Alp Tracks – Instructor

Low Impact Ski Instruction & Mountain Leader

My name’s Rob Watson, I started teaching skiing in 2001 and have lived and worked in the mountains ever since. I want to help people get the most out of the environments I love, and this means protecting them by making a number of changes to the way I run my business.

To reduce my impact, I’m committed to using public transport to and from work. All ski resorts in the French Alps have an excellent bus service and the more we use these buses the better the system becomes. After all, a car carrying one person emits 40kg of CO2 per 100 passenger miles, while a full bus emits only 6kg per person over the same distance. So not only am I cutting my own costs from limiting personal fuel consumption, but I’m reducing my carbon footprint too.

My uniform this season is from Untrakt; it’s made from sustainable and recycled materials, further reducing my impact than if I’d chosen my previous supplier. I plan to use this uniform for as long as possible, repairing it when necessary and recycling it at the end of its life – so using materials that can easily be repurposed and don’t harm the environment are key.

Finally, I’ll be offsetting everyday I spend on the hill. Daily ski lift use contributes to my personal emissions, so I’m committing 10 euros each day to planting trees.

What is the most positive environmental impact that Alp Tracks has made?

Each day I work on the mountain I am planting 100 trees in Africa, and over the entire season this will lead to the planting of an entire forest compiling of 10,000 trees.

The annual carbon sequestering from a forest this size would be 220 tons of carbon dioxide. To put this simply this is the equivalent of running 48 cars over the course of a year. Through the pledge system, I am working with One Tree to carefully calculate my carbon footprint and reduce it where possible.

Which individual pledge are you focused on delivering in the future?

Educating my clients on why I made these changes will hopefully encourage more people to make more adjustments in their own lives, and think about the choices they make as consumers. We all want to continue enjoying the mountains and our sport for as long as possible; if more people make these modifications then we can have greater impact and keep doing what we love.