& docs

TOP 20 of french ski resorts with most diversified activities

February 26 , 2017    Innov Mountains analyzed the snow and ice activities proposed by more than 200 French ski resorts, and gives his readers the result of this study, as a chart of winter sport activities diversity. We also release a separate ranking for low-lying ranges, as some of them have made considerable efforts in the lasts years to propose a wide choice of disciplines.   ( … )

Avoriaz ski resort, french alps

France: 15 sustainable mountain resorts with outstanding actions

February 7, 2017    Today, many French mountain resorts stand out for their commitment to sustainable development. Labeled Green Flocon, green resorts, Green Globe or winners of the 2016 Cimes Sustainable Trophies, more and more of them involve to propose a preserved natural environment and a more responsible tourism.   ( … )

Published on November 21, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Historic Drought in Southwestern United States

While a horde of climate denizens is preparing to invest in the White House US Southwestern states are experiencing the largest drought ever recorded in more than 40 years.
California and Nevada are the most affected by heat waves and lack of precipitation that have been combined for 5 years in this region but Arizona and Utah are also severely impacted.

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Published on November 20, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Can Trump be the grave-digger of the Paris climate deal?

Can Trump become the grave-digger of the Paris climate deal?

While COP22 is being held in Marrakech, the shock of Trump’s election as the next president of the United States has left the democrats of the whole world groggy, stunned by this event that they wanted to believe unthinkable.
In these difficult times when civilizations, cultures, and religions clash brutally, it appears that the cleavage brings together and that the appeasement clive. This is the unexpected paradox born from globalization and the fears it arouses, sometimes rightly, in western societies.

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White house Washington USA

Published on November 9, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Global warming : what effects on mountain ecosystems ?

French Alpine Ecology laboratory (LECA), in Grenoble, initiated at the end of september an interestingt experiment with the aim of observing the reactions of Alpine ecosystems in the face of the stress caused by a brutal climatic warming of 3°C.
Supported by the logistics of the Alpine Station Joseph Fourier and with the support of the commune of Monêtier-les-Bains (Hautes Alpes) the researchers cut out alpine lawn slabs with a substrate about fifteen centimeters thick.

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LECA alpine lawn slabs

Published on October 30, 2016 – Author: Coline Mionnet

Skiing : Why France has lost its 1st world place ?

During the winter season 2015/2016, France has sold 52 million skier-days, against 53.9 million for the United States, which took the 1st place in the world ranking. Even if it remains the first ski area in Europe, France experienced a decline of 3% of its attendance compared to the past season and of 6% compared to the average of the 4 past winter seasons. How to explain this trend ?

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Ski resort in the Alps

Published on october 23, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

10 mountain sites inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage in 2016

This summer and as every year, 21 new sites have been selected to be listed in the UNESCO World Heritage, a chance for these protected areas that fascinate and arouse the interest of local or foreign tourists. Out of 21 sites, 10 are located in mountain areas, a great victory for these remote locations and those who have fought for the recognition of their natural or cultural particularities.

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Tian Shan Tien Shen mountain chain

Published on October 7, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Renewable energy innovations – Part 1

As the Energy Festival is beginning, initiated by the ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management) seven years ago, Innov Mountains publishes this special file about renewable energy innovations and the companies which develop them. These precursors set the bases of tomorrow’s civilisation, sustainably-powered and respectful of the planet.
This orientation is not an option anymore, but above all an obligation towards future generations.

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Solar Farm Exosun

Published on September 28, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Vancouver, greenest city in the world by 2020 ?

Last August, Vancouver city Hall reaffirmed that the city would become the world’s greenest by 2020 through its « Greenest City Action Plan ». Between the ocean and mountains, Vancouver is situated on the Canadian Pacific Coast close to North Shore Mountain and counted around 600 000 inhabitants in 2011. This special link with nature may explain its will to become a sustainable city.

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city of Vancouver on the evening

Published on September 21st, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Bioclimatic domes for Sancy Resort

At the heart of the massif of Sancy in Auvergne, Sancy Resort tourist complex has six eco-lodges designed with respect for the environment, and is expected to expand by building bioclimatic houses « Natura Dome ».
Located in Chambon des Neiges at 1200 m above sea level, between Chambon Lake, the Valley of Chaudefour and 20 minutes away from Mont-Dore and Super-Besse ski resorts, Sancy Resort offers a range of sports and wellness activities.

