Pyhä responsibility programme

Our goal is to be the cleanest ski resort in the world

  • Zero Carbon Footprint

    Snow Fences Collect Snow

    Green Power

  • PYHÄ’S RECYCLING STATIONS

    Appropriate waste sorting can turn trash into an ingredient or energy source.

    Learn more about Pyhä’s recycling stations at the bottom of the page. We aim to improve our recycling operations on a constant basis. For the season of 2019-2020, we have expanded the collection stations of paperboard in the Ski-Inn accommodation, the hotel yard, the Lower Rental Shop and the maintenance building of the caravan area. Biowaste and plastic waste cannot currently be disposed of as separate categories of waste in Pyhä because there are no appropriate local waste collection services in Eastern Lapland. Nevertheless, we are constantly striving to improve the sorting of waste in our ski resort.

  • PYHÄ RUNS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY

    Operating the ski lifts, snowmaking, the illumination of the slopes or heating of properties do not generate greenhouse gas emissions.

    Learn more at the bottom of the page.

  • FUEL EMISSION OFFSETTING

    Pyhä Ski Resort offsets the CO2 emissions caused by the use of fuel in slope maintenance operations through the Nordic Offset service. By purchasing emission reductions through this service, a sum that corresponds with the carbon footprint of fuels will be delivered to Gold Standard certified renewable energy projects supported by the WWF. We use offsetting fuel emissions as a temporary solution until we are able to determine an emission-free alternative for fossil fuels that can be used in the cold conditions of the north.

    In 2018, the greenhouse gas emissions caused by Pyhätunturi Oy’s use of fossil fuels totalled 214 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

    The emission reductions purchased by Pyhätunturi Oy have a Gold Standard certification and based on the GS ID 3007 Sodo Community Managed Reforestation emission reduction project in Ethiopia. The funds provided by voluntary emission offsetting activities are used to plant new trees, conserve badly damaged forests and, consequently, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in a concrete manner by increasing the number of carbon sinks. The project also has an extensive impact on the education and employment of the people of the region.

    Learn more: http://www.nordicoffset.com/

Our goal is to be the cleanest ski resort in the world

Pyhä Ski Resort has been a pioneer of sustainable tourism since the 1990s, when we were one of the first Finnish companies in the tourist industry to participate in the pilot projects of sustainable tourism arranged by Matkailun edistämiskeskus, the predecessor of Visit Finland. We introduced our environmental programme together with our sister resort in Ruka in 2008. In 2019, we upgraded the environmental programme to a responsibility programme that includes social and economic aspects as well.

The goal of Pyhä Ski Resort is to be the cleanest ski resort in the world. Many aspects of the environment and operating methods of Pyhä Ski Resort support and make it imperative to achieve this goal. Pyhä as well as other regions of Lapland are proved to have the cleanest air in the world. The drinking water in the north is also known to be the cleanest in the world. Our location right next to the oldest national park in Finland has a central role in the natural and clean customer experience of Pyhä.

The master plan of Pyhä Ski Resort has been designed in cooperation with the Canadian Ecosign (ecological design) company. The basic philosophy behind Ecosign’s design involves a sustainable ratio between services and accommodations, car-free villages, ski-in/ski-out accommodation and the “hotbed” concept, according to which the apartments can be rented throughout the year.

Pyhä became the first ski resort to use renewable resources of energy in its energy consumption in 2011, which has helped us reduce the emissions caused by our energy consumption by approximately 80%. In addition, our Ski-Inn accommodation has been carbon neutral since 2008, and we offset the carbon emissions caused by our employees’ work-related travel, such as flights, on an annual basis.

There are several other matters that also support our goal to be the cleanest ski resort in the world. Collecting natural snow with snow fences is part of Pyhä’s snowmaking operations and it reduces the need for snow produced with snow cannons and improves the quality of our slopes. We were the first ski resort in Lapland to stop arranging fireworks displays, for which our customers have been grateful. We are also committed to comply with the EU’s Energy Efficiency Agreement by improving our energy efficiency by 7.5% between 2017 and 2025.

The general cleanliness of the fell is very important to us and we constantly improve our recycling operations as the local services are developed. Our intent to retain the domestic market as our most important market area is a key part of our responsibility and efforts to promote domestic tourism, which in turn has an impact on the environmental impact and cleanliness of our operations.

