Media release: Becoming a conscious host – carbon neutrality and beyond

Gondola 2016

NEVIS Range Mountain Experience, near Fort William in Lochaber, is delighted to announce that it is now a Carbon Neutral business (accredited by Carbon Footprint), the first step on the journey towards climate positivity and zero waste.

Chris O’Brien, managing director of Nevis Range, said: “Sustainability is at the top of our agenda. The Highlands and Islands is a phenomenal destination to work, live, and play. That is why we have taken steps to move to a conscious hosting model, ensuring that both Nevis Range and our employees are active in safeguarding the future of our environment.”

In terms of emissions, the business is moving towards climate positivity. Over 60 per cent of power usage at Nevis Range has been supplied by hydro power for the last five years.

However, this is just the beginning of their environmental story, and the team are excited to announce further measures they have both taken in 2021, including the removal of all liquified petroleum gas from use on the site, and plan to take over the next 12 months, in order to ensure that their environmental impact is minimal.

Their new base station development, that includes a 22-bedroom hotel, 24-berth bunkhouse, bar and restaurant, bike shop, children’s activity centre, childcare facilities, and a covered courtyard with an event space, planned in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has recently begun construction. The development will be entirely carbon neutral both during and after construction, with any carbon generated from the project being offset.

As part of the planning process for this £4m project a full carbon assessment of the whole Nevis Range business, including their supply chain, was carried out by an independent assessor. The results were incredibly encouraging, bringing them to the point where they could announce Carbon Neutral Status.

Their next target is moving to ‘zero waste’ within the next two years. Measures for this include:

  • Upgrading the ski hire and ski school infrastructure to enable the department to go completely paperless by winter 2022/23.
  • Paperless offices by March 22.
  • Elimination of all single use plastics within the catering departments by December 2021 – All packaging used will be biodegradable and recyclable.
  • Addition of a new composter to accelerate the move towards a zero-waste practice.
  • Introduction of a new electric car scheme for employees from early 2022.Nevis Range is also developing a preferred list of suppliers across all departments in order that purchases across the business are as ethically sourced as possible. The qualifying criteria will include suppliers’ sustainability values and statements.

Customers of Nevis Range will be encouraged to join the climate positive journey by donating £1 towards the business’s carbon offset projects when they purchase tickets online.

Alastair Nicolson, HIE area manager for Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, said: “We are delighted to see that Nevis Range is now carbon neutral. This is a testament to the work of everyone involved in the business who has taken important steps over the last few months to protect the future of our environment.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Nevis Range as they move forward with developments including a new hotel and bunkhouse, which are to be built in as low carbon a way as possible.

“We have been working closely with the business for a number of years now and are pleased to see that the transition to a net zero economy is at the very top of their agenda.”

Yvonne Crook, chair, Highland Tourism CIC: “This is an excellent achievement and demonstration of environmental leadership in the Highlands by the team at Nevis Range.

“As we strive to drive a vision for the Highlands to become one of the world’s leading sustainable destinations, working together with strategic partners in the renewables sector, we are proud to have Chris O’Brien of Nevis Range as a director on the board of Highland Tourism CIC to help us lead by example.”

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland regional leadership director, said: “As the first national tourism agency to sign up to the Tourism Declares initiative, we are committed to working with the industry and communities to create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination which will protect the environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.

“We welcome this positive announcement by Nevis Range. Encouraging responsible behaviour by visitors is hugely important to reduce impact and we welcome this approach to promoting good practice.

“Sustainable tourism isn’t a niche trend anymore – it must be a fundamental part of our country’s tourism offering.”


Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:| M: 07913 951717

Images attached:

The Nevis Range Gondola and an electric vehicle recharging point at the base station.

Notes for editors:

Nevis Range website –

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The Nevis Range Mountain Experience lies seven miles north of Fort William, and south of Spean Bridge. It was opened in 1989 to develop a skiing/tourism facility on the mountain of Aonach Mor in the shadow of Ben Nevis. The development was undertaken due to a demand for skiing in Scotland that was inadequately served by existing facilities.

Nevis Range Mountain Experience is a year-round mountain resort comprising:

  • All-year-round mountain gondola visitor attraction
  • Winter snowsports area with equipment hire and Snowsports School.
  • All-year-round mountain biking with 48km of cross-country mountain biking as well as downhill mountain bike trails with gondola access.  Home to a round of the Mountain Bike World Cup
  • Self-service Snowgoose restaurant and bar (gondola top station) and Pinemarten café bar (gondola base station) serving locally-served produce prepared on site.
  • Mountain walks to scenic viewpoints
  • Forest walks
  • Gift shop

The Nevis Range Mountain Gondola, unique in Britain, was originally constructed to transport skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.  oday, the gondola whisks some 200,000 visitors each year to 650m where they can eat at the Snowgoose restaurant, walk out to the mountain viewpoints, or simply enjoy the stunning highland scenery. The gondola is also widely used by hillwalkers, climbers, paragliders, and hang gliders on their journey to the clouds. There are 74 gondolas in total and each one takes up to six adults.

Nevis Range has significantly diversified, creating a world-class downhill mountain bike track together with a series of world-renowned cross-country mountain bike trails in the Leanachan Forest. As a result, the venue has hosted UK and international mountain bike events including several award-winning rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup since 2002 and a UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2007.

Chris O’Brien is managing Ddrector of Nevis Range, and Director at both Highland Tourism CIC, and Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.  /

The Nevis Range Mountain Experience base station development project has been made possible by the continued commitment and support of HIE, with a contribution of £800k, the majority which has been drawn from the Tourism Recovery Programme following recommendations by The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG).

Chris O’Brien, managing director of Nevis Range, said: “The hotel and bunkhouse are being developed as a direct response to the wishes of our customers. We’ve carried out multiple surveys and our people have let us know that they want to see accommodation here on site at Nevis Range. We’ll be sure to add our own ski and bike led twist to operations!

“I’m incredibly excited about the addition of a third restaurant to the Nevis Range site. The Pinemarten Café and the Snowgoose have been designed to operate at high volumes providing a speedy service to get people back out on to the hill as quickly as possible. This restaurant will be serving Scottish Highland Tapas, all locally sourced, and a huge selection of Scottish drinks showcasing some of the incredible local suppliers that we’re so fortunate to have based here in Lochaber.

“The childcare facilities are a part of this development that is incredibly important to all of us here at Nevis Range. Facilities will be available for customers but also staff. Nevis Range is a fair work employer that has no gender pay gap and a commitment to keep on improving. The provision of childcare for staff will aid our goal of a more gender diverse workforce at the same time as giving more options to our customers.

“Net Zero and climate change are at the top of our agenda as we continue to develop. EV charge points, Hydro power and a locally sourced produce strategy are just the beginning for us. We are currently engaged in a carbon footprint analysis study that will help us roadmap the best way for us to achieve Net Zero status.

“This project is possible due to the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE]. HIE are investing £800k into this project and I’m delighted that both parties share a vision for the creation of Quality, Sustainable Adventure Tourism Experiences right here in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’.”

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