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Tignes: green factor

ISO14001 approved:No

Is the resort ISO14001 approved?

ISO 14001 is a worldwide standard of environmental management for any organisation, created in 1996. Ski resorts on at least four continents are known to be working towards obtaining ISO 14001 certification or to have already achieved it. ISO 14001 is an environmental management system applying to those environmental issues which a ski resort business, or any company, has some control over and can be expected to influence if they want to.

The ISO 14001 standard helps any organisation to implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system; assure itself of its conformance with its own stated environmental policy and to demonstrate that it is conforming with those standards and any other environmental laws and regulations.


Does the resort recycle?

Resorts increasingly offer recycling facilities to guests, either within their accommodation and/or at special recycling points, which are hopefully convenient.

As always there's a range of how far individual resorts go. Some go as far as looking to use waste to run their communal heating systems and others make targets to recycle 100% of all waste.

Green power user:Yes

Is the resort a green power user?

'Green' power (eco-friendly) typically means wind generated or other naturally produced energy such as solar cells. On the other hand, some fuel sources like bio diesel are less polluting than conventional fuels so could be considered a step in the right direction, if not the perfect answer.

Of course there is a great variation in how much (or how little!) a resort can do, from running a few snowmobiles on bio-diesel to having the entire resort operating on wind power or other renewable energies.

Traffic reduction:Yes

Does the resort have a traffic reduction policy?

Traffic reduction can take many forms. Several Swiss resorts and a few in other countries have banned cars altogether for decades. Some have never had cars on their streets.

Other approaches include pedestrianised centres and out-of-centre car parking with resort centre access only on foot or by public transport - hopefully, electrically powered buses. These, along with expensive and/or severely restricted resort centre parking, and an efficient free and cheap bus service, all help to reduce traffic problems and thus cut emissions.

Sewage properly managed:Yes

Does the resort have a waste reduction policy?

The influx of winter guests to ski areas tends to bring an influx of, what's politely termed 'waste water', to the mountains as thousands of guests use the toilets on the mountain and bathroom in their accommodation.

The most environmentally forward thinking ski areas are using techniques such as composting to reduce waste from mountain restaurants. In some areas purified wastewater is also being used for snowmaking, on the one hand an eco friendly measure as it recycles, on the other it might be argued that if water is needed for snowmaking in an area of marginal precipitation, their shouldn't be a ski area there.

Climate policy:No

Does the resort have a climate policy?

If a ski resort has a climate policy it means that the 'great and the good' in the resort have got together to work out a strategy to minimise the resort's impact on climate change and global warming. This can include many different initiatives such as recycling, communal heating, ensuring new buildings cause minimal environmental impact and so on. Most important is the ethos of the community to take the potential environmental impact of all resort aspects of life into consideration now and in the future.

Green building policy:No

Does the resort have a green building policy?

Ski resorts are increasingly looking at minimising the environmental impact of their construction projects, as well as the impact of newly erected buildings and other infrastructure.

Having a green building policy means resorts put environmental concerns at the top of the list when working on new projects. This can include a myriad of things from using helicopters to reduce the damage to surrounding land when building in sensitive areas, to using natural, local materials for building and looking for maximum insulation and minimum power requirements, ideally supplied in as eco-friendly a way as possible.

Major Initiatives

eco attitude

Tignes reports that it is first and foremost a natural site.
In 1952, when the resort development pioneers “arrived” at 2,100m to create the Tignes that we know

today, they had already adopted an environmental policy: the architectural plan was always to build around the lake rather than expanding over the whole valley.

In 1963, Tignes was once again confronted with environmental issues with the creation of the Vanoise National Park, the “natural sanctuary” to which 40% of Tignes’ surface area belongs.

In 2008, Tignes invested more than ever and committed to a long-term programme of environmental actions.

Power Usage Reduction

The resort is undertaking an energy efficiency audit with three aims:
- To measure the energy efficiency of some of the main buildings that make up Tignes (apartment blocks, public buildings etc.)

- To carry out an audit of the renewable fuels that could potentially be used in Tignes (wind, solar, cogeneration, hydro-electric etc.)

- To carry out an audit to improve the public transport network in Tignes (routes, methods of transport, management etc.)

Traffic Impact Reduction

Tignes works closely with the automobile manufacturer Subaru which provides the resort with cars that run on LPG fuel.

The vehicles used to maintain the pistes are also well looked after: the snowploughs and specialist vehicles in use on the Grande Motte glacier run on biodiesel.

A sizable chunk of the resort's roads have been placed underground, where there are also 2,600 underground car parking places as the resort takes huge steps to both improve the environment and to offer increased quality to the ski holiday experience.

Free shuttle busses operate 24 hours a day in a further bid to decrease car usage once in resort.

The resort claims that it has achieved a major shift in balance returning Tignes to pedestrians, skiers and nature. The place des Drapeaux, once a congested junction, is now once again a field of snow.

Tignes rides high

For several years now, the “Société des Téléphériques de la Grande Motte or STGM” (The Grande Motte Cable Car Company) has invested between 5 and 7 million Euros each summer in the refurbishment of its ski lifts.

Each year, detachable chairlifts replace old lifts. One new chairlift often replaces two in the same location resulting in a faster flow of skiers and less noise and visual pollution. 100 pylons have been removed during the last 10 years.

The Tufs chairlift which provides access to the heart of the resort on the Tovière mountain was the latest replaced for winter 2008-9 by a detachable six-man chairlift, with an accelerated flow of 2,400 people per hour, and only 15 pylons instead of 22!


Due to 53% of its foreign clientele having been aware of environmental issues for a long time. Tignes has been recycling its waste for 9 years. 240 recycling bins are available within the resort. The sorting instructions are also printed in English.

Clean Up Day

For eight years now, Tignes has organised special environmental days in August. They provide a chance to really clean up the glacier and other areas.


Each summer, the resort encourages the revegetation of natural zones that have been eroded or damaged by people, the weight of the snow or rain. Mountain paths are also diverted so that the grass can grow back naturally.

Organic accessories

Hip, practical and recyclable, Tignes has created its very own re-usable shopping bag. For shopping, transporting your ski or swimming things, the eco attitude is evident throughout the resort. It is this season’s “must have” accessory. This is the latest item to cause a stir on the pistes and chairlifts. If you still smoke, you’ve got to have one: the new pocket ashtray. in Tignes’ colours! Everything is moving towards the environment.

Since resorts are continuously increasing and improving their environmental practices, we update the Green Resort Guide throughout the year. If you have any information about new resort environmental policies/practices or anything that you think we may have missed, please email

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ski accommodation in Tignes

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