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Sustainable Energy supply

Energy and waste management

Optimising energy efficiency & reducing waste

Less is more at Schmittenhöhebahn AG – both in terms of energy consumption and waste generation. The administration building sets a good example and can call itself a low-energy building, heated and cooled with geothermal energy. The amount of waste is kept as low as possible at the lift facilities and also at the culinary establishments.

Energy supply at Schmittenhöhebahn AG

New is good, renewable is better: In keeping with this motto, Schmittenhöhebahn AG obtains green electricity from Salzburg AG, which comes 100 per cent from renewable energy sources. More than 85 per cent of the electricity comes from hydroelectric power and more than 10 per cent from wind energy. 

Photovoltaic systems of the Schmittenhöhebahn AG

In the summer of 2013, Schmittenhöhebahn AG commissioned what was then one of the largest building-integrated photovoltaic systems in Austria. Now, it boasts a total module area of 2,750 square metres, providing clean electricity. 

Photovoltaic panels were installed on the Glocknerbahn and the zellamseeXpress – both directly on the façade and on the roof. The system on the cityXpress ensures that every fourth ride up the mountain is powered by self-produced energy. There are currently a total of 14 building-integrated PV systems, and more are already being planned.

Efficiency and sustainability in facility construction

The principle of heat recovery has been used on the Schmitten since 1988. Rooms are heated with the waste heat from the engines of the zellamseeXpress and the areitXpress cable cars. In the Häferl, Panorama and Franzl restaurants, waste heat from the kitchen is used to heat the restaurants.

Energy-efficient mobility

Not only the space at buildings and cable cars is used efficiently. The area around them also serves the local energy economy. For example, charging points for electric vehicles are located right next to the administration building and some of the valley stations.

Speaking of e-cars: Two models have recently become part of the fleet of the Schmittenhöhebahn AG management.

As yet, there is no fully electric version of the piste grooming equipment. Nevertheless, Schmittenhöhebahn AG knows how to reduce emissions – with hybrid snow groomers. Their use can save up to 10 per cent of fuel. In addition, alternative fuel (GTL fuel) is used, which reduces local emissions. 

Schmitten tip

You can find out how to travel to the Schmitten in a resource-friendly way in the “Getting here” section.

An energising future: KEM Region Zell am See – Kaprun

Since 2021, Zell am See – Kaprun has been a Klima- und Energie-Modellregion (climate and energy model region). The aim of this project is for the region to be a role model in terms of climate protection in tourism. To this end, measures are planned and implemented with the active involvement of both locals and guests. The goal of the initiative: to develop the first climate-neutral tourism region in the Alps.

Waste management on the Schmitten

Whether it’s at the culinary establishments or at the lifts: Waste accumulates in different places. The Schmittenhöhebahn AG regulates how waste is being handled in its own waste management concept.

Great importance is attached to keeping the amount of waste as low as possible. That’s why large pieces of packaging for food ordered by restaurants at the beginning of the season are mostly returned to the suppliers. In general, little waste is generated in lift operations.

Authorised disposal companies pick up problematic waste generated in oil and grease separator facilities and repair facilities on a regular basis.

Creative reuse

Schmittenhöhebahn AG advertising materials that have already outlived their usefulness do not always end up in the bin. As part of a Cradle-2-Cradle project, old advertising tarps and other materials were made into handy items such as bags or wallets, for instance.

Waste separation in the valley & cleanliness on the mountain

There are waste separation systems at all valley stations of the feeder lifts. In the valley station area of the Schmittenhöhebahn, there are separate waste compactors for the sorted collection and disposal of the waste produced on the mountain. In addition, a waste compactor with a weighing gate has been installed in order to simplify the disposal of waste generated by private mountain hut owners. 

In heavily frequented areas on the mountain, there are solar-powered rubbish bins with integrated compactors. They are also equipped with sensors that trigger a text message notification as soon as the maximum fill level is reached.

Other areas in which the Schmittenhöhebahn AG fosters sustainability