The Smart Altitude Online Toolkit is a set of tools for planning, optimizing and implementing low-carbon measures in Alpine ski areas. The focus of the toolkit is on energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable mobility, energy management, smart grid and climate adaptation.
The tools are related to the six-steps approach of Smart Altitude outlining key questions and decision-making factors that ski resort operators and local policy makers should consider for designing low-carbon measures in Alpine ski areas. Each tool has been developed in the Smart Altitude project and it has been tested in real operating environment by the project’s Living Lab and replicator sites.
To learn more about the Online Toolkit and the six-step Smart Altitude approach, please visit http://smartaltitude.eu
The first step is dedicated to collecting data on the status-quo of the ski area, evaluating the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and comparing them with other ski resorts.
The Winter tourism Eco-energy Management Tool (Wi-EMT in Figure 2) guides users in reporting data on energy efficiency, sustainability, energy management, smart grid and climate adaptation of the ski resort.
The Wi-EMT requires three steps:
1. Sign up and download the Wi-EMT Excel Sheet
2. Fill the Wi-EMT with your data
3. Send the filled Wi-EMT to email@example.com
The Smart Altitude team will analyze your data, evaluate it to the Smart Altitude KPIs and send you back a customized report with the assessment in your ski area. The report will include recommendations on the measures you can adopt to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of your ski resort.
The second step is dedicated to setting priorities based on results of the Wi-EMT. The Evaluation Report sent by Smart Altitude analyzes the data sent by users through the Wi- EMT tool and provides customized guidelines to each user on the key actions and measures for developing low-carbon strategies.
In this step, the Smart Altitude WebGIS Tool offers the ability to visualize ski resort performance and potential of renewable sources through a web visualisation of Alpine Space ski areas with different layers populated through a database (Figure 3). The WebGIS is available at https://webgis.smartaltitude.eu
It is important to stress that the WebGIS can give an idea about the renewable energy potential in a certain area, but it does not give any indication about how realistic it is for a ski area to tap into this potential.
During this step, Smart Altitude suggests the adoption of a participatory approach for involving local, regional and national stakeholders. This will allow ski resort operators to receive opinions and identify linkable policies and R&I measures.
By comparing status quo from Step 1 and potential from Step 2, decision makers can assess the gap and decide what to prioritize and where to invest effectively.
The third step is dedicated to planning and optimizing the prioritized low-carbon measures. The associated tool is the set of Implementation Models and Webinars.
The Implementation Models (example in Figure 4) are guidelines and best practices to design and implement measures on sustainability (renewable energy and sustainable mobility), energy management, smart grid, climate adaptation, value creation through low- carbon innovation.
The "Smart Altitude Webinar Series" is a set of 5 webinars that share best practices, experience and tools for planning, implementing and optimizing low-carbon measures in Alpine ski resorts and territories. The webinars aim at engaging potential replicators over the Alpine Space to make a step forward in climate change approaches for winter tourism in the Alps. For more information and details, please read the section “Webinars” in the newsletter.
The fourth step concerns the real implementation of the measures planned in the third step. The implementation guidelines are grounded on the experience of the Smart Altitude Living Labs.
The Smart Altitude Living Labs (Figure 5) represent lighthouses of innovative and high impact low carbon interventions in ski resorts, in several topics (advanced energy efficiency, integrated energy management systems, RES integration, smart grid), in four countries of the Alpine Space. Each Living Lab has a specific area of experimentation and provides best practices on that area.
The fifth step monitors the performance of the implemented measured. Monitoring what has been implemented and quantifying the benefits obtained is crucial to ensure continuous improvement.
The Smart Altitude Monitoring System is the tool that allows to monitor the effects and impacts of the implemented measures. Impact evaluation allows to start the process again by setting new goals and targets and to continue with implementing further mitigation and adaptation options.
During this step, the direct involvement of stakeholders identified during Step 02 should be considered. This will help operators and policy makers in forming an integrated policy plan that will increase the ability of the ski area to adapt to a changing climate and to attract new tourists.
For each of the four Living Lab, the Smart Altitude project designed a system for the real time display of energy saving and GHG emissions reduction on public information platforms in ski resorts. Figure 6 provides an example of the parameters used for developing one of the four Smart Altitude monitoring systems.
The final step consists in marketing and communicating your results to stakeholders. Communication is key to give visibility to the implemented measures and to maximize their value in terms of impact and benefits.
Communication will allow you to be accountable towards local, regional and national stakeholders and to increase the attractiveness of your ski area to a wider public as well as to new market segments as, for example, sustainable tourism.
In our society, the web and social media are the most effective channels to reach broad audiences. In order to make visible your commitment to implement low-carbon measures, design a dedicated section on your ski-resort website, create short videos showing the measures and the impact of your measures, and engage stakeholders in sharing the content you create. Figure 7 offers the example of the communication campaigned designed by the Madonna di Campiglio’s Living Lab to disseminate information about its low-carbon measures. For more details, please go to https://www.ski.it/en/zeroemission2026.