Like all products, skis fall victim to design trends. With claims of superior performance, skis have changed in shape, size and composition, and while this has led to a better ski experience, it comes at a cost. Along with these innovations, skiers have produced a mountain of waste ski gear as they upgrade to the newest models. At the same time, the mountains are experiencing less reliable snow conditions thanks to a warming climate, caused in part from the burden of landfill waste.
In a way, the ski industry is cannibalizing its own future. The ski manufacturers are turning a blind eye to the impact their product marketing is having on the very industry to which it is dependent for sustained success. Even North America’s #1 Resort, Whistler Blackcomb, has a substantial ski waste problem. Disposing of these skis sustainably is difficult, time consuming and expensive, and as a result, every year, thousands of skis and snowboards – tons of compressed wood, plastic and metal – are sent to landfill.
Ski Heaven is a small social enterprise with a mission to eliminate winter sports equipment from landfill. Every Ski Heaven product re-purposes waste skis and tells the story of what it means to be a skier. A new David and Goliath partnership is forming to do something real about this dark side of the ski industry. Whistler Blackcomb’s partnership with Ski Heaven is about finding the place where its brand can play a vital role for change.
Why is Whistler Blackcomb on board? The company shares are gaining like never before and based on its net profit margin of 14.73%, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is showing a 23% higher revenue in 2016 compared to 2015. With stock value this high, it makes sense that the company is considering its community legacy and the many ways it can influence positive trends in the ski industry. Are they doing enough? You decide. And share your thoughts on their Facebook page.
Marketing with a purpose that goes beyond the bottom line – but that undoubtedly adds lasting brand value – is something today’s most progressive companies have been benefiting from for years. Certified B Corps break free from the constraints of a narrow growth model and allow long term strategic plans to trump short term bumps in market value.
You, brave consumer, are perfectly positioned to lobby people in the business of snow sport. Before you hand over your credit card, ask about the life cycle plan for the merchandise. Are your skis designed to be re-built into the next great model? Keep the pressure up, because without it, the mountains we love to play in are at risk of melting from neglect.
Until then, there is Ski Heaven. Imagine a future where our love for the mountains doesn’t destroy them. Visit www.skiheaven.ca to view the product catalogue and purchase online.