricity. 20 percent savings in energy consumption over the past ten years. Economical use of resources and modern snow management. The Carinthian cable car industry can already show a lot in terms of sustainability. But it shouldn't stop there. “We are already at a good level, but we want to get even better,” says Manuel Kapeller-Hopfgartner, chairman of the Carinthia Cable Cars specialist group. Cableway companies from all over the country have embarked on a year-long guided process on how things should continue to be sustainable and have jointly developed a “Guideline for Sustainability” of almost 100 pages. The working paper was prepared under the direction of Gerald Hackl from Trigon Development Consulting and Jürgen Petutschnig from the Environmental Office. The focus was on the three key areas of energy, biodiversity and mobility. “The result is comprehensive and will serve the industry as a working paper for further developments and investments in the future. In order for us to be able to implement these accordingly, the appropriate course needs to be set by politicians," emphasizes the industry spokesman.

Going a sustainable path together

Chamber of Commerce President Jürgen Mandl and State Councilor Sebastian Schuschnig have joined forces for this. “The cable cars are important partners for sustainable and energy self-sufficient winter tourism. We want to shape the future now and cannot wait forever for approval or implementation,” said President Mandl. Schuschnig described the guideline for the cable car industry as the right step, the implementation of which he will now support: "The cable cars are not only an extremely important factor for Carinthian winter tourism and a value-added multiplier. With the new guide, they also show that they are willing to invest in energy independence as a pioneer.” Schuschnig is convinced that the Carinthian cable car industry has taken the right path, and wants to jointly promote the implementation of flagship projects "We must accelerate the expansion of renewable energy in all forms. Electricity must be produced and consumed more locally without causing an immense additional load on the grids. Especially in areas where other infrastructure already exists, more must be possible when expanding renewables.”

Ideas for sustainability are waiting to be implemented

Gerald Hackl from the Trigon development consultancy hopes that the guidelines for sustainability will be a boost for the cable car industry. The various best practice examples provide inspiration for this. “We know that, for example, two thirds of the CO2 emissions on a winter holiday are caused by traveling to and from the ski area. Only a third is generated directly by the cable cars. A strong lever can be set here with mobility solutions, but the cable cars will not be able to solve the issue alone," says Jürgen Petutschnig from the environmental office. In other areas, the implementation of sustainable measures is easier: Biodiversity could be promoted more, for example, by using the ski slopes for hay or seed production.

In the energy sector, even more possibilities could be exploited with the appropriate framework conditions: Energy peaks can be cushioned by generating your own electricity, technical snow-making can be optimized through the design of the slopes and weather monitoring, buildings and open spaces can be used to generate renewable energies. Even with existing reservoirs, generating electricity would be feasible. “Wind energy has great potential. Because we mustn't forget that the appropriate infrastructure already exists around the cable car," explains Petutschnig. Kapeller-Hopfgartner on this: “The willingness among the cable car companies to continue working on the implementation of sustainable measures is great. We want to make Carinthia a figurehead for sustainable winter tourism.”


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