From Stephen Hall, owner of Skigroup:

I have a deep passion for skiing and the mountains. But I have an equal passion for the health of our environment and the society in which we live. You've found our website, and Skigroup, through your search for a company which can deliver competitive pricing and service. But you've also found a company that quietly strives to conduct business in an ethical, minimally invasive way.

My philosophy may not provide us a competitive advantage, or a compelling reason for you to book your mountain visit with Skigroup. And that's fine. But for those that do share a commitment to the health of the world around us, and prefer to work with a company whose goals align with yours, you've found the place.

My marketing people tell me that real estate on our web site should be focused on creating profit, and content specific to what we sell. The section on Social Commitment takes up space that could be used to monetize further what we sell. My response is that profit is only part of my motivation. And part of what we sell isn't about profit, skier day counts, room nights or gross revenue.

My corporate hero is Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. His business philosophy is one I try to emulate on a daily basis. Yvon's business premise is to make the highest quality outdoor gear in the most environmentally friendly way. Profits are secondary. And yet he's created a company the envy of the industry. He's proven that you can create an iconic brand, capture market share, lure and motivate a passionate staff, pioneer new technologies to minimize their ecological footprint, AND be profitable. When I grow up, I want to be just like him. I highly recommend reading: Chouinard, Yvon (2005). Let My People Go Surfing. New York, USA: The Penguin Press.

There are other companies that I respect for similar reasons. The Aspen Ski Corporation has been at the forefront of the ski resort industry in their efforts to minimize their impact on the environment. Their commitment to wind power, recycling, and contributions to environmental organizations are just a few examples of their commitment. To get more information on what Aspen is doing in this regard, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com/environment/.

Let's all be clear, the pursuit of our collective passion has a profound impact on our environment. Snow making, trail grooming, building infrastructure, cutting trails, flying to our favorite resort all have significant impact on our environment. Let's all do our part to minimize our impact where we can.

Here are some of the things I do to "walk the walk":
  • All paper supplies purchased have a recycled content
  • Copy paper is used on both sides
  • Partner with Patagonia on our staffwear
  • 10% of my office power is supplied by wind through Excel Energy's Windsource program.
  • All light bulbs are compact fluorescent
  • 100% of paper, single layer cardboard, plastic and corrugated cardboard are recycled
  • Discarded skis are given to people who create furniture out of them
  • Old ski clothing given to Good Will
  • Insistence on electronic rates, contracts, information and literature from our suppliers

Along with our environmental efforts, I am also passionate about our collective responsibility to society. I want to grow a company that has a positive influence on those that work for and with me. I'm not looking for notoriety. I'm looking to set an example; to my employees, my clients, my children.

Some of the ways I've tried to do my part over the years:
  • Volunteer coach in youth ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer
  • Volunteer fire fighter in my mountain community
  • Volunteer in my children's schools
  • I vote, in every election.
  • Volunteer election judge in my community
  • Adopt A Road program
  • Cub Scouts volunteer
  • Contribute monetarily to worthy causes

And last but not definitely not least, I insist that my colleagues at Skigroup tell the truth, be humble, take responsibility and be fair. You have choices in who you book your trip with. Travel with Skigroup and know you're not only getting a fair price, but are supporting our efforts to make a tiny contribution to a better planet.