We are aware of the fact that we are not ready with our responsibility efforts and that we need to do our very best all the time to be the cleanest ski resort in the world. These pages contain more information about our responsibility efforts.

ABOUT OUR RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMME

Zero Carbon Footprint
Social responsibility
ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY
EASY GREEN ACTIONS ON HOLIDAY
Renewable electricity
STORING NATURAL SNOW WITH SNOW FENCES
PYHÄ’S RECYCLING STATIONS
SKI-INN ACCOMMODATION IS A RESPONSIBLE CHOICE
Protect Our Winters Finland
Sustainable Travel Finland

FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL SKI RESORT IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

Pyhä Ski Resort has managed to reduce the emissions caused by the energy consumption of its ski resort operations by approximately 80% by beginning to use electricity produced with renewable resources and a district heating system based on bio-heating solutions. Pyhä became the first carbon neutral ski resort in the Nordic Countries when it began offsetting the remaining carbon footprint caused by the use of fossil fuels in 2011.

PIONEER OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM:

  • Pyhä Ski Resort took part in the pilot projects of sustainable tourism arranged by Matkailun edistämiskeskus, the predecessor of Visit Finland, already in the 1990s.
  • In the early 2000s, the Master Plan of Pyhä was established in cooperation with the Canadian Ecosign Mountain Planners company, who are specialised in ecological ski resort design.
  • The cornerstones of the Pyhä Master Plan include a car-free of the village and the “hotbed” concept of Ski-Inn accommodation. The hotbed concept is applied in sites that are rented throughout the year. This reduces the ecological impact of constructing additional holiday apartments and their energy consumption.
  • The electricity consumed by both Pyhä Ski Resort and the Ski-Inn accommodation is produced with renewable and emission-free resources of energy and the district heating is provided by a plant that uses woodchips. Buildings equipped with an electric heating system use renewable energy resources and solutions that reduce the consumption of energy, such as air source heat pumps.
  • The snowmaking system of the slopes is automated, which reduces the amount of energy consumed by the snowmaking process significantly. The waste heat generated by compressors is used to heat buildings.
  • The need for producing snow with snow cannons is reduced through the use of snow fences that collect natural snow. Reducing the use of snow cannons saves a lot of energy and water.
  • The slope illumination system is also automated, which reduces the use of electricity and the need for snowmobiles. Energy efficient alternatives are preferred in the illumination of slopes and buildings whenever possible.
  • The 2-stroke snowmobiles previously used in slope maintenance operations have been replaced with 4-stroke snowmobiles, which has decreased the consumption of fuel by approximately 50%.
  • Pyhä joined the first phase of the EU Energy Efficiency Agreement in 2008 and, in 2017, prolonged the agreement until 2025.
  • We were the first ski resort in Lapland to stop arranging fireworks displays due to environmental reasons and to support the wellbeing of pets.

Social responsibility at Pyhä Ski Resort is based on complying with the applicable laws and regulations. The owners of Pyhä Ski Resort (Aho family) are committed to retaining the company under Finnish ownership and paying their taxes in Finland.

Pyhä Ski Resort is the largest provider of jobs in the municipality of Pelkosenniemi, which makes us a significant regional power. We want to be a fair and reliable partner and to promote honest cooperation in the Pyhä tourism region and nearby municipalities.

A key aspect in our social responsibility is to provide children and young people with the opportunity to practise skiing. We will give out free season passes to the children of Pelkosenniemi, Kemijärvi, Savuskoski and Sodankylä aged 10 from the 2019–2020 season onwards. Young people of different ages will be provided with a discount on the season passes. We also support local athletes to achieve their goals.

Supporting the local community through using locally provided and produces services and goods and hiring local people are important values to us. Developing year-round business opportunities and providing jobs throughout the year also help us achieve our social responsibility goals.

Our intent to keep the domestic market as our most important market area is a key part of the responsibility of Ruka and Pyhä and our efforts to promote domestic tourism.

We promote matters that support sustainable development. We welcome all renewable energy production projects that have a larger positive impact on the environment and local economics than their negative impact on the landscape is, including wind power farms, for example.