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Sancy Resort eco-construction

Published on September 9, 2016. By Coline Mionnet

The boom of village power plants – Renewable energy

This concept of village power plants is a success. It consists in collective production of electricity from renewable energy sources at a small territory level and its citizens.
The principle is simple: a local company is created and each investor can participate in its governance : town, citizen or company, in different ways. For example, it is possible to rent one’s roof to the company or to buy shares in the project. In return, the participants receive dividends from the resale of produced electricity. Check out some examples of existing village plants in France.

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Photovoltaic solar panels village roofs

Published on September 5, 2016. By Coline Mionnet

Back on the 20th Festival of Natural Future

Last Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 of September, the association Espace Nature Isere organized the 20th edition of the Festival of Natural Future in L’Albenc in Isere county. For two days, the largest organic fair in open air of Rhone-Alpes region opened its doors to the greatest number.
This free annual event aims to present products, often local, derived from organic farming and handicrafts. About 200 exhibitors were there, representing various sectors such as food, aromatherapy, habitat, textile, renewable energy, gardening, education to the environment, or nature protection.

Children playing wood games

Photo: © Coline Mionnet

Published on September 3, 2016. By Coline Mionnet

Soon a Natural Regional Park of Belledonne ? Or not !

Since its creation in 1998, Espace Belledonne association is busy to federate socio-economic actors in the Belledonne range territory.
It has emerged as a key partner in the organization of the territory and participates to many promotion projects of its natural, cultural and economic heritage. Thus, development of mountain agriculture and sustainable tourism is encouraged.
In 2009, Espace Belledonne called upon the Rhone-Alpes Region to initiate a process of creation of the Natural Regional Park (NRP) of Belledonne, approved in 2014 following favorable assessments to the project. The foreshadowing mission of the NRP has been entrusted to Espace Belledonne in 2014 and the State emited a favorable notice in February 2016.

Belledonne chain

Photo: © Coline Mionnet

Published August 20th, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Towards 100% renewable energy powered ski resorts

Today, most of ski resorts are concerned with climate change, but only some of them use 100% onsite renewable energy for their operations. Where are they located ? What is their strategy ?

Berkshire East, United States

North-East of the United States, Berkshire East is a four seasons resort located in Charlemont, Massachusetts. With around 1300 residents and 6 lifts, the ski resort hosts more than 100 000 skiers every year. But above all, it is 100% powered by two kinds of renewable energy : solar and wind.

Wind turbine energy

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Published on August 10, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

What is going to change about French environmental evaluation

Last Wednesday, August 3, the French Minister of Environnement, Segolene Royal made adopt four new orders in Council of Ministers including two orders on environmental democracy and evaluation, a third related to the production of electricity from renewable energy; and the last on experimentation of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Let’s see what bring the first two orders in terms of innovation.

Mountain environment

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Published on August 2, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Boost for renewable energy on Reunion Island

On Reunion Island, pioneer in energy transition, renewables now represent more than one-third of electricity production. The objective is to increase the share of renewables in the island energy mix up to 50% by 2020, and to 100% by 2030.
According to EDF Group, which accompanies Reunion Island in its energy transition, renewable energy covered 36% of the territory electricity needs in 2015. The inhabitants of the island have relied on three local natural ressources : hydropower (17.5% of 2015 production), bagasse (9%) and photovoltaics (8.5%).

Reunion Island

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Published on July 27, 2016 – Author: Coline Mionnet

New sorting instructions in Grenoble Metropolis

Since June 1, 2016, the Metropolis of Grenoble, waste sorting pioneer, asks all its residents to put in the “I sort” bin plastic waste which were not previously recycled. This is an innovation in France.
Now all plastic pots, containers and wraps are recyclable and so to sort. This measure will also help reduce the weight of non-recyclable waste bins. No need to wash packaging, they just have to be empty.

rubish sorting for plastic recycling

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Published on 2016, july, 25th – Author: Coline Mionnet

New French measures about wolves

A ministerial decree was reeased on July 7 authorizing a maximum destruction of 36 wolves for 2016/2017 period. It also sets a 27 wolves threshold before September 30, 2016.
Also on July 7, the prospective assessment of wolves situation in France in 2025-2030 was launched by Barbara Pompili, Secretary of State for the French Environment Minister, in charge of biodiversity.

