Tuesday, 21.11.2023


Cable cars powered by plants

In Saalfelden Leogang, sustainability is not just an empty promise. From the cable cars to the hotels, it is a matter of course and is practised in all areas. In addition to being strongly committed to environmental protection, the region is also a member of the Climate Alliance and respACT, bears the Austrian Eco-label for Destinations and is home to many companies that have been awarded the Austrian Eco-label.


Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company have harnessed the power of plants
The Leogang Bergbahnen cable car company is bidding farewell to fossil fuels. From this winter season, they will cover their entire fuel requirements with HVO100 renewable fuel. With this decision, they have set an example for sustainability and resource protection. 
The Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company uses a total of around 220,000 litres of fuel. This is for the ski slope equipment and the entire fleet of vehicles, including tractors. After switching to GTL synthetic diesel fuel last winter, the company is now switching completely to HVO100 regenerative fuel. By using HVO, which is made from 100 percent renewable raw materials, the Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company - as the first ski resort in Austria - save up to 90 percent CO₂. 


Sustainability on the slopes 
The entire region uses resources sparingly both on and off the slopes. For example, the Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company has been using district heating from the nearby biomass heating plant since 2006. This co-heating partnership was set up in cooperation with neighbouring hotels. For example, the middle station, the workshop of the snow groomers and the Stöcklalm mountain restaurant, are all heated via the heat recovery of the drive motors at the Asitzbahn cable car lift middle station. 
Furthermore, the snow cannons and cable car systems have been hydraulically and electrically optimised to increase their efficiency. "These measures have enabled us to massively reduce our energy consumption," says Kornel Grundner, managing director of Leoganger Bergbahnen. "The Asitz- and Steinbergbahn cable car lift now consumes around 151,000 kilowatt hours less per year.” For the construction of the new Asitzkogelbahn cable car, which replaced the Sportbahn lift in the Asitzmulde trough in the winter of 2022/23, special care was taken to ensure the incorporation of new technologies such as the direct-drive and photovoltaic systems. These will save a total of 62,000 kw/h compared to the old system with the same transport capacity.
The Leoganger Bergbahnen have already received several awards for their efforts. The "Umwelt Blatt Salzburg" in 2017 and the Ministry of the Environment in 2018 for their commitment to climate protection. Since 2019, Leoganger Bergbahnen were the first ski resort to become a partner of the "Climate and Energy Strategy Salzburg 2050." 

Commitment to the respACT and the Climate Alliance
Saalfelden Leogang is committed to sustainability and environmental protection. Under the leadership of the Verein für Konsumenteninformation (Austrian consumer protection association), the Saalfelden Leogang region and 19 other destinations have jointly developed an objective and independent seal-of-approval certification (Österreichisches Umweltzeichen für Destinationen) for sustainable tourism regions. In 2023, the first destinations were certified. Saalfelden Leogang is the third destination in Austria after Seefeld and Wagrain-Kleinarl to be awarded the Austrian Eco-label for destinations. This represents a milestone in the development of a sustainably orientated region. 
Only a handful of regions in Austria have such a high density of companies and businesses that have been awarded the Austrian Eco-label. This independent seal of quality assesses a wide range of measures in the areas of sustainability, waste management, mobility and resource management. Electric cars are also available to guests in Saalfelden Leogang. The region's own biomass heating plants, wood chip plants and composting facilities supply energy. Care is also taken to avoid waste.
The region also participates in respACT (Saalfelden Leogang as the first regional tourism organisation) and the Climate Alliance (Saalfelden Leogang as the first tourism association in Salzburgerland).


Getting here is easy and environmentally friendly
Getting to Saalfelden Leogang is easy, comfortable and above all sustainable. There are three train stations in the Saalfelden Leogang region, which are easy to reach from Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt. The ÖBB railways also provides door-to-door luggage transport. From alpine skiing to cross-country skiing, high-quality rental offers on site are a good alternative. From the train station, take the bus (certain bus lines are free with the Saalfelden Leogang Card) to the piste, cross-country ski trail or hotel. Alternatively, you can book a Loigom Shuttle On-Demand. The Loigom shuttle in Leogang augments the existing route network by offering an on-demand service with Mercedes eVitos and serves numerous stops. This has created access to the public transport network where there previously was none.


'ECHT.GSUND.GUAD.' seal of quality and perfect interaction between farmers and award-winning restaurants
There are many projects in the Saalfelden Leogang region that aim to utilise regional resources as efficiently as possible. Since 2007, Saalfelden has played an active role in the state “e5” programme, making it one of 38 communities in Salzburg to take a stand in favour of greater energy efficiency and sustainability. Especially when it comes to delicious cuisine, the production of organic products has become very important. More than 70 percent of all farms in Leogang are now organic farms. As part of this programme, special organic sausage and meat products as well as other products like cheese, yoghurt, jams or fruit juices from Saalfelden Leogang are certified accordingly. The 'ECHT.GSUND.GUAD’ (authentic. healthy. delicious.) seal of quality makes the quality of local products easily apparent at a glance. 
The local farmers also work closely with the region's award-winning restaurants (5 with a total of 14 toques from Gault&Millau) and supply them with produce. In recent years, many lovely farm shops have also sprung up where you can sample and purchase regional specialities.


Green Events: The Nordic Park Experience and Regionality Fair
Saalfelden Leogang is increasingly focussing on "green events" that focus on energy efficiency, waste avoidance and environmentally friendly travel for guests. These include, for example, the regionality fair, which will take place in Saalfelden on 14 April 2024. The Nordic Park Experience (on 21 January and 18 February 2024) is also another "Green Event Salzburg" as well as the ALM:KULTUR event series in summer. This means that the event is organised as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible. Drinks and food are sourced locally and waste is avoided as much as possible. 


Other interesting facts and figures:
Overnight stays in Eco-label establishments    28%
Nature conservation areas    16 %
Share of organic farming    Leogang 73 % | Saalfelden 60 %