The companies running the ski lifts in Morzine, SA Pleney and SERMA, are taking decisive action in 2020 to limit the impact of winter sports on the environment.
Revegetation of the Pleney area. Grizzli piste and Nyon piste
All earthworks carried out are systematically compensated for by revegetation with grasses suited to the mountain environment using seeds developed by local farmers. These seeds must adhere to the standards of the Chamber of Agriculture and are perfectly suited to the livestock grazing in the area.
Reducing electricity consumption with the installation of photovoltaic panels at the Proclou arrival station
Electricity is the top energy expenditure of the ski areas. In addition to reducing its consumption, SERMA also wishes to develop renewable energies, particularly solar energy. Photovoltaic panels are currently being installed on the Proclou chairlift. 41m² of panels have been installed for a forecast production of 9000 kWh per year which will be deployed for the operation of the lift. This innovative project is the first of its kind in Haute-Savoie.
Environmentally friendly piste grooming machinery
The Morzine ski area is newly equipped with less polluting piste grooming machines. The machines run on non-toxic, biodegradable GTL fuel as opposed to the off-road winter diesel used by traditional piste bashers. They are quiet and consume less fuel. The piste grooming machines are equipped with snowsat: a software program to limit energy consumption and manage the snow stocks.
The Snowsat software is a piloting tool that works using GPS installed on SERMA and SA Pléney’s grooming machines.
In particular it gives a very precise measurement of the depth of the snow. The data can be consulted by the driver and communicated in real time to the server. They enable better sharing out of the natural snow and only produce the minimum quantity necessary of artificial snow.
Snowsat also records the energy consumption of the grooming machines. This has been able to be reduced thanks to training the drivers in environmentally friendly driving techniques and optimal maintenance of the machines.
The ski lift company is surrounded by nature conservationists
• The Haute Savoie hunting federation in collaboration with consultants and in agreement with the Pléney ski lift company are carrying out studies of ski traffic in the Morzine ski area in order to identify protected areas for mountain galliformes such as the black grouse. The area is therefore a biotope observatory. These analyses have allowed them to define favourable and unfavourable zones. Currently the domain has two protected zones: the Lac de Joux Plane and the Col de Joux Plane. Work has therefore been carried out (undergrowth clearance) to make the environment more favourable to the development of these species. In 2019, this work, which has cost 20,000 euros, has been financed 50% by the Pléney ski lift company and 50% by the hunting federation 74.
• The Observatoire des Galliformes de Montagnes and SA Pléney have signed a multi-year plan to make dangerous aerial cables visible for birds in the mountains. In reality, this involves equipping the cables of the ski lifts with markers approximately every 5 metres on the portions listed as potentially dangerous. A three-year schedule is planned for the installation of this
• In collaboration with the Forestry Commission, each forestry exploitation carried out in the ski area is accounted for (number of trees, volume in cubic metres). Compensatory measures are put in place and trees replanted in areas of the Chablais that need it with local species such as spruce, fir, and larch. In total, 46 protective measures have been put in place for trees during 2020.
• The Montagne Verte association and the Morzine ski lifts (SA Pleney) organise a waste collection day at the beginning of the season.
• The Summit association, which works to promote eco-responsible behaviour, has set up a poster and awareness campaign concerning the best environmental behaviours to adopt within the ski area and on walking trails.