Sustainability is lived in St. Anton am Arlberg
Take a vacation where nature is still in order. Breathe clear mountain air and forget everyday life. In summer, roam through a picture book landscape with green alpine pastures, lush flower meadows and babbling mountain streams. In winter, explore the extensive ski area and let the majestic scenery take its toll on your senses.
Anyone holidaying in St. Anton am Arlberg is immersed in a nature that is as unique as it is intact. Ecological measures and projects, ranging from alternative energy generation to sensible waste disposal, and exemplary slope maintenance are only part of St. Anton am Arlberg's environmental commitment.
Chemical-free artificial snow
The mountain lifts and the community of St. Anton am Arlberg have been pulling together for years to further enhance their reputation as an environmentally friendly ski and vacation resort. As our Director of Tourism, Martin Ebster, put it ‘We are doing everything to protect and preserve this heritage’. A total of 88 percent of the slopes in St. Anton am Arlberg are snow-covered. The snow that is blown onto the slopes here is cleaner than natural snow. The crystals consist only of water, which has been treated to drinking water quality, and air. These strict regulations, which allow no additional chemicals whatsoever, apply to the whole of Tirol. And when the melt water from the artificial snow flows into the streams and rivers in spring, it is returned to nature. The stream water, in turn, supports the energy production in the valley, which can be used for snow-making systems in the coming winter – a continuously environmentally friendly cycle.
The Kartellsee – our own Arlberg stream makes St. Anton am Arlberg self-sufficient in energy
An important and unique project in the world of ski resorts is the independent power supply. In 2005, the Kartell power plant was expanded and the Kartell lake put into operation. This reservoir, which is also a tourist attraction, holds around eight million cubic meters of water and supplies around 33 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The entire storage volume of the Kartellsee is used again by the existing Rosanna power plant. This means that St. Anton am Arlberg has been self-sufficient in electricity supply since 2006.
St. Anton am Arlberg also operates a biomass heating plant with wood chips, which is designed for up to 80 residential units. And in addition, a solar system is operated in the biomass heating plant for hot water preparation.
Waste separation – a clear case
Strict waste separation has long been a matter of course in St. Anton am Arlberg. Even the old cooking fat is collected separately, which is then, for instance, used to produce biodiesel for vehicles. So it’s not surprising that all mountain restaurants in St. Anton am Arlberg have been awarded the Austrian environmental seal of approval. This certification includes requirements for waste water disposal, and waste separation, and also the proper use of cleaning agents.
Environmentally conscious infrastructure
Last but not least, St. Anton am Arlberg’s excellent connection to the international rail network is a significant contribution to environmental protection. ‘Anyone who spends their vacations with us can safely leave their car at home’, says tourism director Martin Ebster, and he also points out that ‘the train station is very centrally located, from where the hotels and accommodations can be reached quickly’. In the Service Center, the tourist office is available directly at the station to advise guests and sell tickets.
The valley stations of the mountain ski lifts are centrally located in the village, as are stores and restaurants. In addition, hiking, ski and village buses run regularly between the St. Anton districts as far as Flirsch, and throughout the entire vacation region, so holidaymakers can reach their destinations without any problems. ‘The reduction of individual traffic and the car-free local centre are also an enormous plus in quality of life, says Martin Ebster. For him, all environmental and nature conservation measures are an investment in the future, ‘It is one of our principles that the gift of nature is to be protected, and that we think about tomorrow or future generations when we make our decisions’.