European wolf

Photo: Licence Creative Commons via

Published on July 21, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Why has Chile distributed electricity for free ?

Chile has set the bar high, its goal is to produce 70% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050 and to reduce by 30% its CO2 emissions by 2030. With a significant increase in investment made in renewable energy in 2015 and the recent opening of 29 solar farms in Chile, the inhabitants of northern Atacama Desert enjoy free electricity since January. The record of 192 days of free electricity in Chile in 2015 could already be beaten.

Atacama desert Chile

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Published on Jujy, 11, 2016 – by Coline Mionnet

Special Report Part 2- When mountain stakeholders commit

Following the first part of this special report published last June 23rd, this second part aims to present some innovations of other professional stakeholders who also take the path of sustainable development in mountains areas. Various subjects will be broached such as the boom of 4 seasons tourism, renewable energies and the prevention of natural risks. Finally, you will discover three original and sustainable products adapted to the mountain environment.

Modular buildings Mako

Mako Dodo All rights reserved Amroc Concept

Published on July 8th, 2016 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Things to do this summer in Grenoble and around

If you planned to come or to stay in Grenoble or around this summer, this article is made for you ! Innov Mountains shows you a full panel although not exhautive of activities, mainly outdoor, to (re)discover in this beautiful region. Some of these activities are also practicable in autumn, even all year-round.

Mountain rivers rafting

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Published on June 30 – by Coline Mionnet

New French Mountain Act, passed by the end of the year?

Last June 23, the ANEM, National Association of mountain elected representatives, met with elected members of Haute-Provence Alps to work together on drafting the second French Mountain Act. The aim is to renew the legislative framework for mountain areas, that has not changed since its adoption 30 years ago.

Laurent Wauquiez, president of ANEM and Member of Parliament for Haute-Loire, Marie-Noëlle Battistel, MP for Isere and general secretary of ANEM and Joel Giraud, MP for Hautes-Alpes and chairman of the permanent commission of the National Mountain Board, conducted this June 23 a working group dedicated to the preparation of the future Mountain Act. The finalization of the text, co-written by Jean-Michel Baylet, Minister of Spatial Planning, Local Authorities and Rural Affairs and the parliamentarians of the ANEM, is expected before…

Vallée de Jarrie

Photo: Licence Creative Commons via

the end of summer. The piece of legislation should thus be presented to the Ministers Council and to the National Assembly in September aiming its adoption before the end of this year.
In its current form, the second Mountain Act is based on a parliamentary report from September 2015 written by Annie Genevard and Bernadette Laclais respectively deputies of Doubs and Savoie. It evokes broader issues such as land reform, public services, tourism, employment, agriculture, digital as well as global warming.
“[…] There will be a mountain bill that will reflect the diversity of our territories, landscapes, and also the irreplaceable value of this heritage, with rules to be adopted accordingly,” François Hollande announced on June 2nd on the occasion of his address to the Congress of Mayors of France. Welcoming the statement, Laurent Wauquiez invited the President of the Republic to come and speak to the 32nd Congress of the ANEM to be held on 13 and 14 October in Saint-Die and Gerardmer in the Vosges.

Partnership POMA / WWF for cable cars in the city

On June 17, Poma announced it has signed a three-year partnership with WWF France, the World Wildlife Fund to promote transport by cable, non-polluting, in the heart of our cities.
Obviously, the ropeway is needed today as urban mobility solution most innovative non noisy, non-polluting, low footprint, relatively low cost per kilometer, so many benefits that make it attractive. The new partnership between WWF and POMA therefore aims to communicate these qualities to the urban stakeholders to encourage the development of pilot projects city.

Ropeway car Poma in Alger Algeria

Urban ropeway cars in Alger © Poma

Thus, both partners want and participate in the fight against global warming. The transport sector represents 14% of global emissions of greenhouse gases and 27.6% of French emissions urban mobility with low carbon impact is a key objective to develop the city of tomorrow.

