Vapaalaskija Pyhällä

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

Get to know what the responsibility program of Pyhä Ski Resort is all about.

The responsibility program of Pyhä Ski Resort 

Our goal is to build Pyhä the cleanest ski resort in the world. Many things at Pyhä support and oblige us to strive towards this goal. Pyhä, like the rest of Lapland, has the cleanest air in the world according to studies. The drinking water in the North is also known as the cleanest in the world. Our location right next to Finland's oldest national park is a central part of the Pyhä experience.

The mission of Pyhä's responsibility program is to nurture the distinctive atmosphere that Pyhä is known for. We want to grow Pyhä sustainably and with respect for the nature of the national park so that the next and the next generations can also enjoy it.

Our environmental program was introduced in 2008. In 2019, it was updated to a responsibility program that also includes social and financial responsibility.

The reduction of our direct CO2 emissions is approximately 90% since 2008. We have achieved the reduction by switching to electricity produced from renewable natural resources, district heating from renewable resources and biodiesel.

Get to know the most important actions and goals of our responsibility program on this page.

Environmental responsibility

In terms of energy use, we have been a carbon-neutral ski resort since 2011. For the time being, we compensate the share caused by the use of fossil fuels.

 

We offer the opportunity for a car-free skiing holiday in Ski-Inn accommodation next to the ski slopes and services.

 

We are committed to the EU's energy efficiency agreement, and improving energy efficiency is a continuous effort for us.

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Social responsibility

We actively develop regional vitality by employing, investing and paying taxes locally.

We support and inspire young people to engage in snow sports and exercise.

 

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Financial responsibility

We are a Finnish family business and direct 75% of the company's profit to operational development.

 

We are not looking for quick profits – for us, a quarter is 25 years.

 

We invest in adapting to climate change so that future generations also have the chance to enjoy snow.

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Timeline of our responsibility actions

 

2000: Pyhä Master Plan is created – enabling a car-free skiing holiday

We want to offer the opportunity for a car-free skiing holiday at Ski-Inn accommodation. We are building Pyhä so that the ski slopes and services are within walking distance of the accommodation.

The Master Plan of the Pyhä Ski Resort was created in 2000 and was designed in cooperation with the Canadian Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners. The core of the plan is a creation of cozy walking village, good accessibility of the slopes and services without a car, as well as the so-called "hot ski-in/ski-out beds", which help to get the highest possible utilization of accommodation services instead of privately owned holiday accommodations being empty for most of the year. This reduces the ecological impact of construction and the energy consumption caused by holiday homes.

2008: Implementation of the environmental program, Ski-Inn apartments become carbon neutral, commitment to the EU energy efficiency agreement

Pyhä Ski Resort has been a pioneer of responsible tourism in Finland since the 1990s, when we participated as one of the first Finnish tourism companies in MEK's (the predecessor of Visit Finland) sustainable tourism pilot projects.

Our environmental program was introduced together with our sister ski resort Ruka in 2008.

In 2008, we switched to the use of electricity and district heat produced from renewable natural resources and thus reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 80%. Our Ski-Inn apartments became carbon neutral in terms of energy use.

Pyhä joined the first phase of the EU energy efficiency agreement in 2008 and continued in 2017 with a new agreement that ends in 2025. The goal of the EU energy efficiency agreement is to improve energy efficiency by 7.5%.

2011: Pyhä Ski Resort becomes carbon neutral in terms of energy use

Pyhä Ski Resort has been operating with renewable energy since 2008.
Thus, there are no greenhouse gas emissions from running the ski lifts, making snow, illuminating the slopes and heating the properties. In 2011, Pyhä became the first carbon-neutral ski center in the Nordic countries in terms of energy use, when we started compensating the emissions caused by the use of fossil energy (i.e. the fuel for the slope maintenance machines and the CO2 emissions caused by the staff's work trips, such as air travel).

We offset CO2 emissions annually using the Nordic Offset service. By purchasing emission reductions through the service in question, the amount corresponding to the carbon footprint of the fuels is transferred to WWF-supported Gold Standard-certified renewable energy projects. The compensations made by Pyhätunturi Oy can be found in the Gold Standard register.

Before switching to MyDiesel in 2021, the total amount of our compensable emissions in Pyhä was 224 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. They were distributed as follows: emissions from slope operations 221.6 t CO2, employee travel emissions (flights) 0.7 t CO2, car use 1.4 t CO2. With the introduction of MyDiesel, the need for compensation for slope operations will decrease significantly, and the exact figures will be known in the fall of 2022, when the next calculation is made.

