Let's meet again from 16 December 2023


Friday 22 September updated on 09-22-2023 at 8:06

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Les Arcs: is agitating in favour of
a destination with positive commitments

Faced with the challenges of modern times: climate upheaval, overexploitation of resources and declining biodiversity, Les Arcs would like to move forwards responsibly and towards sustainable tourism. That is our vision; these are our commitments.

Where we want to go, our challenges and ambitions

Today, our destination and our tourist model are in the front line facing the greatest challenges of our time: climate upheaval, overexploitation of resources and the collapse of biodiversity on a global scale. In this context, we have hesitated. We could run round waving our arms in the air, telling ourselves that the problem is too difficult, the world too cruel. Or promise greater guile in reducing carbon by increasing offsets.

Except we have a real and deep ambition.

So, we rolled up our sleeves and pulled up our socks.

In the current context, faced with the challenges we must meet, our ambition is to prEserve our outstanding natural environment to be able to continue to PROVIDE OUR RESIDENTS AND VISITORS WITH A UNIQUE LIFE SETTING.

The path we have followed and the one we want to take now

We began by taking an inventory of our tourist destination, our practices which are ecologically sound and those which are less so.

We became aware that we had some unique advantages:
The technical means of carbon-free travel from Europe’s principal capital cities.
A ski area and a very large number of committed partners working alongside us in ecologically sound steps as much to preserve our environment as to pass on the intrinsic values of the mountains and our region.
A region and mountain area so vast and so rich(one town, 39 villages, 4 high-altitude tourist resorts, 180 km2, 3 mountain ranges) which alone is a vehicle for expanding tourism in all seasons.

The inventory revealed the certainty that we were already committed as a group. The les Arcs community exists, bringing together economic players and those who love the resort. It is united and cheerful, sometimes noisy and iconoclastic, always positive and kindly. It is above all ready to commit itself further forward.
This step also reinforced our wish to speak out on these issues and become a force in the mountains determined to find ways of developing more responsible tourist growth.
In the future, we will be working towards opening new ways, sharing our experiences and drawing inspiration from the exhilarating experiences of others, staying humble and accepting that sometimes small steps are the best way of building the best, staying ourselves, innovating and disrupting preconceptions, being convincing enough to encourage the largest number to follow in our footsteps.

Our convictions for continuing to make (good) progress

We believe in a positive vision of the ecology. Even though the predictions and observations can be depressing, we want to make progress with a strong will and energy.
• We are convinced that even a very large tourist destination can do better rather than more. It is up to us to prove that it is possible and viable in the long term.
• We believe in the strength of the group and collaborative intelligence. Beyond grand announcements and mega-projects, above all we want to encourage new initiatives, create an inclusive state of mind and a shared culture to anchor transition in the long term.
• We are aware that change will be difficult and will take time. Our responsibility is to support, positively encourage our residents and visitors to change their habits and to make the right decisions. We want to raise awareness and educate rather than make people feel guilty.

The 4 commandments for a destination which is committed to following the best route

01Moving better rather than more, to reduce the impact on our field of play

By applying a policy of "zero wastage" of resources to:
• Improve our energy efficiency while reducing our consumption,
• Improve our knowledge of water resources, save water and share its uses,
• Reduce our waste.
Examples of actions: Water Observatory, high energy performance ski area chalets, Les Arcs Water…

By preserving and renovating our real estate.
Examples of actions: moratorium on new buildings, «net zero synthetic materials», restoration of «grey planning zones».

By caring for the biodiversity and nature of which we are a part.
Examples of actions: project 2022 «Environmental Observatory», restoration of wet areas, quiet area for Black Grouse.

02Moving towards greater restraint (and helping our visitors to do likewise)

By favouring soft movement in the area.
Examples of actions: Funicular open every day until 9.00 pm, prices lowered to make them more attractive, widening cycle lanes, mobility study.

By increasing rail access to Les Arcs and by favouring clienteles with low-carbon links
Examples of actions: partnership with Ouigo, funicular free for holidaymakers coming by train.

By making buildings energy efficient
Example of action: Energy Cap, «Référence Les Arcs» label.

By making our energy consumption carbon free
Examples of actions: hydro-electricity production, hydrogen-powered piste grooming machines (study), carbon “pits” project (Sylv’ACCTES in Tarentaise).

03Moving together, to go further

By supporting our visitors through the changes in our teams; by listening to them, informing them and offering them responsible alternatives:
Examples of actions: participative workshops for residents, La Ruche collective in the ski area, les Arcs Water project.

By sharing our advances and progress as well as our failures and questions with others.
Examples of actions: flocon vert and Eductours, «Sustainable Histories» training days, our T-REX Les Arcs event…

04Moving in the long term

By diversifying our activities to attract more visitors to les Arcs and Bourg Saint Maurice in all seasons.

By making Bourg Saint Maurice – Les Arcs the undisputed capital of outdoor sports.
Examples of actions: Hero Bourg Saint Maurice project.

By making our region a more attractive place to live and to visit all year round.