Logo WWF

The role of WWF in this partnership will be to provide expertise on a global reflection on the cable transport in the city and contribute to concrete projects. Its experts participate in each step of urban projects by POMA to assist them in achieving sustainable development goals. A roadmap for the coming year has already been implemented for teams POMA and WWF France can begin to work together. For POMA, the stakes are high. Indeed, the company wishes to include in its future process best practices développéesvec WWF and participate in the implementation of sustainable cities by positioning itself as prescribing in the field of urban mobility solutions.

About POMA:

With more than 8,000 plants built worldwide for 80 years, the French POMA Group is a leading transportation solutions Cable. Around the world, POMA innovates, brings its expertise and mastery of cable transport in the areas of urban transport, snow, tourism and entertainment, science and industry. POMA turnover amounted to 290.6 million euros. Poma employs 938 people, including 630 in France.

About WWF:

WWF is one of the first independent organizations of environmental protection in the world. With a network active in over 100 countries and strong support of 5 million members, WWF effort to halt the degradation of the natural environment of the planet and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature , conserving global biological diversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Since 1973, WWF France is every day to offer future generations a living planet.

Special Report – Back to Mountain Planet 2016

When mountain stakeholders commit

Let’s come back to this mountain development show, which number of visitors has increased by 35% compared to the 2014 edition, the exhibition being held in Innsbruck (Austria) on alternate years. 850 exhibitors from 32 countries and 19,000 visitors from 60 different countries were present to this international gathering for mountain planning.
Innov Mountains was there with a goal : to go meet exhibitors to learn about their sustainable development strategy, whether inside the company or included in the services or products they offer. This article provides a non-exhaustive overview of these professional players strategies, which are far more numerous.

Grange solaire

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Edito : Thinking sustainable Development and Economy

Published on june, 25, 2016 – Author: Coline Mionnet

For InnovMountains, the goal is to provide solutions to the challenges of sustainable development in mountain or valley areas. Thus, several tools are available to individuals as to professionals on the site, always on the theme of sustainable development in mountain areas. News to get informed, a projects box to participate, outings or holidays ideas with Massifs Tourism, a Partners Space with committed professionals, a shop, etc. As many topics to encourage projects and sustainable development initiatives in mountains and valleys.

Estivage des bovins

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If you are wondering what have sceduled mountain stakeholders to cope with global warming making our glaciers melt, be certain that you will find answers on Innov Mountains.

Panneaux solaires

You should know that ski areas and mountain businesses are aware of the climatic situation, as they are among the first penalized by the lack of water in summer or of snow in winter. For this reason, most of these professionals seek to achieve energy savings, either in operating infrastructures or in products or services used in mountain areas (public lighting, transport, ski lifts, snow, etc.)
For example, EDF now accompanies 62 ski resorts which half have opted for a 100% renewable energy contract, such as Val d’Isere, Courchevel or Valfrejus. Thus, companies designing products for mountain areas annually invest more and more into Research & Innovation. No choice, they must meet the expectations of their customers : ski resorts, themselves submitted to tourists expectations, who are increasingly demanding eco-responsibility on their holiday place.
Another example with ropeways companies such as Poma, Doppelmayr, Leitner, Bartholet, etc., whose cable car networks are among the less energy-consuming and quieter transports in the planet. In addition, these networks may be real social and economic conveyers, especially when they connect remote sites with more urbanized centers. The Poma Metrocable in Medellin, Colombia, and “Mi Teleferico” installed by Doppelmayr in La Paz, Bolivia, operate all year-round. They open up valleys while resorbing road trafic, lightened. Moreover, in mountain as in valley areas, the ropeways are often the main sources of economic incomes of the equipped territory, though the duration of their annual operating period may influence the results.

Metrocable, Medellin, Colombie

Metrocable Medellin Colombie Crédit photo: © 2016 Poma

What about snowmaking ? TechnoAlpin, an Italian company among the world leaders in snowmaking, is steadily working to develop less energy-consuming systems. Artificial snow would be the French sector which achieved the most of energy savings in the last twenty years. On the other hand, being able to produce snow even at positive temperatures has enabled many ski resorts to open longer this winter and a seasonal economy to resist. Although snowmaking is a consuming item, some mountain resorts are committed to reduce this bill by making energy savings on other consuming items or by providing themselves with100% renewable energy like Val d’Isere.
To sum up, gathering stakeholders of sustainable development in mountain and valley areas is part of Innov Mountains objectives, by offering news, projects, territories and products to discover. You are warmly invited to participate too !

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