For us, social responsibility also means transparency in decision-making processes and reports and accepting and treating people equally. We do not accept any forms of racism and we support unconditional non-discrimination and gender equality. We promote equality by arranging international snowboarding and alpine skiing competitions and training camps for para-athletes, for instance.

The most important goal of Pyhä Ski Resort’s economic responsibility efforts is to do profitable business that allows for paying the personnel salary, making investments, improving competitiveness, increasing the number of year-round jobs and paying dividends to the shareholders.

By ensuring the profitability of our business, we are able to accomplish and comply with our environmental and social goals and obligations. On the other hand, sustainable development and anticipating and preparing for climate change are required in order to maintain financially sustainable business operations.

Securing the adequate amount of snow and the operability of ski lifts in strong winds are key objectives in terms of ensuring the profitability of our business. In our efforts to secure the adequate amount of snow, we have automated the snowmaking system and developed our snow fence system continuously.

In order to ensure the operability of ski lifts, we have acquired separate storm seats in the Pyhä Express lift that allow for keeping the lift operable even in exceptionally strong winds. The storm seats will be taken into use in the season of 2020–2021. The upper terminal of the Pyhä Express ski lift is designed to reduce impact of wind on the operability of the lift.

Pyhä Ski Resort is a second-generation family company. The owners (family Aho) are looking to retain the companies’ status as Finnish family companies and to transfer their ownership to the third generation in due course. The goal is to increase the value of the companies over a long period of time and various cyclical fluctuations in accordance with the following economic goals, for example:

  • Operating profit of more than 10%
  • Equity ratio of more than 50%
  • 75% of income is invested in the development of companies

TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION

We believe that environmental responsibility is a very important matter, and we hope you do too. Our Ski-Inn accommodation has been carbon neutral since 2008. Follow these tips to reduce the environmental impact of staying in our apartments.

BE SMART IN THE SAUNA

Do not overheat the sauna. Most saunas need to be heated for 40 minutes. This guarantees a pleasant time in the sauna and prevents unnecessary use of energy. Turn off the sauna stove immediately when you are done.

TAKE A SHOWER WISELY

Did you know that, in addition to consuming large amounts of water, spending a long time in the shower consumes a lot of energy, even more than going to the sauna? Spending five minutes in the shower already consumes about 50–60 litres of water.

ILLUMINATING AN EMPTY ROOM: WHO DOES IT SERVE?

Turn off the lights of rooms you are not spending time in and turn off all the lights when you go out.

WE RELY ON RESEARCHED DATA IN HEATING

Studies show that a temperature of 21–22 °C is optimal for the health and comfort of most people. It is also an ideal temperature from the perspective of energy consumption.

REMEMBER TO SORT YOUR WASTE ON HOLIDAY

Sorting your waste is one of the most important environmental actions you can perform on holiday. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found in the folder of the apartment.

ENJOY THE CLEANEST WATER IN THE WORLD!

You should not spend your money or squander natural resources to purchase bottled water at Pyhä, as the tap water in the north is the cleanest drinking water in the world and it is perfectly safe for consumption.

PYHÄ RUNS ON RENEWABLE RESOURCES OF ENERGY

Pyhä, along with its affiliate resort of Ruka, were the first ski resorts in Finland to use emission-free electricity in all their operations in 2008. Consequently, operating the ski lifts, snowmaking or the illumination of the slopes do not generate greenhouse gas emissions.

By using renewable resources of energy, the emissions of Pyhä Ski Resort have decreased so much that the unused amount of carbon dioxide is equal to the amount required to heat approximately 600 Finnish households for a year.

WHAT ARE SNOW FENCES?

Snow fences are a conventional method of collecting and spreading natural snow in new locations across fells. The snow drifting through the wind and accumulating behind wooden fences can be spread across the slopes in the same manner as snow produced with snow cannons. By using fences, the amount of snow in a certain area can be multiplied. There are a total of 4.2 kilometres of snow fences in Pyhä, and more fences are constructed every year.

SNOW FENCES IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF SLOPES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Snow fences were still very common in Finnish ski resorts in the 1970s, but they were slowly replaced by snowmaking systems. The tradition of snow fences has been followed at Pyhä, however, as the combination of natural snow collected with the fences and snow produced with snow cannons makes the slopes softer and more pleasant for skiers, thus improving the slope experience significantly. Snow collected with snow fences is a major factor behind the excellent condition of Pyhä’s slopes.

