Our Environmental Commitment

We have only to look around us to see the pristine northern Michigan beauty we are charged with protecting. We are pleased to be a leader in Michigan’s resort industry in being good stewards of our land, water and air. It is a long journey and we are always learning – the important thing is that we’ve made a commitment to environmental health and greener business practices, and we aspire to be the best that we can be.

Jim MacInnes named one of Michigan's Green Leaders

Crystal Mountain President and CEO, Jim MacInnes, was honored by the Detroit Free Press as a leader in environmental stewardship.
Read the Free Press story »

Crystal Spa LEEDs the way

From concept to construction, Crystal Spa has elevated the model for a "Green" spa to a new level. The 18,500 square-foot facility was designed and built to minimize its impact on the environment while maximizing its efficiency. The technologies and materials used in the process enabled Crystal Spa to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified spa in the Midwest.

Sierra Club Recognizes Crystal Mountain

The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club recently awarded Crystal Mountain its White Pine Award – an award given out annually to a Michigan organization or group that has shown extraordinary dedication to protection of the environment.

“We felt Crystal Mountain is setting the standard for other resorts to follow and are truly impressed and grateful for the resort’s commitment to the environment,” said Fry. “We are thrilled that the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club is recognizing the resort for being environmentally outstanding in so many ways.”dedication to protection of the environment. Crystal Mountain was nominated by the Traverse section, according to Peggy Fry, Traverse Section member, because of Crystal's dedication to becoming the most environmentally responsible resort it possibly can.

Green Lodging Michigan

Crystal Mountain is the first four-season resort in Michigan to have earned the highest level of certification, the “Leader” level, offered by Green Lodging Michigan, a voluntary program through Michigan's Energy Office and the Department of Environmental Quality designed to encouraging hospitality facilities to adopt "green" practices to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution.

In-Room Recycling at Crystal

Crystal Mountain is proud to offer our guests the same kind of recycling opportunities they have at home. Recycling bins can be found in or near all of our lodging units.

What can be recycled? Plastic containers (#1 & #2 plastics only), clear glass bottles, newspapers, cans and aluminum, office paper (including magazines) and corrugated cardboard. There are also public recycling receptacles located in central resort zones.

Crystal Clipper Powered By Wind
Renewable Energy

Crystal Mountain purchases wind credits to power our high-speed chairlift, the Crystal Clipper, entirely with wind power, preventing 174,000 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution from entering the atmosphere each year. Annually, that's the equivalent of not driving a car 189,956 miles (that's eight times around the world!) or planting 23 acres of trees.

Crystal Mountain was the first Michigan resort and ski area to make a commitment to renewable wind energy, joining the likes of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Whole Foods, and Vail Resorts in selecting renewable energy as one of its sources for electricity. Crystal’s long-term goal is to power the entire resort with 100% renewable energy. Crystal Mountain is working with Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as their wind power provider.

Greener Greens

Crystal Mountain's golf courses have achieved certification from the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP), a voluntary program that provides a basis for protecting and enhancing the environment that often goes beyond what is required by law. MTESP is a collaboration of industry, university, governmental agencies, and environmental advocacy groups. Crystal is one of only 62 properties of Michigan’s 950+ public and private courses to be certified.

Planning for the Future

As Crystal Mountain grows, being profitable sustains our business, but equally important are our other bottom lines: our people, our community and our planet. We know that we still have a lot to learn and we invite you to join us in our commitment to be good stewards of the environment.

Other efforts we've initiated:

  • In marketing collateral, use of recycled paper and non-petroleum based inks
  • “Green Meeting” options for our conference, meeting and social groups
  • Member, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association
  • Towel and linen re-use program, use of low-flow faucets and showerheads
  • Complementary electric vehicle charging station for guests
  • 100% smoke-free in public buildings
  • Free bus service is provided and encouraged to reduce traffic and pollution
  • Carpool program for employees
  • Environmentally-sensitive cleaning products
  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that use one fourth as much electricity
  • Set in-room heating/cooling temperatures to more energy efficient settings
  • Eliminated individually-wrapped plastic silverware in skier cafeteria
  • Use of cornstarch-based, biodegradable cups instead of plastic cups
  • When possible, purchase locally-produced and/or organic foods
  • Use “rain sensors” for lawn irrigation
  • Our frying oil is collected and eventually made into soap
  • Recycling of office paper, cardboard, cans, frying oil, grease, tin & glass
  • E-mailing reservation confirmations
  • Green building practices in new construction
  • Wildlife habitat management and education through the Wings of Wonder program

Electric Vehicle Charging StationElectric Vehicle Charging StationWildlife Management: Wings of Wonder ProgramSierra Club White Pine AwardLEED-Certification Plaque at Crystal SpaRenewable Energy: Crystal Clipper Quad