2019: The environmental program expands into a responsibility program

In 2019, our environmental program was updated to a responsibility program that also includes social and financial responsibility. With the responsibility program, we offered a free season ticket for the first time during the 2019-2020 season to 10-year-olds living in the surrounding areas of Pyhätunturi (Pelkosenniemi, Kemijärvi, Savukoski and Sodankylä). We continue this tradition every year.

2019: Improving waste management & recycling options

We want to improve recycling and waste management, because when properly sorted, waste turns from garbage into raw material or an energy source. In 2019, we improved the waste sorting capabilities of Ski-Inn accommodation and other properties. We now have the collection of bio-waste, glass, metal, cardboard, paper and combustible waste.

You can read Pyhä Ski-Inn's accommodation waste sorting instructions here.

2020: Sustainable Travel Finland label for Pyhä Ski Resort

Pyhätunturi Oy (company managing Pyhä Ski Resort), together with Rukakeskus Oy, were the first ski resorts in Finland to be awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland label in July 2020. Sustainable Travel Finland is a sustainable tourism program managed by Business Finland, which aims to provide tourism companies and destinations with a sustainable tourism development model, with which the systematic implementation of responsible practices adoption becomes easier.

The criteria of the Sustainable Travel Finland program include, among other things, a commitment to the development of sustainable tourism, increasing knowledge, implementing a development plan and communicating about responsible tourism. The program also includes regular auditing. You can read more about the criteria on the pages of the Sustainable Travel Finland program.

Sustainable Travel Finland

2021: Biodiesel for use - reduces emissions from slope machines by up to 90%

In 2021, we introduced Neste MY Renewable Fuel™, made 100% from waste and residues.

Renewable fuel oil has a significant climate impact, as replacing fossil fuel oil with it reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of the Pyhä and Ruka slope machines by up to 90 percent compared to the use of fossil fuel oil. This means that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by more than 600 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 230 passenger cars from Finnish road traffic for one year (The calculation method for life cycle emissions and emission reduction is in accordance with the EU renewable energy directive (2018/2001/EU)). In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, switching to renewable fuel oil reduces local emissions, because Neste MY Renewable Fuel Oil burns cleaner than fossil fuels.

The ski lifts and buildings use renewable energy and we focus on improving energy efficiency

  • We have been using renewable electricity since 2008. The electricity we use is produced by hydro and wind power, and we heat almost all properties with bio-district heat and geothermal heat.
  • Our slope machines run on Neste MY Renewable Fuel Oil™, which is made 100% from waste and residues. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared to the use of fossil fuel oil - in Pyhä, this amounts to more than 200 tons annually. In addition, we strive to reduce fuel consumption by optimizing the routes of slope machines and avoiding idling. The consumption of slope maintenance team's snowmobiles has been cut in half by changing them from 2-stroke to 4-stroke. We also test the use of electric sleds.
  • In accordance with the Gold Standard certificate recommended by WWF, we compensate for the emissions caused by staff's work trips, e.g. flights and car trips.
  • We continuously improve energy efficiency, focusing on e.g. for ventilation, heating and water consumption.
  • Other examples are LED lamps, air heat pumps and water-saving taps that reduce water consumption. We monitor water use with the Smartvatten service, which alerts e.g. from leaks and a tap left in the drain. Thanks to the water-saving shower heads, about 25% water has been saved in the Ski-Inn apartments.
  • The lighting of the slopes is automated to be as energy-efficient as possible, and the technology of the slope lights is updated to new, more energy-efficient equipment at the end of its life cycle.
  • We have made large investments to improve the energy efficiency of our snowmaking system. The snow cannons that work with new technology are automatically controlled and react to weather conditions, optimizing the energy efficiency of snowmaking and the use of water. This results in significant savings in both water and energy consumption. The need for cannon snowing has also been reduced with snow fences that collect natural snow. Reducing the use of snow cannons saves a lot of energy and water.

There is enough work to improve energy efficiency far into the future.

