The Glacier Kitzsteinhorn together with the family mountain Maiskogel | © Kitzsteinhorn
close to nature

Showing ecological & economical diligence

Besides synergies from long-standing cooperations with the Salzburg Institute for Ecology, the Hohe Tauern National Park as well as other renowned research institutions, when it comes to sustainability, the company focuses on energy efficiency, environmental protection and renewable energy sources.

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Stories about sustainability

The stories take a look behind the scenes and show how sustainability is lived in everyday life on the Kitzsteinhorn.


In harmony with nature

The foundation of our business is the unique natural world which surrounds the Kitzsteinhorn and the Maiskogel. We view it as our obligation to use and protect the region’s valuable natural resources responsibly. That said, the Salzburg Institute for Ecology accompanies us during every step of our planning and construction processes. In close collaboration with these renowned experts on the natural environment, we developed a high-elevation re-cultivation and re-vegetation project that was custom tailored to the circumstances on the Kitzsteinhorn and which is implemented each year by our own experienced team. Targeted “snow farming and -management” not only protects the permanently changing glacier, it also guarantees more than eight months of winter sports on the Kitzsteinhorn. Wastewater is disposed of by means of a drainage system spanning several kilometers that leads to a treatment facility in the Zell Basin. An elaborate and customized logistics concept secures the supply-and disposal chain for all operating facilities and catering services.

Free ski-bus service in and between Kaprun and Zell am See reduces private vehicle traffic. Since 2007, the company has also been certified according to ISO 14001 for its environmental management practices.

Annual Ecological Report


  • Salzburg Institute for Ecology:
    Consultant for all planning and construction projects

  • Re-cultivation and re-vegetation programs

  • Glacier protection through snow farming

  • Free ski buses

  • 2011 recipient of the pro natura Award

  • Environmental management ISO 14001-certified


Energy Production & Water

The entire company – including all lifts and catering facilities – runs on 100% ecologically generated power. In accordance with ISO 50001 energy management requirements, our use of energy and natural resources is permanently monitored and optimized by an internal corporate ecology officer drawing upon feedback received from official annual inspections conducted by TÜV-Nord-Deutschland. “In winter, snow – In summer, power”: The Kitzsteinhorn is one of the first Alpine ski areas to operate a combined pumping station and small-scale hydroelectric plant. In winter, it serves as a pumping station for the snowmaking infrastructure, while in summer a turbine is powered by water from the snow melt to generate power and thus offset most of the energy consumed in winter for snowmaking. The heat radiated by the high-performance motors of various lifts is harnessed to heat buildings. The buildings themselves meet the very latest standards of energy efficiency, some are equipped with solar and photovoltaic systems, while the new Kaprun Center represents the realization of a low-energy building concept. All of these measures save costs and valuable natural resources over the long term. 



  • 100 % ECO power

  • Combined pumping and hydroelectric station

  • ISO 50001-certified energy management

  • Energy officer and internal energy auditor

  • Own source of spring water


Quality Management

Since 2003, Kapruner Gletscherbahnen has been committed to an integrated management system in order to implement and continually monitor high quality and safety standards according to ISO 9001. Internal corporate environmental, garbage, water and wastewater, fire prevention and worksite-safety officers – together with their teams – make a substantial contribution to meeting these high quality standards on a permanent basis. Every year and throughout the season, guests are surveyed about their satisfaction, with the results flowing into our corporate improvement and development processes. Individual training programs were developed for all employees throughout the company, intended to offer each of them the opportunity to develop their personal and professional expertise as well as to do so right here within our own company. An internal 4-year program trains young apprentices to become professional lift technicians. By means of our corporate health and wellness program, working conditions are constantly evaluated, while healthful sports and recreational opportunities are promoted.

  • ISO 9001-certified quality management in all corporate areas
  • Internal officers for: environment, garbage disposal,
    water and wastewater management, fire prevention and worksite safety
  • Ongoing guest surveys
  • Employee training program
  • Apprenticeships
  • Health and wellness programs for employees

Strong Partnerships

Consistent with our dedication to sustainable regional business practices and a sense of social responsibility anchored in the region, we have entered into numerous fair and mutually beneficial partnerships. The company is a shareholder of Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus GmbH, in cooperation with which a series of tourism projects and events are being planned and brought to fruition. At our seven company owned mountain restaurants and bars, the vast majority of products are locally sourced and freshly prepared. Our company is also one of the biggest customers of the local economy, thus contributing to the long-term preservation and strengthening of regional commerce and the community.

  • Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus GmbH

  • SalzburgerLand

  • Regional products served to mountain guests

  • Contracts awarded mainly to local businesses

  • Sponsor of regional sporting and cultural events

  • Projects with regional schools

  • Cooperations with regional charitable and rescue organizations

KEM Tourism Zell am See-Kaprun

The Gletscherbahnen Kaprun Inc. partners with the Zell am See-Kaprun Climate and Energy Model Region. All associates pursue the same objective: "Developing the exemplary Zell am See-Kaprun region allows us to take major steps in a climate-neutral future. Our actions pave the way for becoming Alps' first carbon-neutral tourism region and both locals and guests are actively involved."

Sebastian Vitzthum & Stephan Obenaus, KEM management

Hohe Tauern National Park

In June 2011, the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun Inc. and the Hohe Tauern National Park launched the ambitious joint project TOP OF SALZBURG. In 2012, the partners sign an unlimited cooperation contract that stipulates reciprocal knowledge transfer, guided Kitzsteinhorn explorer tours with National Park rangers for guests and more. TOP OF SALZBURG is the highest location that is easily reachable via cable cars all year round. It's a place frequented by a high number of international guests that raises consciousness and awareness on the National Park idea.


Open-Air Lab Kitzsteinhorn

Since 2010, the summit area of the 3203 m high Kitzsteinhorn has been the location of an interdisciplinary open-air lab dedicated to monitoring permafrost as well as landslide activity. Subsequent to the projects MOREXPERT I and II, from 2017 to 2020 Gletscherbahnen Kaprun will be a partner and provide an open-air laboratory for “Glacier Rocks”. This international project exemplifies the benefits of cooperation between the scientific and business worlds. Goals of the study include better estimation of current and future change processes affecting rock faces close to glaciers. From 2015 to 2018, the Kitzsteinhorn also supported the interdisciplinary scientific project “Integrated Deer Management”, which investigated the successful interaction of tourism, agriculture, forestry and hunting in Kaprun Valley.

  • “MOREXPERT I and II”, 2010 - 2017
  • “Glacier Rocks”, 2017 – 2020
    Interdisciplinary project of TU Munich, ETH Zurich, Salzburg University, ZAMG, Geoconsult, Geodata, Gelog 2000, ÖWA, IGG, Austrian Geological Survey and Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG
  • “Integrated Deer Management”, 2015 - 2018