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For the glacier’s sake

Sustainability in the Aletsch Arena

Sustainability and climate protection in the Aletsch Arena

The Aletsch Arena is one of Switzerland’s great natural paradises, well worth preserving and protecting. Because we want the Great Aletsch Glacier to give you and everyone else pleasure for a long time to come during your holidays in Valais.

The Great Aletsch Glacier and the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch region have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. This honour naturally also brings with it various obligations, such as those concerning sustainability, environmental protection and nature conservation. For the Aletsch Arena, however, this is not a burden but a matter of heartfelt priority. The holiday destination in Valais is actively committed to sustainable Alpine tourism, as proven by the following facts:

Car-free plateau

The mountain villages of Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp are car-free.

Arrive in comfort by public transport

You don’t need a car to get to the Aletsch Arena. The holiday region has superb public transport connections. If you choose to make use of them, you are travelling sustainably and helping to protect our breathtaking nature.

Cable cars and lifts run on renewable energy

All our lift facilities are operated using renewable energies. The Aletsch Bahnen AG has joined the Swisstainable sustainability programme by Swiss Tourism and fulfils the criteria for the highest level, “leading”.

The Great Aletsch Glacier

and global warming

The Great Aletsch Glacier is, among other things, one of the largest water reservoirs in the region. A fascinating fact: there is enough water stored in the glacier to provide every person in the world one litre of water every day for four and a half years. However: Swiss glaciers are threatened by climate change – and the Great Aletsch Glacier is no exception. If global warming continues at its current rate, researchers believe that only a small remnant of this impressive natural wonder will be left in 2090.

 

Learn about the glacier while enjoying these activities

Glaciology, the science of snow and ice, is a fascinating field of research. And one you can immerse yourself in live in the Aletsch Arena. Visit the Pro Natura Centre Aletsch on Riederfurka to learn a lot of interesting facts about the Great Aletsch Glacier. You can also find out all about the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site in the World Nature Forum Museum in Naters. On the circular trail on Eggishorn created by Aletsch Bahnen, info-stations offer information about the largest glacier in the Alps. On Moosfluh on the themed trail “The Great Aletsch Glacier through the ages”, mountain guide Martin Nellen shows you how the glacier is receding.

Eco-conscious partners

Besides Aletsch Bahnen, the following companies offer an environmentally friendly travel experience.

Climate-neutral Villa Cassel

Pro Natura Centre Aletsch

Villa Cassel stands proudly on Riederalp at 2100 metres above sea level. It is home to the Pro Natura Centre Aletsch, which was Switzerland’s first nature conservation centre when it opened in 1976. The Centre is dedicated to the protection of nature in the Aletsch Arena with its unique fauna and flora. There are exhibitions, events, guided excursions and much more. But did you know that the institution has been carbon-neutral in its energy supply since its reopening in June 2020? This was made possible by the extensive refurbishment. For example, the oil heating system was replaced by an air-water heat pump for heating and domestic hot water; the building’s own photovoltaic system meets its entire electricity requirements.

 

FSC wood

Sport Resort Fiesch

The hosts in the various forms of accommodation in the Aletsch Arena are also committed to sustainability. The Sport Resort Fiesch, for example, is the first tourism business in Europe to be awarded the world’s best-known consumer label for wood, the FSC label. For the heating and hot water production of the nine pavilions with a total of over 1000 beds, as well as for the sports facility with its indoor swimming pool and triple gymnasium, the Sport Resort uses nothing other than FSC-certified wood chips from the region. This saves around 252,000 litres of heating oil annually and cuts carbon emissions by over 760 tonnes.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

World Nature Forum

The WNF in Naters is the nerve centre of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site. The interactive exhibition lets you experience the world heritage property with all your senses and immerse yourself in the exciting and highly varied world of the Alps. The World Nature Forum was awarded the sustainability prize in the European Museum of the Year Award 2019!  Tip: free admission with the Aletsch Arena guest card.

 

Swisstainable

Other sustainable businesses

The following companies within the Aletsch Arena holiday destination are committed to eco-conscious management of their operations and so have signed up for Switzerland Tourism’s Swisstainable label. Also worthy of a mention: the municipalities of Riederalp and Mörel-Filet are both “Energy Cities”. Swiss cities and villages that pursue a sustainable energy and climate policy are entitled to call themselves “Energy City”.

Climate-friendly and eco-compatible activities

The Aletsch Arena, with its unspoilt nature and fresh Valais mountain air, is the perfect place for Slow Sport, a name given to sports that let you relax and recharge your batteries. How about a paragliding flight over the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site, for example? Carried by the energy of the wind, you experience the region from a fascinating bird’s eye perspective. Other extremely relaxing activities include stand-up paddling on Lake Bettmersee and forest bathing in the over 1000-year-old Swiss stone pine forest.

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