 

Master plan & Ski-Inn concept – a holiday without a car

  • Ski-Inn apartments are Finland's most environmentally friendly ski resort accommodation - all Ski-Inn locations have been carbon neutral in terms of energy use since 2008. All accommodation locations can be reached with a few steps to the nearest ski lift, and services are also located within walking distance. The location of Ski-Inn properties near the slopes and services has a significant impact on both the ease of the holiday and the environmental footprint, as it reduces the need to travel by car.
  • Ski-Inn's ownership model, in which privately owned holiday apartments are rented out all year round, is an ecologically responsible choice: it reduces the need for construction and increases the occupancy rates of the apartments by combining owned and rented apartments. Read more about Ski-Inn's ownership model.
  • We are focused on improving the waste sorting possibilities. At Ski-Inn locations, it is possible to recycle the waste types for which there is a regional collection service. Recycling opportunities are constantly being improved in cooperation with the municipality and other operators. Get to know the sorting instructions in more detail.
  • In the procurement of services and supplies, responsibility issues are taken into account from the perspectives of the environment, society and the economy. Ski-Inn hotels and apartments are cleaned by SOL services, which has been awarded the Nordic Swan Label.

GET TO KNOW SKI-INN ACCOMMODATION IN PYHÄ

 

A family business that pays taxes to Finland

  • Compliance with laws and regulations is the basis of the social responsibility of the Pyhä Ski Resort. The Aho family who owns Pyhä Ski Resort is committed to keeping its business in Finland and paying taxes to Finland.
  • Pyhä Ski Resort is the largest employer in the municipality of Pelkosenniemi, which makes us a significant regional influencer. In our operations, we want to be a fair and reliable partner and promote honest cooperation in the tourism area of ​​Pyhä and nearby municipalities.
  • One of the most important things in our social responsibility is supporting the skiing & snowboarding hobby of children and young people. Every year we offer 10-year-old children of Pelkosenniemi, Kemijärvi, Savukoski and Sodankylä a free season pass to the slopes. We offer season passes at a reduced price for residents of nearby areas of other ages. In addition, we support local athletes in their goals.
  • Supporting locality, such as using local services and products and hiring local people are important things to us. Developing year-round business and increasing year-round jobs also support our social responsibility.
  • Our determination to keep the domestic market as the most important for us in the future is a key part of both Pyhä's and Ruka's (our sister resort) responsibility and the promotion of local tourism.
  • We support things that promote sustainable development. We have a positive attitude towards renewable energy production projects, whose positive environmental and regional economic impact is greater than landscape damage, for example wind farms.
  • To us, social responsibility also means openness in our operations in decision-making and reporting, as well as equal acceptance and treatment of people. We do not accept racism in any form and we support absolute equality and gender equality. We promote equality by, for example, organizing international para-snowboarding and para-alpine training camps and competitions.

Sustainable development from generation to generation

  • The most important goal of Pyhä Ski Resort's financial responsibility is a profitable business that enables salary payments to staff, making investments, improving competitiveness, increasing year-round jobs and paying dividends to owners.

  • When operating profitably, we are also able to take care of environmental and socially responsible goals and obligations. On the other hand, operating in accordance with sustainable development and anticipating and adapting to climate change are prerequisites for economically sustainable operations in the future.

  • In particular, improving snow safety and wind safety of lifts are key issues to ensure economically profitable operations. In Pyhä, snow reliability has been improved, among other things, by automating the snowmaking system and the continuous development of snow fences.

  • To improve wind safety, the Pyhä Express chair lift uses so-called storm chairs, which can be used to keep the lift open even in strong winds. In addition, the upper station of Pyhä Express is designed in such a way that it reduces the effect of wind on the operation of the lift.

Pyhä Ski Resort is a family business in the second generation. The goal of the owners (Aho's family) is for the companies to remain a Finnish family business and for them to be transferred to third generation ownership in time. The goal is to increase the value of the companies over the long term, in accordance with, among other things, the following financial goals:

Operating profit over 10%
Equity ratio over 50%
75% of the result is invested back into the development of companies

Protect Our Winters Finland

We are one of the main partners of Protect Our Winters Finland. We support the organization's activities and cooperate to communicate to our customers the importance of more environmentally friendly choices in curbing climate change.

Protect Our Winters Finland Pyhä

Read more about responsibility in Pyhä:

Book an environmentally friendly holiday 

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Buy lift tickets
Pyhä Ski Resort uses renewable electricity, renewable fuel oil and bio-district heating. The remaining carbon footprint resulting from the use of fossil fuels is compensated.

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Book Ski-Inn accommodation
The electricity we use is produced from renewable natural resources and the heat from wood chips. In addition, the location of the apartments within walking distance of ski lifts and services reduces the need to drive a car.
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Buy train tickets
The most convenient and environmentally friendly way to arrive in Pyhä is by night train from Helsinki to Kemijärvi or Rovaniemi and from there by direct bus connection to the destination.