Zermatt investing in green energy

Sulphur-free eco speed diesel

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To fulfil its commitment to provide guests in winter and summer alike with perfectly prepared pistes, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG runs 68 diesel-fuelled vehicles and working machines (including 29 snow groomers), which require about one million litres of diesel per year. For many years, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG has attached a high priority to environmental protection and sustainability. In line with this policy, it uses a more expensive but more sustainable alternative to power its combustion engines: “eco speed”. The extra cost to Zermatt Bergbahnen AG of choosing this more environmentally friendly option over conventional diesel fuels amounts to about CHF 40'000 per year.

Freshly groomed piste | © Mateusz Bocian
Front view of a PistenBully driver at work in front of a mountain panorama | © Mateusz Bocian

Using “eco speed” diesel generates 11% less carbon monoxide, a noxious emission which has a negative impact on oxygen transport in the blood. Burning “eco speed” instead of conventional “10 ppm” diesel fuels reduces by 15% the concentration of total hydrocarbons, whose effects include increasing ground-level ozone formation. In addition, nitric oxide emissions are reduced by 3% and particle mass (PM) is 13% lower than with conventional diesel.

The energy efficiency of this more environmentally friendly fuel is also higher because its outstanding combustibility and greater energy value reduce overall consumption. In addition to using a more environmentally compatible diesel fuel, measures to further reduce fuel consumption include an M2M (machine to machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) system which captures and analyses all the operational data from the snow groomers. Regular meetings are held with drivers to evaluate ways to improve the efficiency of piste preparation and further reduce the impact on the environment.