Using snow fences also reduces the need to apply snowmaking systems significantly. Approximately 60% of the energy consumption of slope maintenance operations on the Pyhä fell are due to snowmaking processes. Consequently, reducing the use of snow cannons by increasing the number of snow fences is a very important act for the environment in terms of energy and water consumption.

PYHÄ’S RECYCLING STATIONS

Pyhä wants to encourage recycling, as sorting waste appropriately can turn trash into an ingredient or energy source.

Biowaste or plastic waste cannot currently be sorted separately at Pyhä because there are no regional services that collect these categories of waste. Biowaste and plastic waste are disposed of as energy waste, which will be burned to produce energy. This is a significantly better alternative than taking biowaste to a landfill, which causes a significant amount of methane emissions. We are actively lobbying for biowaste and plastic waste sorting to be introduced in the Pyhä fell region.

SKI-INN ACCOMMODATION AND THE CARAVAN AREA

People staying in Pyhä’s Ski-Inn accommodation can sort metal, glass, cardboard and paper waste. Other types of waste are disposed of as energy waste, including biowaste, as there are no service providers that collect biowaste in Eastern Lapland. Metal, glass, paper, cardboard and energy waste can also be sorted at the maintenance building of the caravan area (Lower Rental Shop). Sorting stations for metal, glass, cardboard and energy waste can also be found on the hotel yard.

PYHÄ HAS PUBLIC RECYCLING STATIONS IN THREE LOCATIONS:

  • Commercial area parking lot (Next to K-Marketti): glass, metal, paper, cardboard, combustible waste
  • Crossroads of Sienimaa: glass, metal, combustible waste
  • Pyhäjärvi station (Next to Messupyhäntie): paper, glass, metal, combustible waste

BURNING WASTE TO CREATE ENERGY

Combustible waste collected at Pyhä is transported to an eco power plant in Laanila, Oulu, where the energy created by burning the waste is used to generate power and for district heating purposes. Burning waste decreases the environmental impact of landfills and allows for utilising the energy of the waste.

Almost all types of mixed waste can be disposed of as disposable waste, such as plastic packaging and dirty cardboard packaging items. Biowaste is also disposed of as combustible waste at Pyhä.

Detailed sorting instructions can be found in Pyhä’s recycling instructions. (Finnish)

Ski-Inn accommodation is the most environmentally friendly mode of ski resort accommodation in Finland, as they have been carbon neutral since 2008.

Renewable resources of energy are used to produce the electricity consumed at Pyhä, and our heating system is based on the use of woodchips. In addition, the apartments are within walking distance from the lifts and services, which makes it unnecessary to use a car.

All Ski-Inn apartments are equipped with waste sorting bins and instructions. The recycling stations are located right next to the apartments. People staying in Pyhä’s apartments can recycle glass, cardboard, paper and small metal items.

The Ski-Inn apartment ownership model is based on renting the holiday apartments owned by private persons throughout the year, making it an ecologically responsible alternative by eliminating the need to construct additional apartments that consume energy for renting operations.

Book Ski-Inn accommodation

Climate change is a significant threat to the future of winter sports. Winters become shorter and the amount of snow is reduced. Protect Our Winters Finland is a part of the international POW movement that brings together winter sport enthusiasts and companies involved with winter sports to combat climate change. In practice, POW’s operations include raising awareness of climate change and its impact on winter sports, arranging campaigns and events and lobbying key decision-makers and companies in the industry.

Pyhä Ski Resort is one of POW Finland’s main partners.

Pyhä Ski Resort together with Ruka Ski Resort are the first ski resorts in Finland that were granted with Sustainable Travel Finland -label in July 2020.

Sustainable Travel Finland -programme is designed for tourism companies and destinations in Finland. The idea of Sustainable Travel Finland programme is to provide companies and destinations with a sustainable development path; a concrete toolkit for sustainable tourism that makes it easier to adopt sustainable practices and choices in the everyday business. The label is only awarded for those companies and destinations that have undergone the entire Sustainable Travel Finland programme and fulfilled the criteria.