Ruka Ski Resort - Environmental Sustainability
Ruka runs on Green Power
The Environmental Program of Ruka was established in 2008. With the help of the program, we have been able to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent. Ruka, together with Pyhä, was the first ski resort in Finland to completely shift to renewable energy, in 2009. The electricity is generated with hydropower and the buildings are heated with biomass. As a result, our lifts, snowmaking or lightning do not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
Snow storage extends the ski season and improves energy efficiency
In the summer of 2016, a new method of snow storage was tested in Ruka, on slope number 13. A several meters thick snow layer was made with snow cannons in the winter. In the spring, three large snow piles were formed and covered with white gauze as well as sawdust. Half of the stored snow melted during the summer but the other half remained usable for the current ski season. As a result, Ruka was able to open its first slopes already in October.
Snow storage is also an environmentally friendly technique. Energy efficient snow making requires cold temperatures. Thus, using the snow from the previous winter reduces the need for snow making in warm and wet autumn weather. As a result, a significant amount of energy is saved.
Our energy consumption is effectively monitored
In Ruka, we are well aware of our energy consumption. With the help of an advanced monitoring system we are able to follow the electricity, water and heat consumption of our slopes and buildings as well as the fuel consumption of our snowcats, around the clock. The exact numbers are helping us reach our goals of energy efficiency. Ruka has signed the Energy Efficiency Agreement of the European Union. The goal of the agreement is a 7.5 % reduction in energy consumption for the period of 2017-2025.
Piste is heated with spare energy
The snowmaking process creates extra heat as a by-product. We in Ruka wanted to do something useful with the leftover heat and in fact, the spare energy is nowadays used in heating the Piste building in the center of Ruka.
Other examples of energy saving actions in Ruka:
Snowmaking as well as the lightning of the slopes have been automatized in order to save energy. The snow cannons e.g. react to weather conditions in order to find the most optimal moments for snowmaking.
By improving the energy-efficiency of our snowmobiles, the carbon emissions of the maintenance of slopes have been cut in half.
Recycling is important
By sorting your rubbish properly, waste becomes either new raw material or a source of energy. You will find the recycling point of Ruka in Rukanriutta, close to the S-market grocery store. There are separate bins for glass, metal, paper and cardboard.
Did you know that you will get a refund for bringing your empty drinking bottles and cans back to K-market or S-market?
In Ruka, instead of dumping our waste to a landfill site, we are now collecting combustible waste. The energy stored in the waste is taken into use, by burning it in an eco-power plant. As a result, electricity and heat for households are created. You can sort e.g. your plastics and food scraps into combustible waste.
Take a look at our waste sorting instructions here.
Ski-Inn Apartments – A Green Choice
The Ski-Inn Apartments are an ecological choice for accommodation since the carbon footprint of their energy consumption is zero. The electricity is generated with hydropower and the heating with biomass. In addition, the central location of the apartments reduces the need for a car in the area.
There are separate bins and instructions for waste sorting in all apartments. The recycling point is located right next to the apartments. We recycle glass, metal, paper, cardboard and combustible waste. You will find the instructions for waste sorting here.
Protect Our Winters Finland
Climate change forms a huge threat to the future of outdoor sports. Winters are shorter and the amounts of snow are decreasing. Protect Our Winters Finland is part of the international POW movement which brings together outdoor sports enthusiasts as well as businesses, to fight climate change. POW Finland spreads the word of climate change, organizes campaigns and events as well as influences decision-makers and businesses.
Ruka is one of the main partners of POW Finland.